Maple Leafs vs. Jets Pick
Oddsmakers at sports book Bovada.lv have listed the Maple Leafs and the Jets as a pick’em, with both teams placed at -110 to win on the moneyline. The over-under is 6.
Both teams enter play at 0-0-0 with this being the first game of the regular season. Last year’s season series was split 1-1, with each team winning a 5-4 overtime game on their home ice with the total going well over both times.
Last season, Toronto went 40-27-15 and qualified for the postseason for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign. The Maple Leafs were eliminated in the first round by Washington in six games. Winnipeg finished last season 40-35-7 to miss out on the playoffs.
Toronto is led by budding superstar Auston Matthews, who tallied 40 goals and 29 assists in 82 games as a rookie last year. James van Riemsdyk had 29 goals and 33 assists, while Nazem Kadri added 32 goals and 29 assists. Frederik Anderson, who will start in goal tonight, went 33-16-14 last year with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.
Winnipeg was paced in 2016-17 by Mark Scheifele as he registered 32 goals and 50 assists in 79 games. Blake Wheeler added 26 goals and 48 assists. Free agent acquisition Steve Mason will start in goal. He signed a two-year deal in the offseason after posting a 26-21-8 record with a 2.66 GAA and a .908 save percentage last season with the Flyers.
Toronto should be poised to take another step forward under the direction of head coach Mike Babcock. There is a strong young nucleus in place led by Matthews. When this season shakes out, the Maple Leafs should once again be head and shoulders above the Jets. That will show in tonight’s season opener. Although the fans in Winnipeg will be rocking, we are picking Toronto to come away with a victory.
NHL DAILY PREDICTION: TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS -110