The Toronto Maple Leafs continue their homestand as they host the Chicago Blackhawks. It is time to continue our NHL odds series with a Blackhawks-Maple Leafs prediction, pick, and how to watch.

The Chicago Blackhawks enter the game at 1-2 on the season. After an opening night win at the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Blackhawks travel to Boston and Montreal. While Chicago has lost two of three, Connor Bedard has been great. He has a point in each game this year so far for the Blackhawks. Still, the Blackhawks are not scoring much. After scoring four in their first game, they have scored just three total goals since.

The Maple Leafs enter the game at 2-0 on the season. The Maple Leafs are having no problem scoring goals this year. Toronto has scored 13 goals in the first two games this year, with Auston Matthews leading the way. He has scored six goals already this season with back-to-back hat tricks. This is the last game of the home stand Toronto is opening the season with, as they travel to Florida for a game on Thursday.

Here are the NHL Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

NHL Odds: Blackhawks vs. Maple Leafs Odds

Chicago Blackhawks: +1.5 (+122)

Toronto Maple Leafs: -1.5(-146)

Over: 6.5 (-128)

Under: 6.5 (+104)

How to Watch Blackhawks vs. Maple Leafs

Time: 7:00 PM ET/ 4:00 PM PT


Stream: FuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why The Blackhawks Will Cover The Spread

For the Blackhawks, Connor Bedard has been everything they could have hoped for. He has three points already and is shooting a lot, with 16 shots on goal already this season. Bedard had an assist in his first game and then scored the opening goal against Boston. He would come back with another assist against Montreal as well. Corey Perry has also been solid in his first year in Chicago. He has three assists this season already, with two in the win against the Penguins.

Tyler Johnson has also been solid for the Blackhawks this year. Last game he shot five times and scored twice in the game, giving him two goals on the season so far. For the Blackhawks, they have to get more pucks on the net. In the game with Pittsburgh, they had 36 shots on goal getting the win. Then, against Boston, it was just 21 and 30 against Montreal. Chicago has been getting some good opportunities though. Last game against Montreal, they took 30 shots, and they had 17 shots in high-leverage situations  Still, Chicago also needs to be better on the power play. They have had ten chances this year, but have yet to score a power play goal.

They also have to defend better in this game. Chicago has given up 33 shots in each game so far this year. The major issue has been where they are giving up shots. In the game against Montreal, they gave up 18 shots in high-leverage situations in the last game. Still, the Blackhawks have been solid on the penalty kill this year. They have killed all seven short-handed opportunities this year.

The Blackhawks are expected to have Petr Mrazek between the pipes in this game. He is 1-1 on the year so far with a 2.54 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. He has been solid this year. In his first start of the season, Mrazek turned away 39 of 41 shots to get the win. Then, last time out against Montreal he turned away 33 of 36 shots he faced, but did take the loss.

Why The Maple Leafs Will Cover The Spread

For Toronto, it is all about scoring a lot of goals. Auston Matthews has scored six goals this year, while just taking 13 shots this season. He has a +3 plus/minus rating this year, with two power-play goals already. Meanwhile, William Nylander has been great as well. He has three goals with two assists already with a goal and an assist on the power play. Finally, John Travares has five assists already this year. He does not have to shoot a lot or make an impact. Travares has taken just five shots this year, but his impact is with five assists.

In the last two games, Toronto is shooting a ton. They have shot 75 times in two games, with over 33 shots in each game. They scored five of their seven goals last game in high-percentage scoring areas while taking 21 shots in high-leverage scoring areas. Toronto has been amazing on the power play as well. The Maple Leafs have had seven power-play opportunities this year, and have converted four of them.

Meanwhile, the defense has been solid. They have given up 31 or fewer shots in each game this season, while also being stout on the penalty kill. They have given up just one power-play goal on five chances this year.

Joseph Woll will be in goal in this one. It will be the first start of the season. Last year he was solid. Woll went 6-1 on the season with a 2.16 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. He was also good in the playoffs last year with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage. Woll is a great goalie for a spot start and will perform well in this game.

Final Blackhawks-Maple Leafs Prediction & Pick

The Maple Leafs defense has been rough this year. They are giving up plenty of goals, and a lot of shots in high-leverage situations. That should allow Chicago to have plenty of scoring opportunities. They have the goal scorers that can put one in. Taking Connor Bedard as an anytime goals scorer at +195 could be a nice play in this one. He has already shown he is solid when given a shot in a high-leverage shooting area.

At the same Chicago is giving up a ton of shots this year and they are also giving up a lot of power play opportunities. That is a recipe for disaster against Toronto. Do not expect Auston Matthews to hit another hat trick, but he may put one in during this game. Expect Toronto to capitalize on plenty of shots, and score more than enough to cover.

Final Blackhawks-Maple Leafs Prediction & Pick: Maple Leafs -1.5 (-146) and Over 6.5 (-128)