by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The potential absence of Auston Matthews might loom large for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a matchup that has been very tight over the years. The Maple Leafs are a slight -105 underdog against the -115 home favourite Calgary Flames with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Sunday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Toronto has a 4-8 record in its last 12 games as an underdog on the road, with the total going OVER eight times at online sports betting sites. Calgary is 8-6 in its last 14 games as a home favourite, with the total going OVER eight times, but it has lost its last four home games where it closed at -110 to -130 on the moneyline.
Maple Leafs vs Flames | OddsShark Matchup Report
Since 2016-17, the series has been split 4-4 with six of the eight matchups finishing UNDER. The total has also gone UNDER in Toronto’s past three games. Toronto and Calgary will play again at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.
The Maple Leafs are 4-2-0 and are again showing themselves to be a strong puck-possession team, with a 56.2 five-on-five shot-attempt percentage that is third-best in the 31-team NHL. But they have allowed more high-danger chances than they have generated in four of their six games, according to Natural Stat Trick, and have produced only two games where they scored more than one goal in five-on-five play.
It is unclear whether Matthews, Toronto’s top scorer, will play after sitting out last Friday during a 4-2 home win against the Edmonton Oilers, which means more of an offensive burden – and attention in Calgary’s game plan – will fall on John Tavares, Mitchell Marner and William Nylander. Toronto is 13th in goals per game (3.17) and 15th in goal against (2.83). The Maple Leafs boast the second-ranked power play (44.4 percent) and 15th-ranked penalty kill unit (81.8).
Frederik Andersen has a 3-2-0 record with a 2.81 goals-against average and .898 save percentage. In 14 career games against Calgary, Andersen has an 8-2-2 record with a 2.44 GAA and .918 save percentage.
Calgary won both matchups against Toronto last season with the total finishing UNDER twice. These Flames, who are 2-0-1 and have had a layoff since their most recent game on January 18, rank 11th with a 52.2 shot-attempt percentage. How much bettors should read into their advanced stats is debatable since Calgary have played only half as many games as Toronto.
Two of Calgary’s three outings were also against the Vancouver Canucks, who are dead last in the overall standings. Calgary, led up front by left wing Johnny Gaudreau and centers Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan, is a few spots above Toronto in high-danger chances, though. Natural Stat Trick ranks the Flames 16th with an even 50.0-per-cent split, ahead of the Maple Leafs’ 20th-place 48.19.
The Flames are sixth in goal scoring (3.67) and fifth in goals against (2.00). On special teams, Calgary has a fifth-ranked power play (37.5 percent) and fourth-ranked penalty kill unit (91.7).
Goalie Jacob Markstrom owns a 2-0-1 record with a 1.99 GAA and .935 save percentage. Markstrom has a 2-4-1 record with a 2.79 GAA and .904 save percentage in eight career games against Toronto.
The Maple Leafs face the host Flames again on Tuesday before visiting the Edmonton Oilers for a two-game series set for Thursday and Saturday.