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Red Wings vs Maple Leafs Picks and Predictions: Winged Wheels Keep It Close

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The Toronto Maple Leafs avoided a three-game losing streak with a shootout win over the Washington Capitals Sunday night and currently sit five points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division. A single point tonight versus the Detroit Red Wings would lock up home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs but playing teams with nothing to lose isn’t always a walk in the park.

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Can we trust the Leafs with this pressure as massive -450 ML favourites? Can the Wings continue to find the back of the net versus the Leafs, with 15 goals over three games this season? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs.

Red Wings vs Maple Leafs odds

FanDuel opened with the Leafs as ridiculous -550 favourites but most books have since settled around -450 on the moneyline, with some books leaning closer to -500. The total opened at 7 and marks the seventh time in the Leafs’ last 10 games that they opened at 7 or higher. The Leafs were -200 road favourites in the last meeting in late February that saw 17 total goals scored. The Leafs have not closed longer than -400 all season.

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Red Wings vs Maple Leafs predictions

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Predictions made on 4/26/2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

Red Wings vs Maple Leafs game info

Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Detroit, Sportsnet Ontario

Red Wings vs Maple Leafs betting preview

Key injuries

Red Wings: Filip Zadina F (Out), Dylan Larkin F (Out).
Maple Leafs: Michael Bunting F (Out), Timothy Liljegren D (Probable), Jake Muzzin D (Out), Petr Mrazek G (Out), Ondrej Kase F (Out), Rasmus Sandin D (Out).

Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Red Wings vs Maple Leafs head-to-head record since 2018-19

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Red Wings: 2-8 SU, 38 goals for.
Maple Leafs: 8-2 SU, 53 goals for.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 4-1-1 in the Red Wings’ last six games as a road underdog. Find more NHL betting trends for Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs.

Red Wings vs Maple Leafs picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Puck line analysis

The Leafs come into Tuesday’s big game as a season-high -450 favourites on the moneyline versus the Detroit Red Wings, who they’ve beaten in each of the three meetings this season. The wins weren’t dominant by any means, as Detroit managed 15 goals across those three games. Detroit hasn’t been afraid of being huge underdogs as two of its last three wins came against the Lightning (+382) and the Hurricanes (+295).

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This is just a massive price tag for the Leafs, who have a lot of pressure to pick up one point and won’t have Michael Bunting. Toronto has been -350 favourites of longer six times this season and has won just two of those contests. Toronto has consistently played down to its opponent this season and this ML price is getting out of hand.

We don’t have to jump on the Detroit ML here and can instead find a great price on a +2.5 puck line that is still paying -120 at FanDuel, which has a knack for giving out +2.5 puck lines while most other books are still hanging +1.5 at plus-money.

Detroit is without Dylan Larkin, which is a big blow to this team offensively, but rookies Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider have had no issues getting on the scoresheet vs. the Buds this season. Raymond has five points over the three meetings while Seider has collected five helpers from the blue line.

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The Leafs are also juggling their lines as Bunting’s absence has created some shuffling from Sheldon Keefe. At morning skate today, Alex Kerfoot was playing on the top line with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner while rookie Nick Robertson has been called up and will play on the second line with John Tavares and Ilya Mikheyev. These are some very new lines for the home side and we aren’t expecting instant chemistry.

Beating a team that has nothing to play for is one of the most difficult things to do in hockey and we’ve seen the Leafs struggle to beat bad teams. They’ve had issues with putting away the Red Wings, who seem to make things competitive despite always being big underdogs.

We aren’t jumping on the Detroit ML but think the Wings can stay competitive versus a Toronto team that’s facing some pressure to close it out and have Marner and Matthews, who are squeezing the stick to hit their 100-point and 60-goal marks.

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Prediction: Red Wings +2.5 (-120 at FanDuel)

Covers NHL betting analysis

Over/Under analysis

Each meeting this season has hit the Over easily but getting to eight goals is asking a lot. The Leafs had been crushing Overs and had gone on an 8-1-2 O/U stretch, but the books have adjusted and are starting to immediately open at 7 instead of 6.5. Over their last nine games with a closing total of 7 or more, the Leafs are 2-3-4 O/U.

Defensively, this Toronto team is getting better with Mark Giordano and Ilya Lyubushkin settling in. Matthews hasn’t scored in five games and captain John Tavares is on a seven-game goal drought. The Leafs were humming three weeks ago offensively but sit outside the Top-10 in scoring over the last two weeks at 3.75 goals per game.

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Detroit sits in the Bottom 5 of the league in scoring in April, at just 2.42 goals per game, and owns a power play with a success rate under 10%. The loss of Dylan Larkin hurts this team even more, as he had two goals and two assists in the three meetings and leads the team in points on the season.

Detroit comes into tonight’s game 2-5-3 O/U across its last 10 games and has seen a closing total of 7 just three times this season (all against Florida) and is 1-0-2 O/U in those games. The Leafs have the No. 1 road offence but games at Scotiabank Arena of late have been a little more low-scoring. Toronto has seen eight or more goals scored just two times over its last 10 home games.

The Under is also in better hands with Jack Campbell in net. He did get shelled the last time he saw the Wings but he’s had some rest since then and has looked better in net. He owns a 2.47 GAA and a .922 SV% over his last four starts, which has produced just a single Over. He hasn’t allowed more than two goals in three straight starts.

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With so much on the line, we’re doubting this one gets out of hand. The Leafs need one point to secure home ice in the playoffs and they certainly don’t want to try to get a single point versus the Bruins on Friday if they drop this one.

Prediction: Under 7 (-125 at bet365)

Best bet

With Michael Bunting out, Sheldon Keefe has juggled his lines and now it will be Alex Kerfoot playing on the top line with Matthews and Marner. He’s still paying +300 to score, which is his normal price playing in a middle-six role and not with the big boys. Coolbet and SIA both have a Kerfoot point market that is paying plus money to the Over, which is a steal for a guy riding shotgun with Marner and Matthews.

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Matthews will be looking for goals No. 59 and 60 while Marner is three points shy of 100. Both forwards will be pressing and Kerfoot will have a great opportunity to work the front of the net or trail the play. He is also getting minutes on the second power-play unit, which is another big boost.

Bunting’s AGS price is usually below +200 and his Over 0.5 points is roughly -160, which is giving us tremendous value on a Kerfoot point. The Leafs have scored 22 goals over the three meetings with Detroit this season.

Pick: Alex Kerfoot Over 0.5 points (+109 at Coolbet)

This article originally appeared on Covers.com, read the full article here

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