Wednesday Wagers: How busy will Leafs’ Andersen be in return?

NHL handicapper Jeff Davis joins Follow The Money to make his case for the Maple Leafs just being too strong in the North, and gives his picks for who will be the last four teams standing after the divisional playoffs.

We’ve still got some housekeeping to take care of before the Stanley Cup Playoffs get underway this weekend.

The Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Ottawa Senators on Scotiabank Wednesday Night Hockey and the Montreal Canadiens host the Edmonton Oilers on Sportsnet West.

The Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks wrap up their respective regular-season schedules with Vegas still hoping to finish first in the West while capturing the Presidents’ Trophy. Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche host the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild host the St. Louis Blues as those Central Division teams jockey for position.

With that in mind, here are three player prop bets to keep an eye on during Wednesday’s slate of games.

How many saves will Andersen make in his first game back?

The Maple Leafs were pre-season favourites to win the North Division and they managed to do exactly that despite missing their starting goaltender for much of the season. Frederik Andersen hasn’t played since a March 19 loss to the Calgary Flames and had lost five of six appearances overall prior to a knee injury causing him to miss the past 23 games.

Oddsmakers are expecting the Dane to be relatively busy in his return with Andersen to make 28 saves or more against the Sens listed as a minus-123 betting favourite. Andersen hasn’t fared well against Ottawa this season with a 1-2-1 record, .874 save percentage and 3.67 GAA, averaging fewer than 25 saves per game. Andersen is 0-2-0 at the Canadian Tire Centre, stopping 19 of 24 shots in January then stopping 26 of 28 shots faced there in March.

The Maple Leafs are preparing for the playoffs and won’t want to fold defensively in Andersen’s first game back between the pipes – they also still have an outside chance at the Presidents’ Trophy. Ottawa is 8-2-1 in their past 11 despite averaging a league-low 24.2 shots per game during that stretch. Toronto has allowed 25.9 shots against in their past 10 games.

Will McDavid extend multi-point streak even further?

With no playoff implications attached to this game, most eyes will be fixated on whether or not Connor McDavid can extend his multi-point streak to seven games. In fact, McDavid has recorded two or more points in 11 of his past 12 outings (10 goals, 23 assists during those dozen games) and he’s favoured to do so yet again.

McDavid to register two or more points at the Bell Centre tonight is a minus-122 favourite and expectations are so high for the superstar that you don’t even get much of an odds boost with three or more McDavid points only a slight minus-108 favourite. McDavid to specifically record two or more assists is minus-114. There is some value if McDavid can bury. One or more goals from No. 97 pays even money at plus-100.

Keep in mind McDavid has logged fewer than 20 minutes of ice-time in three of his past five games. With the playoffs around the corner that’s something to consider.

Think you know how this year's playoffs will unfold? Before every round, from Round 1 to the Stanley Cup Final, predict the winners and number of games for each series and answer a few prop questions.

Who can step up to help Vegas secure division title?

Vegas has won 14 of the past 17 games and are 7-0-0 against the Sharks so far this season, so on paper it’s a fairly favourable matchup for them in San Jose.

Jonathan Marchessault has been particularly strong against the Sharks throughout his career – he has more points against the Sharks than he does against any other team. He has eight points in seven games versus San Jose this season and when these teams met three weeks ago Marchessault was named first star of the game with two goals and two assists. Marchessault to register over 0.5 points is minus-156 chalk where him to go pointless is plus-120. Marchessault to specifically register one or more assist is listed at plus-125 and his goal odds are plus-225.

Betting odds via Bodog

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