NHL Betting Preview (Feb. 19): Blues vs. Maple Leafs Odds

Don’t look now, but the Toronto Maple Leafs are heating up. They’ve won four of their last five games, bringing their record over the last 10 games to 7-3-0. With that being said, they have a crucial three-game stretch coming up, during which they’ll play the defending champions, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, twice, and the previous champion, the Colorado Avalanche, in between.

The Leafs still have a couple of games to go before that, though, the first of which is a trip to St. Louis, where they’ll take on the Blues as part of the NHL President’s Day slate. Let’s take a look at this game, and what you can expect from a betting perspective:

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Blues

TOR -160
STL +135

Toronto are road moneyline favourites, coming in at -165.

Maple Leafs vs. Blues odds

Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds-160
Blues Moneyline Odds+135
Puckline oddsMaple Leafs -1.5 (+150), Blues +1.5 (-180)
Total 6.5 goals (over -105, under -115)
Time/DateFeb. 19, 1:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet Ontario
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

All odds courtesy of

About the Maple Leafs (29-16-8 SU, 17-36 ATS, 28-23-2 o/u)

When you play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, expectations can become an albatross around your neck. For example, the Leafs are currently sitting a very respectable third in a highly competitive Atlantic Division, and yet there are still those who would consider this season a disappointment so far.

It’s certainly true that the Leafs have dealt with their fair share of turmoil this season, and they still have a major question mark around the goaltender position. At the same time, they’ve started to play some of their best hockey. They have won three in a row, and four of five. They’ve overtaken the Tampa Bay Lightning for third in the Atlantic, and have three games in hand on them. They also have two games in hand each on the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins, who are currently first and second in the Atlantic respectively.

A big part of this has been a resurgent Auston Matthews. He leads the league with 48 goals, putting him on a pace to net an incredible 75 this year. He has hattricks in back-to-back games against the Flyers and Ducks, plus 11 goals in his last 9 games. He might not have the points to challenge for MVP, but he deserves a place in the conversation.

Indeed, as per usual, the Leafs are a top-five offence in the league (they’re fourth, if we’re being specific). On the flip side, they’re getting by with a hodgepodge group of defencemen at the moment, which could prove a liability down the stretch. In net, third-string Martin Jones has been holding the fort down for now, but the hope will be that Ilya Samsonov regains some form soon. If not, it’s possible the Leafs could be forced to trade for a goalie.

It’s fair to say that this season has felt more challenging than the last few. Still, is it possible that could be a good thing for the Leafs? Getting into the playoffs as the last divisional team or the first wild card could help to take some of the pressure off a group that has historically struggled under the weight of expectation. For now, it’s hard to be mad about what’s happening in Toronto.

About the Blues (29-23-2 SU, 31-23 ATS, 23-27-4 o/u)

The Blues find themselves in a weird spot. They are currently in the final Wild Card spot, with a two-point lead over the Nashville Predators, and a four-point lead over the Minnesota Wild and Seattle Kraken. That’s not a bad place to be at the moment.

On the whole, things are going fairly well for the Blues. But despite being 7-3-0 in their last 10, they have been very up-and-down in their last half-dozen games. They are 3-3-0 in their last six, which is much more indicative of their last few performances. In that time, they’ve beaten the high-flying Edmonton Oilers, whilst losing to the bottom-feeding the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Robert Thomas is clearly the best player on the team. He leads the team in assists (42) and points (61) while also being tied for the team lead with 19 goals. The offence is surprisingly balanced, featuring seven players with at least 10 goals.

Sporting a goal differential of -8 is a tough look, but it’s hard to find a lot of fault with how the Blues are playing of late. Though they aren’t likely to make much noise in the postseason, getting in has to be seen as a major positive given the state of the roster coming into the season.

Last Matchup

It has been just six days since these two last played. The Leafs won the last matchup at home on February 13, 4-1. Bobby McMann notched a statement hat trick in the win, after which he put up another two goals against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Leafs had two in the first and two in the third, with the Blues pulling one back in the second, eventually cruising to the win in front of the home crowd. Though that performance should have the Leafs feeling relatively confident this time around, it should be a little more competitive on the road.

Projected Lineups

Today’s Toronto Maple Leafs LinesToday’s St. Louis Blues Lines
Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Bobby McMann – Max Domi – Nick Robertson
Noah Gregor – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves

TJ Brodie – Timothy Liljegren
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Max Lajoie – Marshall Rifai

Starting In Goal
Ilya Samsonov
11-4-6, 3.25 GAA, 0.881 SV%
Pavel Buchnevich – Robert Thomas – Jordan Kyrou
Jake Neighbours – Brayden Schenn – Kasperi Kapanen
Brandon Saad – Kevin Hayes – Sammy Blais
Alexey Toropchenko – Oskar Sundqvist – Nathan Walker

Nick Leddy – Colton Parayko
Torey Krug – Matt Kessel
Marco Scandella – Calle Rosen

Starting In Goal
Jordan Binnington
19-5-2, 2.93 GAA, 0.908 SV%

The Leafs are on a roll with their top three lines. It’s hard to hate what Matthews and Marner are doing, though Knies isn’t quite producing at the level many had hoped for. Nylander is dominant on the second line and McMann emerging as a threat on the third just makes the Leafs’ offence deeper.

When it comes to the Blues, there’s depth throughout. They have seven guys with double-digit goal totals, plus Torey Krug is fifth on the team in points with 28. They won’t blow the doors off but have enough options to catch teams by surprise.

Auston Matthews to score a goal


Key Injuries

Joseph Woll, Calle Jarnkrok, and Conor Timmins are all on injured reserve for the Leafs as of the last matchup with the Blues. Tavares is day-to-day with what he called a “pretty minor” injury but is expected to suit up. Mark Giordano was added to the non-roster list on Sunday with a personal issue, so it’s uncertain when he may return.

The Blues have managed to stay pretty healthy overall. Defenceman Justin Faulk went on injured reserve back on Feb. 8 and fellow defenceman Scott Petrunovich is out with an undisclosed injury as well.

  • Despite being 17-36 against the puck line this season, the Leafs are red-hot in that regard. They have covered in their last three games and seven of nine overall. The most notable wins came against the Dallas Stars, the Winnipeg Jets (twice), Blues, and the Philadelphia Flyers, all solid victories.
  • The Blues are also quite hot against the puck line. Though they are just 3-3 in their last six games, the Blues are 8-3 against the puck line over their last 11 games.
  • The Leafs offence is heating up. They have hit the over in four of their last five games after a stretch of four in a row where they failed to do so. They have scored four or more in all of those games aside from a 5-3 loss to the Senators on February 10.
  • Though all eyes are on Matthews, Mitch Marner is on fire himself. His assists props are generally set at 0.5 and he has covered that in three straight, all of which have been multi-assist games. He also has a point in six straight and 11 of 12 games.
  • Robert Thomas is quietly playing some of the best hockey in the league right now. He has points in 9 of his last 11 games, five of which were multi-point games. That said, just three of the 17 points he’s had in that stretch have been goals.
  • Ilya Samsonov isn’t quite playing Vezina-quality hockey, but he’s gotten better. After a stretch where he gave up four or more goals in five of six, he’s now held the opposition to three goals or fewer in seven of eight.

Wagers To Consider

  • Continue to ride Marner’s hot streak. Though it’s tough to see him getting a fourth-straight multi-point game, take him to tally at least one assist (-150) to continue his scoring streak.
  • Both teams are hot against the puckline, so go with the home team by default (-180), even though the Leafs should end up with the win when all is said and done.
  • Though it’s hard to see him tallying another hat trick, keep riding Matthews to score until he doesn’t. At -135 anytime, those are solid odds for a guy who could be threatening 70 goals by the end of the year.

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