Maple Leafs vs. Kings Game Picks
Both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings will be looking to break out of their early season funks when they collide tonight from Crypto.com Arena.
Toronto Maple Leafs (-144) vs. Los Angeles Kings (+120) Total: 6.5 (O-120, U-102)
After both teams were represented in the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, neither has gotten off to a banner start, and something will have to give in this matchup tonight.
The Maple Leafs have notoriously been slow starters over the past few seasons. Something with this roster has yet to click, despite not having a ton of significant turnover during the offseason. On the other hand, the Kings added some star power up front during the Summer while also promoting some of their young talent and giving them more opportunities at the NHL level.
During the week, the Kings defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday before falling to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday. The Leafs are finishing up their West Coast road trip this weekend and are winless in two games against the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks. There hasn’t been much consistency from either side early on, but it’s far too soon to push the panic button, especially for a Toronto team that entered the season with Stanley Cup aspirations.
The Maple Leafs are known to play down to their competition, but it’s hard to see that transpiring in a Saturday night tilt against a quality Kings team. Toronto’s recent struggles have helped lower their price on the moneyline, meaning you should feel good about their odds tonight, listed at -144.
With two of the best defensive centers in the NHL suiting up for the Kings, the Maple Leafs have to know they’ll be in for a challenging night, but that should push them to play to their potential, leading us to side with the visitors on the moneyline.
Best Bet: Maple Leafs moneyline (-144)
Whenever the Maple Leafs take the ice, there’s always the potential that they light things up on the scoresheet and make us look silly for wondering whether or not to look towards the under.
The Maple Leafs will likely turn towards Ilya Samsonov in goal tonight, while the Kings should counter with one of Cal Petersen or Jonathan Quick. One of the biggest bright spots for Toronto has been the play of Samsonov, who’s posted a 4-1 record, paired with a .932 save percentage. The same can’t be said for the Kings tandem, who both have save percentages below .900 and have contributed to the team’s inconsistencies.
The Kings are much better defensively than they’ve shown early, and they should be up for the battle they’ll get from the Maple Leafs’ stars tonight, meaning there’s some nice value in looking towards the under 6.5 at -102.
Best Bet: Under 6.5 (-102)
After breaking out of his slump in the third period against the San Jose Sharks, Auston Matthews is now a player we will monitor closely over the next stretch of games for the Maple Leafs. The Toronto sniper hit the 60-goal mark last season and is off to a slow start with just two goals through eight games. With the talent that Matthews embodies, it was only a matter of time before he fully breaks out of his slump and starts to score at the clip we’re accustomed to. Because of those early-season struggles, you’re getting a price far too juicy to pass up for him to score tonight. Once he gets going, his price will soar and be juiced up, but for the time being, you can get him listed in plus-money territory at +108, which is hard to ignore tonight.
Best Prop: Auston Matthews Over 0.5 Goals (+108)