NHL Betting Preview (March 24): Hurricanes vs. Maple Leafs Odds

After a statement win against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday Night, the Toronto Maple Leafs have another big game ahead of them on Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes. The odds aren’t exactly in their favour, with a lack of rest, a night of travel, and a loss to the Canes just eight days ago in mind, but the opportunity to surprise many with a second win in as many nights is on the table here. Let’s take a look at what it will take to get there.

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Hurricanes

TOR +165
CAR -200

The Maple Leafs are road underdogs, coming in at +150 on the moneyline. The odds have shifted in further favour of the Hurricanes overnight.

Hurricanes vs. Maple Leafs Betting Odds

Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds+165
Hurricanes Moneyline Odds-200
Puck Line oddsMaple Leafs +1.5 (-155), Hurricanes -1.5 (+130)
Total Goals line6.5 goals (over +100, under -120)
Time/DateMarch 24, 6:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet Ontario
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

All odds courtesy of

About the Maple Leafs (40-20-9 SU, 26-43 ATS, 38-29-2 o/u)

The Buds are rarely underdogs in their own building, and coming out of the gate on Saturday, they looked like a team that didn’t want to be seen that way. With all eyes on Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman with their goal milestones in sight, it was instead the stick of Bobby McMann which delivered the game’s first goal, with the depth winger burying his 12th of the season off of a pretty John Tavares pass just four minutes into the night. After killing off a late first-period penalty, William Nylander drew the Leafs a powerplay of their own and took matters into his own hands to extend the lead to 2-0, finishing a Timothy Liljgren feed for his 39th of the season.

The second period saw the depth scorers continue to work their magic, with Pontus Holmberg scoring a pair of goals in three minutes, followed by McMann getting his second of the night. The Oilers made a big push across the third period, with Goal #49 from Hyman and additional goals from Corey Perry and Leon Draisaitl, but the Leafs held the fort, with Matthews scoring his 58th goal of the year (and first empty netter) in the dying seconds.

It was a big win for the Leafs, who are now 18-6-1 in their last 25 games. There was a lot of spotlight on this game and they managed to not just win, but pull the attention away from the star power, building their cushion through their support pieces. That’s the sort of help they’ll need as the spring games get more serious.

About the Hurricanes (44-20-7 SU, 30-41 ATS, 30-40-1 o/u)

Since their last game against the Maple Leafs, the Hurricanes have continued a run of accruing key standings points, closing the gap between them and the New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division race. On Sunday, they dominated the Ottawa Senators, keeping things close for the first two periods before finally exploding for five goals in the final 21 minutes of regulation. On Tuesday, they built up a 3-0 lead against the New York Islanders in the first period and never looked back, and on Thursday, they squeaked out a 3-2 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers, who themselves were feeling a little confident after beating Toronto.

Yesterday’s game against the Washington Capitals was a bit more erratic, with Carolina striking first, only to give up the lead on a Sonny Milano powerplay tally. The Canes went up again just before the end of the first, but another Capitals powerplay goal – this time from Alex Ovechkin, shocker – levelling the field again, and another Milano goal put them behind. Sebastian Aho’s second of the game tied things up and Brady Skjei repeated Carolina’s first-period move of taking the lead back in the last minute. Once again, Washington tied things up with a powerplay goal and went back up with Milano completing a hat trick. The two teams traded blows again, and with the Canes still down, they once again levelled the game in the dying minutes, this time leaving 2:21 on the clock with Aho capping off a hat trick. Ultimately though, Washington had the last laugh in the shootout.

Even still, this leaves the (storm) surging Hurricanes with points in their last six, and a 27-7-3 record since Christmas. If last Saturday’s game didn’t prove to not take them lightly, that record will affirm it.

Last Matchup

As referenced, it’s been a little over a week since these teams faced off, in a game that’s been a frustration point for many Leafs fans. Toronto built up a quick 3-0 lead in the second period with goals from John Tavares, William Nylander, and Nick Robertson, but saw it cut to one in a matter of minutes with two Carolina response tallies. David Kampf added what should’ve been all the insurance necessary early in the third, but a controversial penalty taken by him with three minutes remaining put the Canes on the powerplay, which Sebastian Aho used to his advantage. With the Leafs already tired from the kill, Aho added another goal with seven seconds to go. The game ultimately ended in a one-goal shootout, coming from the stick of Jake Guentzel at the end of the third round.

Projected Hurricanes and Leafs Lines

Today’s Toronto Maple Leafs LinesToday’s Carolina Hurricanes Lines
Tyler Bertuzzi* – Auston Matthews – Max Domi
Matthew Knies – John Tavares – William Nylander
Bobby McMann – Pontus Holmberg – Nick Robertson
Connor Dewar – David Kampf – Noah Gregor

Morgan Rielly – Jake McCabe
Joel Edmundson – Timothy Liljegren
Simon Benoit – Conor Timmins

Starting In Goal
Joseph Woll
10-7-1, 2.90 GAA, 0.909 SV%
Jake Guentzel – Sebastian Aho – Seth Jarvis
Teuvo Teravainen – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Martin Necas
Andrei Svechnikov – Jordan Staal – Jordan Martinook
Brendan Lemieux – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Stefan Noesen

Jaccob Slavin – Brent Burns
Brady Skjei – Brett Pesce
Dmitry Orlov – Jalen Chatfield

Starting In Goal
Pytor Kotchetkov
19-12-4, 2.46 GAA, 0.909 SV%

Tyler Bertuzzi will more than likely be a game-time decision for Toronto, having missed Saturday’s game at the last second with an illness. Ryan Reaves, who was out with a closed-up eye following a fight, returned in his place. Toronto made an interesting proactive move on Saturday, sending Joseph Woll to Raleigh ahead of the team to get acclimated a day earlier, in anticipation of his start in goal.

Carolina is playing at close to full capacity. Part of me is surprised that Kotchetkov is eligible to play after a kick toward John Carlson in Carolina’s last game, though the league appears to have opted for the blind eye in this case.

Leafs and Hurricanes under 6.5 total goals


Key Injuries

The Maple Leafs are about as banged up as they were yesterday. As mentioned above, Ryan Reaves is now good to play and did on Saturday, while Tyler Bertuzzi is in worse shape with his illness than believed 24 hours ago. One player to keep an eye on is Ilya Samsonov – he was scheduled to get the night off anyway, but he appeared to over-extend himself late in the Saturday win, requiring Martin Jones to come in. Sheldon Keefe, for what it’s worth, says that Samsonov is fine, though with a few scares in these past few weeks, you can’t fault people for having some nerves there.

The Hurricanes, as they were the last time the two teams faced, are without Jack Drury (lower body). Jesper Fast (upper body) is now out as well.

  • These two teams have split their last ten games against each other, with five wins a piece. Carolina has the hot hand, however, with wins in the last three. Toronto has the puck line edge, beating the line six times in the last ten matchups. The total goal line has been exceeded in six of those matchups.
  • The Maple Leafs’ last ten games look similar to how they did yesterday – they’re 6-4 in their last 10, 4-6 against the puck line, and have hit the total goals over in 6 of the last 10. In their last five games, they’re 4-1 against the puck line and have hit the total goals over in all five games.
  • Carolina is 6-4 in their last ten games, with a 4-6 record against the puck line. They’ve cleared the total goals line five times and landed under it five times.
  • Leading the way for the Hurricanes in scoring over their last ten games is Sebastian Aho. An explosive game against the Capitals brought him to six goals and nine points in that span, giving him the top spot for assists and points. Martin Necas has taken the most shots on the team in their last ten games with 38, and Seth Jarvis has scored the most goals with eight.
  • Auston Matthews and John Tavares share the Maple Leafs’ lead in points over their last ten games, with both producing 13 points. Matthews has gotten there with 5 goals and 8 assists, while Tavares has 6 goals and 7 assists.
  • William Nylander leads the team in goals over that ten-game run, with seven. He also joins Matthews (41), Tavares (35), and Bobby McMann (32) in the over-thirty shots club for that stretch, with 32 of his own.

Hurricanes vs. Maple Leafs Predictions

  • Auston Matthews’ empty netter last night puts him two goals away from 60, which will only increase the attention put on his goal watches. Today, his anytime line is at -115, a more reasonable market price than we saw last night.
  • The last time these two teams faced off, I mentioned Sebastian Aho having a good start to the season series and that he was worthy of an anytime goal look. He scored two goals in that game, making those who got him at +160 quite happy. He’s +135 today, so the value isn’t there to the same extent, but with 4 goals and 4 assists in his last three games against Toronto, and 5 goals and 6 assists in his last five games, he’s definitely a hot hand. If you want to maybe go a bit safer, his shot line is set at 2.5 and priced at -140, and that’s a mark he’s cleared four times in the last five games.
  • The Leafs have four wins and three losses this year in the second half of back-to-backs, outscoring their opponents 29-21 (an average of roughly 4-3). One of these back-to-backs was against Carolina and it saw them lose 3-2 in regulation. I would guess that this one also gets played on the tighter side of things like that one did, and that the total goals under 6.5 at -120 is a good look. At the same time, Toronto has won three of these back-to-backs by an exact score of 7-3, so who knows, really.

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