NHL on Wednesday: Nashville Predators @ Toronto Maple Leafs

With the NHL way past the midway mark with 50+ games played, couple of teams look like on the rise while some are falling like autumn leaves. Tomorrow night’s featured game features only the former, as Maple Leaves host Predators in the inter-conference matchup.

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Toronto, also one of our favorites in these analysis, hit a bit of rough patch to start the year 2018 but have since improved remarkably. And boy have they looked good as of late! Despite losing 4-1 visiting the hottest team at the moment, the Bruins, they bounced back annihilating Ducks 7-4 at home. Before the game at Bruins they had won four straight, with two latter by goal difference of 9-0. Toronto is currently third in the East, with 67 points from 55 games. It’s easy to see that Babcock’s kids (and Patrick Marleau) have finally found their stride and look like a serious contender once again.

Accuscore’s record in picking Maple Leafs home games is 16-9 with a profit of +143 for the season. Picking Nashville Predators on the road, however is 14-11 with profit of +336.

The same can be said with Nashville Predators, who have suffered from injuries all season but are getting healthy as the season heads towards its climax. To add to that, long serving veteran center Mike Fisher, who retired at the end of last season, is looking for a comeback. No better boost for last year’s Stanley Cup finalists – as if they needed one. The Predators have won their last three, only losing twice in past 11 games. They are currently second in the Western Conference, with 71 points in 51 games.

The Maple Leafs have somewhat struggled on home ice, with only eight regulation wins in 25 games. Their record in overtime or shootouts is remarkably good , 7-2, but they’re still only 9th in the East at home. Predators have been almost as efficient on the road as they’ve at home, with 32 points and 12 regulations wins in 25 road games. So there’s still something Toronto and Mike Babcock need to improve on.

Accuscore’s simulations

In Accuscore simulations the Maple Leafs are the likeliest winners with 59.5 % likelihood of collecting two points leaving Predators with 40.5 %. There’s a nice contrast to oddsmakers, who believe the game to be a lot closer to 50-50 coin toss. In the 3-way market the draw is more likely in the simulations than the odds indicate, with almost 28 % likelihood against ~25 % offered by odds.

In simulations we see plenty of goals, despite the goaltenders having a good night. Both teams possess heavy shooting offense and supportive defense, in addition to it being an inter-conference game which usually spells more open, attacking play. The hosts manage to put the puck past Pekka Rinne on average 3.5 times and the visitors surprise Frederik Andersen 3.0 times.

Analyst Picks

Both teams are flying high and are not looking back, so it’s likely to be a high-scoring affair with two contenders – but still an inter-conference game, so no matter if a point is dropped. We like the home team on this one, but there’s nice value in betting that it’ll end only after overtime or shootout

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  • There’s excellent value in Toronto ML win, which should be taken with odds of -146 | 1.69
  • 3-way bet for draw (X) is a good bet at everything better than +258 | 3.58
  • The total goes over 5.0 in 64 % of the simulations, so take the over with odds of -178 | 1.57
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