Not many teams in the NHL can complain about totaling 100 points during the regular season. But the Toronto Maple Leafs had high expectations of performing better than that last year and will be looking to top the 100-point mark in the season ahead en route to possibly winning the Atlantic Division title.
Toronto’s OVER/UNDER point total for the 2019-20 regular season is listed at 101.5 points at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, and going UNDER would again be disappointing.
The Maple Leafs have already made some moves this offseason in an effort to shore up their defense, most notably sending forward Nazim Kadri to the Colorado Avalanche in a deal for Tyson Barrie. However, they are still looking to come to an agreement with restricted free agent Mitch Marner, who is reportedly seeking more than $10 million per year. This after they already re-signed Auston Matthews to a five-year contract extension worth $11.634 per season. Matthews (73 points in 2018-19) was drafted first overall in 2016 while Marner (94 points) was picked three spots later a year earlier.
Regardless, Toronto is built to win now as long as Marner is back, and the team does not have to break the bank to keep him by moving another key player. Few in the league can match the kind of offensive firepower that is expected to be generated by Marner, Matthews, John Tavares (88), Kasperi Kapanen (44), Andreas Johnsson (43) and William Nylander (27), except the two-time defending Atlantic Division champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Losing veteran center Patrick Marleau will not hurt too much.
On the negative side, goaltending is still a bit of an issue for the Maple Leafs though because Frederik Andersen has yet to prove he can get a team to the Stanley Cup Final. Andersen has faltered against the Boston Bruins in the first round each of the past two seasons, and he performed similarly with a solid Cup contender in the Anaheim Ducks previously before his arrival in Toronto. He especially wore down at the end of the regular season, so finding a solid backup to spell him needs to be a priority. If you do not believe in Andersen and the team’s defense, the UNDER could be a good play on the NHL betting lines.