Ice Hockey. NHL
Stadium: Little Caesars Arena (Detroit)
Detroit hasn't been able to take points from Toronto in five head-to-head encounters in a row. Will Jeff Blashill's team be able to break their losing streak now? Our prediction: the Maple Leafs will win again!Claim Your Welcome Bonus!
Detroit is an outsider of all recent NHL seasons, which started the current regular season surprisingly well and even went for a long time in the playoff zone, but still gradually left the cup eight. That's due to a stretch in January when the Red Wings lost six of seven games and had a very difficult time of it. The situation has stabilized slowly, as in the last nine meetings Jeff Blashill's wards were able to pick up five wins and four losses, but it's not enough to regain their former position yet. Right now, Detroit sits tenth in the Eastern Conference standings, well behind the top-8.
Toronto is having a very good regular season. Yes, they're not fighting for the lead so far, but they're avoiding serious slumps as well. The Maple Leafs have had a few problems recently, when they unexpectedly lost in three straight games to St. Louis 3-6, Montreal 2-5 and Columbus 3-4, but then they beat Minnesota 3-1 in a tough game which shows that the Blues and Whites are in good shape. There is not much time left before the Cup battles, where Sheldon Keefe's players will surely get to, but by this time they should be in good form to overcome the first round of playoffs for the first time since 2004. As of now Toronto is sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.
During the regular NHL championships, the teams have played 674 face-offs. The Red Wings have had 286 wins, while the Maple Leafs have been stronger in 295 games, and the other 93 games ended in a draw. The goal difference is also on the side of the Maple Leafs, 1955-1909. In the current season the rivals have met twice, and both times the victory was celebrated by the players of Toronto, 5-4 and 7-4.
Expert Betting Tips
Toronto and Detroit are principled rivals, but recently the difference in their class has grown too great. This is most clearly confirmed by the fact that the Red Wings can not take points from the Maple Leafs in five consecutive head-to-head encounters. In the upcoming game, Sheldon Keefe's players are the clear favorites, as they are starting to find their feet after a brief decline, which minimizes Detroit's chances for success. As a result, you should bet on Toronto's win for about 1.80.
The confrontation between Toronto and Detroit is historically rich in productive action. In the last ten face-offs, the rivals have jointly scored 76 goals (7.60 average per game), which even by the standards of the NHL is a very solid figure for such a long stretch. The opponents won't have any major tournament challenges in the upcoming game, as the Maple Leafs should definitely make the playoffs, while the Red Wings won't face any cup battles, so they can allow to play some open hockey. Given that, we would expect the total to be over 6.5 pucks at odds close to 1.95.
Auston Matthews continues to fight for the title of the top skating leader in the NHL regular season. Currently he is leading the league with 36 goals in 48 games played but Leon Draisaitl is only one goal behind. More recently, the American has had a bit of a slump in his game, going scoreless in two straight games, but he has tallied five points in the last two meetings, three of them on goals. Obviously, the 24-year-old hockey player is in good shape, so it is worth betting on his goal at odds of about 2.00.