NHL Odds Game 1 Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs Prediction: Stanley Cup Qualifier Odds

David Bastl | Thu. Jul 30 2020, 10:07 am

Matthews Marner, Maple Leafs, 2020

Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner should provide the Maple Leafs with plenty of offence versus the Blue Jackets. The pair are favourites to lead all players in points this series.

Columbus
33-22-11-4
AT
August 02, 2020, 8:00 PM ET
Scotiabank Arena
Toronto
36-25-4-5
Puckline +1.5 -175
Moneyline +145
Over / Under o +5.5

28%

Betting Action

72%

Puckline -1.5 +139
Moneyline -165
Over / Under u +5.5

28%

Betting Action

72%

This qualifying round is a classic offense versus defence. The Maple Leafs have some of the most high profile offensive players in the league scattered throughout its top nine forwards, while the Blue Jackets have a great defensive structure throughout the lineup- preaching a shut down and grind it out style. Something has to give.

Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs Betting Analysis

These two teams were evenly matched throughout the regular season, both winning a game in the two-game regular season series, and both finishing with 81 points in 70 games. The Leafs finished higher due to a +11 goal difference.

Currently, the Maple Leafs are paying +238 to wrap up the series 3-1, that is the lowest number on the board. The largest longshot is a Blue Jackets series sweep, that pays +900.

An interesting debate will be home ice advantage for the hub city hosts. The Maple Leafs will not have the usual access to team gym, weight room, practice rink but are familiar with the Scotiabank Arena as a home rink. They were a solid 18-9-7 on home ice this season.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Head Coach John Tortorella has done wonders with this team, and it was no surprise when he received his fifth Jack Adams trophy nomination last week.

Team Tortorella has played well in the underdog role as of late. They opened as a familiar +135 dark horse for game one of the series. Last season, they were underdogs for all four games of the first round and promptly sent the President’s Trophy winning Tampa Bay Lightning home in four games. Could history repeat itself in 2020? The Blue Jackets allowed just 187 goals against this season, which was third best in the league.

Pierre Luc-Dubois led all Blue Jackets’ in scoring this season with 49 points (18 goals, 31 assists). He is top listed Blue Jacket player at +850 to lead all point scorers in this series, behind four Maple Leafs forwards.

An interesting longshot on that list is defenceman Zach Werenski at +1400. Werenski supplies Columbus with most of their point production from the backend, plays first unit power-play and most team minutes.

Toronto Maple Leafs

It’s offence, offence and more offence for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are making their fourth straight postseason appearance. During the season-shortened schedule, the Leafs scored 238 goals, good enough for third-most in the NHL.

Auston Matthews led all Maple Leafs in scoring with 80 points in 70 games which was also ninth in the league. His 47 goals is second in the league behind Rocket Richard co-winners Alex Ovechkin and David Pastrnak. He is the favourite at Sports Interaction to lead all point scorers in this series at +200. He is followed by team mates Mitch Marner (+250), John Tavares (+375) and William Nylander (+650) before any Blue Jackets player makes the list.

The problem is defence. The Maple Leafs finished near the bottom of the league in goals against, averaging 3.24 per game. That is the glaring weakness of the lineup.

The Leafs are excited to welcome back forward Ilya Mikheyev to the lineup. Mikheyev had a shorten rookie campaign due to injury, but played a unique role with the club. Mikheyev provides this offence with some much needed grit, size and sandpaper to an offensive group that lacks that approach.

Who Will Win Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs?

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