The Toronto Maple Leafs go head-to-head with the buffalo sabres for some Tuesday night action! Let’s check out our NHL odds series where our Maple Leafs-Sabres prediction and pick will be made.
Serving as one of the top squads in the Eastern Conference, Toronto came out on the wrong side of the scoreboard against the lowly Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday 5-3. While it was definitely a disappointing outing for a Maple Leafs team with championship aspirations, Toronto still comes into this one with a 34-15-8 record and are in firm control of the fourth seed in the conference.
The Sabres on the mean hand are at risk of missing out on the playoffs down the stretch as they have hit a cold spell in a big way. Luckily, they have managed to win back-to-back games and seem to be trending in a positive direction. At the moment, continuing down the winning path will prove to come in handy as the Sabres only sit four points behind the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Here are the Maple Leafs-Sabres NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Maple Leafs-Sabres Odds
Toronto Maple Leafs: -1.5 (+140)
Buffalo Sabres: +1.5 (-172)
Over: 6.5 (-148)
Under: 6.5 (+120)
How To Watch Maple Leafs vs. Sabres
Time: 7:30ET/4:30 PT
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Why The Maple Leafs Could Cover The Spread
In order for Toronto to handle their business and cover the spread by winning in multiple-goal fashion, then newly acquired superstar in Ryan O’Reilly will have to make an explosive introduction to the Buffalo crowd. Yes, there is no doubt that the Maple Leafs are pushing all of their chips to the center of the table after making such a big move for one of the league’s brightest shining stars, but it becomes evident that some growing pains may be in store after losing to Chicago.
Nevertheless, this is a roster that has been among the best that the NHL has to offer through 57 games as they have represented an extreme amount of balances on both ends of the ice. Not only is Toronto averaging 3.40 goals per game, but they also have suffocated the opposition defensively by only surrendering 2.65 scores per contest.
Clearly, stringing together a well-balanced 60 minutes of play would surely get the job done in regards of covering the spread, but most importantly, be on the lookout for the Maple Leafs to attack the Sabres with their penalty-killing prowess. Even if Toronto ends up playing this game in a sloppy manner, their ability to clear the puck and keep teams from occupying a ton of time in their own zone on the extra-man advantage could prove to be the underlying factor in covering the spread on this Tuesday evening.
Why The Sabres Could Cover The Spread
Without a doubt, the time is now for the Sabres to make a move at a postseason spot that has eluded this franchise since the 2011 season. With one of the longest active playoff droughts that the NHL has to offer, can Buffalo make a statement by downing the Maple Leafs and covering the spread in doing so?
On paper, Buffalo certainly has the edge when it comes to their record against the spread as they have posted a 30-24 mark ATS so far this season. Although the Sabres have certainly made their fellow bettors a good amount of money in that perspective, this is a squad that has been plagued by inconsistently. At first glance, Buffalo’s high-octane offense is a joy to watch as they boast the third-most goals per game this year, but it has been spotty defense that often has let this clubhouse down more often than not. In fact, the Sabres are allowing just as many goals as they are scoring per contest, so focusing on standing firm to a Toronto offense that can also provide the fireworks in the scoreboard department will be a main priority for the Sabres.
Above all else, it is hard to make a case against right-winger Tage Thompson being one of the more up-and-coming superstars that this league has to offer. With the third-most goals at this point of the season, the 25-year-old Arizona native is putting on a show in his sixth season and will certainly give Toronto fits if he is given space all night long. Be on the lookout for Thompson to provide some early electricity at the KeyBank Center, as a strong start early would do wonders in coming out victories for this Buffalo bunch.
Final Maple Leafs-Sabres Prediction & Pick
If Buffalo truly believes they belong among the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference, then these are the types of games where they have to prove themselves. Believe it or not, this is exactly what the Sabres will do tonight, as a strong effort on both sides of the ice will be just enough to at least cover the spread and make this a competitive game.
Final Maple Leafs-Sabres Prediction & Pick: Sabres +1.5 (-172)