NHL Betting Preview: High-Scoring Maple Leafs Host Goal-Happy Capitals On Thursday

Both teams have been soaring over totals lately

Washington Capitals @ Toronto Maple Leafs — April 14

Line: Capitals (+140) and Maple Leafs (-160) — DraftKings

Total: 6.5

Head-to-head: This is the second of three meetings between the teams this season. Toronto prevailed 5-3 over the Capitals in Washington on Feb. 28, and the third and final meeting between the Eastern Conference foes will be played April 24 in Washington.

About the Capitals (41-22-10): Washington, which firmly sits in the final Eastern Conference wild card spot with 92 points, erupted for nine goals against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday to pick up its fourth straight win. No Capitals player logged more than 20 minutes in the rout, so the entire roster should be relatively fresh on Thursday. During their current winning streak, the Capitals also notched impressive victories against three teams  — the Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins — that are destined for the playoffs.

In addition to their recent run, the Capitals have been road warriors this season, recording an impressive 22-7-5 record. Washington will be looking for its sixth straight road win Tuesday night as it kicks off a five-game road trip in Toronto before heading to Montreal, Colorado, Vegas, and Arizona.

The Capitals are averaging 3.6 goals while giving up 3.3 goals per game with a pedestrian .882 team save percentage over their last 10 games. Their nine-goal outburst Tuesday was the team’s highest output in a single game since 2008.

Capitals players to watch: Gritty forward Tom Wilson had a pair of goals last time out against the Leafs and has five goals and five assists over the last 10 games for Washington. Alexander Ovechkin leads all Washington scorers with 46 goals and 85 points.

About the Maple Leafs (47-20-6): The Maple Leafs have been one of the most explosive teams in the NHL this year, except when they play the lowly Buffalo Sabres. Toronto fell 5-2 to the Sabres on Tuesday night and has dropped three straight games by a collective 15-5 margin to Buffalo since March 2, despite being huge favorites (-374, -271, -401) in each of those contests.

The Maple Leafs have already clinched a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with nine games to play. They still have the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins in their rearview mirror in the standings, however, and have plenty of work to do in order to avoid falling into a wild card spot.

Toronto is 7-2-1 over its last 10 games, averaging a hearty 4.7 goals while giving up 3.3 goals per game with a disappointing .887 team save percentage.

Maple Leafs players to watch: Auston Matthews is by far the hottest player in the league, amassing a league-leading 58 goals in 68 games. On Saturday, Matthews became only the 13th player in NHL history to score 50 goals over a 50-game stretch, and he has four hat tricks since Dec. 1. In fact, FanDuel is even offering odds on whether he’ll hit the 70-goal plateau (-5000 for under 69.5, +1000 for over 69.5) with nine games remaining. Mitch Marner is also filling the stat sheet lately, collecting four goals and 17 assists over the last 10 games.

Sports betting trends:

  • The over is 7-0 in Washington’s last seven road games.
  • The Capitals are 5-1 in the past six meetings in Toronto.
  • The road team is 7-3 in the past 10 meetings.
  • The over is 34-13-4 in Toronto’s past 51 games overall.
  • The over is 20-7-1 in the Capitals’ last 28 games overall.

Photo: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY


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