by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The battle for the top of the North Division standings will heat up on Saturday as the red-hot Edmonton Oilers open a three-game series with the first-place Toronto Maple Leafs in a -110 pick’em on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Edmonton returns home after sweeping a two-game set in Vancouver, extending the team’s current win streak to five games going into Saturday night’s matchup at Rogers Place.
Maple Leafs vs Oilers | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Oilers have emerged as the hottest team in the NHL during their current surge. Since stumbling to just three wins through their first nine contests, the Oilers have found their groove. Edmonton has now claimed victory in 11 of its past 13 outings, and enters Saturday’s pivotal matchup lagging just four points back of Toronto in the divisional standings.
The duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have continued their dominant play, combining to tally 14 total points over the past three games. The superstars have powered an Oilers offense that has averaged over five goals per game during a 5-1-0 run on home ice. However, the continued strong performance of goaltenders Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen has produced mixed results in totals betting, with the OVER prevailing in just two of the team’s past five outings at online sports betting sites.
Smith has been simply spectacular since returning from an undisclosed injury that sidelined him until the second week of February. The 38-year-old has seized the starter’s reins by posting wins in each of his first six starts, capped by Thursday’s 3-0 victory in Vancouver that marked his second shutout in two weeks.
Now within striking distance of the top of the standings, the Oilers have also enjoyed a lift on the NHL futures. Edmonton has made strides on the Stanley Cup odds, climbing to +1600 at sportsbooks, and has maintained its position as a +400 second favorite to win the North Division.
The Oilers have also enjoyed moderate success against the Maple Leafs this season, splitting two-game sets in Edmonton and Toronto late last month, capped by a 4-3 overtime win on home ice. However, that January 30 win marks the Oilers’ lone home victory over Toronto in five years.
Winners in 12 of 16 and fresh off a 2-1 overtime victory over the visiting Calgary Flames on Wednesday night, the Maple Leafs have been a steady presence at the top of the NHL standings throughout February. And the club has finally been rewarded for their strong start, vaulting to -235 chalk on the divisional odds, and to +700 favorites to win the Stanley Cup.