2022 NHL Betting Picks: Are Toronto Maple Leafs Fading from Stanley Cup Picture?

2022 NHL Betting Picks: Are Toronto Maple Leafs Fading from Stanley Cup Picture?

Check out our best NHL bets for all of the action on Monday, February 28.

With just a few weeks to go in the 2022 NHL regular season, the best betting sites for NHL hockey are desperately trying to winnow down their field of betting odds on the 2022 Stanley Cup.

As we've covered multiple times in this space, there is an uptick in parity throughout the league, which has created an overflow of teams that look like championship contenders. While this was well and good for most of the year, oddsmakers now need to be mindful of how they're portraying potential Stanley Cup bets, and that means shrinking the selection of squads who don't profile as long shots.

Such a move invariably hurts a number of Stanley Cup betting options around the NHL. And one of the teams most affected in recent weeks has been the Toronto Maple Leafs. Though initially considered and packaged as a top-shelf contender, they have now seen their odds on the 2022 Stanley Cup retreat into the wrong direction.

Our mission within this batch of 2022 NHL betting picks is to determine whether the Toronto Maple Leafs have fallen out of Stanley Cup title contention, or if their recent rough patch is more temporary than a harbinger of a new status quo. But first, let's take a look at the latest betting odds on the NHL for all three games taking place on Monday, February 28:

FavoriteBetUSBetUSUnderdog
Vancouver Canucks-110+100New Jersey Devils
Washington Capitals-105+110Toronto Maple Leafs
Los Angeles Kings-105-102Boston Bruins

Always make sure you're double-checking these games odds for the NHL. Nightly hockey betting lines shouldn't shift too much, but they are liable to move right up until the opening faceoff.

You should also consider checking out our reviews of the top online sportsbooks before making any of your 2022 NHL picks. They're designed to give you unique insight into the best hockey betting sites around.

Can the Maple Leafs Recapture Their Early-Season Form Against the Capitals?

You might think the Maples Leafs are on the brink of implosion given how people talk about them heading into their Monday night matchup with the Washington Capitals. In reality, though, Toronto is simply slogging through a rough spell.

Granted, the Maple Leafs recently lost three in a row and have continued to hint at a lack of offensive firepower inside their forward rotation. But they've since rebounded by winning two straight. And for all their struggles, they are also still 18 games over .500 and virtual locks to crack the postseason.

At the same time, the Maple Leafs have suffered some truly terrible letdowns against bad teams. Dropping games against the Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets is inexcusable this time of year. And while Toronto still hovers around fifth in goals scored per game, they've topped three goals just once over their past five games.

Going up against the Capitals will prove to be a massive challenge. Washington's goalies are saving 90.4 percent of the shots that come their way and have been even stingier in recent weeks. There is also only one team in the league that has tallied more total shutouts on the year (Calgary Flames).

Overall, however, we tend to trust the Maple Leafs' entire sample from this season rather than just the past couple of weeks. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner remain points-piling machines, so unless Toronto willingly sells off quality talent at the trade deadline, they should be able to steal this one from Washington.

OSB Prediction: Toronto Maple Leafs (+110)

Toronto Maple Leafs To beat the Washington Capitals
+110
BetUS

Why are the Kings Favorites Over the Bruins?

No team in the NHL is hotter at the moment than the Los Angeles Kings. They are on a five-game winning streak and have suffered just one loss over their past 10 toal contests, a stretch that has lifted them to second in the Pacific Division, right behind the Flames.

That doesn't necessarily mean they're better than the Boston Bruins, who have rattled off four straight victories of their own. In fact, given how neither team is paying out better than even money, it's clear oddsmakers struggled to come up with a favorite for this matchup.

Giving the edge to Los Angeles' slightly deeper rotation is fair. Boston has struggled to get output from its backups all year, especially on the defensive end. But they have played better lately, and their goalies continue to stop 90.7 percent of all shots sent their way. We are confident in rolling with the "upset."

OSB Prediction: Boston Bruins (-102)

Boston Bruins To beat the Los Angeles Kings
-102
BetUS

Canucks Should Skate with Easy to Victory vs. Devils

It's probably a great idea to pounce on the Vancouver Canucks before this line potentially moves sharply in the wrong direction.

No, they have not been the most consistent offensive team on the year, having posted just an 8.4 percent success rate on their shot attempts. But Vancouver's defense has kicked it into high gear since the All-Star break, and they're currently working on a three-game winning streak.

Oh, also: The New Jersey Devils are, like, really bad. They have one of the five worst goal differentials in hockey and are routinely letting even the worst offenses hang three-plus goals on them in regulation.

OSB Predictions: Vancouver Canucks (-110)

Vancouver Canucks To beat the New Jersey Devils
-110
BetUS

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NHL betting: