Thursday NHL odds: Maple Leafs betting favourites vs. Flames

Toronto Maple Leafs centre John Tavares (91) and Calgary Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic (24) battle for the puck along the boards during second period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Monday, October 29, 2018. (Nathan Denette/CP)

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to build on Tuesday’s decisive 7-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils when they host the Calgary Flames on Thursday as minus-170 betting favourites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto snapped a three-game losing streak with Tuesday’s win as -280 home chalk. But with rearguards Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin sidelined by injury, the team has struggled defensively, surrendering 22 total goals in their past four outings ahead of Thursday night’s matchup at Scotiabank Arena.

The Maple Leafs’ porous defence has paid dividends to those taking the over at sports betting sites, which has paid out in each of their past four contests while going 10-3 over their past 13 outings.

In addition, the team has lost ground in the Atlantic Division standings during their recent slide, and now sit four points back of Tampa Bay for second place and 10 points back of the division-leading Boston Bruins. Toronto’s recent uneven performance is reflected on the NHL futures, where the Maple Leafs have dipped to a lengthy plus-900 wager to win the Atlantic Division, and sit back of the favourites on the Stanley Cup odds at plus-1500.

The Flames arrive in Toronto as plus-150 underdogs after seeing a five-game win streak snapped with a 2-0 loss in Montreal on Monday night. While Calgary briefly climbed atop the Pacific Division standings during its recent tear, the team was far from dominant, with each of their five recent victories coming by a one-goal margin.

And while the Flames have been steady performers on the road, posting wins in eight of their past 11 contests away from the Scotiabank Saddledome, they have struggled in recent dates with the Maple Leafs. Calgary came away with a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs on home ice back on Dec. 12, but has recorded just one win in seven visits to Toronto since January 2011, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

Elsewhere on the Thursday NHL odds, the Ottawa Senators will try to snap an eight-game slide as they host the Vegas Golden Knights as plus-160 underdogs. The Senators have fallen to defeat by a single goal in each of their past three outings, and will face a Golden Knights team looking to perform for Pete DeBoer, who will make his debut behind the Vegas bench.

As well, the Vancouver Canucks aim to close the gap on the Pacific Division-leading Arizona Coyotes as slim minus-130 home favourites, while the Montreal Canadiens continue their bid to return to playoff contention as they visit the Philadelphia Flyers as plus-130 underdogs.

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