St. Louis Blues Injuries Put Maple Leafs in Drivers Seat in Matchup

St. Louis Blues Injuries Put Maple Leafs in Drivers Seat in Matchup
© USA Today

Just two per cent of the NHL betting handle over at DraftKings for tonight’s Toronto Maple Leafs-St. Louis Blues game is on the Blues +1.5 Goal Line, just 24 per cent of the bets.

That’s not a surprise, considering the news Monday that two key cogs in the Blues’ lineup – captain Ryan O’Reilly and F Vladimir Tarasenko – are out with long-term injuries. O’Reilly has a broken foot, Tarasenko an injured hand. 

The Blues have been a tepid team all season – 17-17-3, fifth in the Central Division – so those hopes of staying in the playoff race took a dive. They’re five points out of the playoffs. That’s a far cry from a team that won a Stanley Cup in 2019, with O’Rielly and Tarasenko leading the team.

Meanwhile, over at Leafs practice Monday, according to reporting there, the defence combinations were Morgan Rielly/TJ Brodie, Mark Giordano/Justin Holl, Rasmus Sandin/Timothy Lilegren and Jamie Benn/Conor Timmins. That’s easily the best depth on defence the Leafs have had all season, a team that’s already fourth of the league in shots against, tied for second with the Carolina Hurricanes in goals against.

For all the social media chatter about how it might be best to trade Rielly, and take the cap space in return, since the team bought into team defence and played so well for the weeks Rielly was out of the lineup with a knee injury, can we pause and breathe a little? Let’s see the full impact with Rielly back in the lineup before we go with the full chamber and blurt out trade scenarios.

O’Reilly was talked about as being a Leafs’ trade target, to fill that left wing spot on the second line next to John Tavares and Mitch Marner, so I guess all that talk goes the way of this year’s Christmas tree. O’Reilly is expected to be out for at least six weeks.

The Over 6 is getting 65 per cent of the handle and 74 per cent of the bets at DraftKings. The moneyline at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s Proline sportsbook is currently Blues 3.25 and Leafs 1.36.

William Nylander had the primary assist on Auston Matthews’ goal in Saturday’s win over Colorado and had the primary assist on Michael Bunting’s empty net goal. Nylander recorded his fourth multi-assist game of the season and 10th multi-point game of the season. Matthews is one point away from 500 career points.

Tomorrow’s game is at Scotiabank Arena, where the Leafs are 13-2-3 on the season, with Matt Murray starting in goal. Jordan Binnington starts for the Blues.

Odds for Today's Game

Odds provided by BetRivers Sportsbook.

Moneyline Blues 3.15 Maple Leafs 1.40
Spread Blues +1.5 (1.87) Maple Leafs -1.5 (1.96)
Over/Under Over 6 (1.92) Under 6 (1.93)
Toronto Moneyline 96% money 94% tickets
Toronto Spread 97% money 91% tickets
Over 89% money 90% tickets

Notable Bets

$7,500 on Maple Leafs Moneyline

$5,000 on Under 6.5 goals