NHL weekend betting preview: Leafs face dreaded back-to-back

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With four games on Friday, 11 on Saturday, and seven more on Sunday - including a matinee on each day - there's no reason to leave your home during one of the busiest weekend slates so far this season.

Game betting

Tampa Bay Lightning at Buffalo Sabres (Friday)

The NHL is taking its show to Stockholm, Sweden, for a doubleheader between the Lightning and Sabres this weekend. Tampa Bay hasn't come anywhere close to living up to lofty expectations so far this season, but a trip across the pond might be exactly what it needs to break out of this funk. Buffalo, meanwhile, has lost three in a row after a hot start, scoring just three goals in those games. The Lightning have dominated this series, winning 16 of their last 20 over the Sabres. This feels like a safe spot to ride with the chalk.

New Jersey Devils at Edmonton Oilers (Friday)

At this point, we no longer have to keep calling this the Taylor Hall Revenge Game - he's been gone long enough. The Oilers have also dominated the Devils since trading Hall to New Jersey, beating them in five of six games that he's featured in, including both at Rogers Place. Following back-to-back home losses this week, trust Edmonton to round out its homestand with a win on Friday night.

Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs (Saturday)

For the second successive Saturday night, the Leafs and Flyers will clash on Hockey Night in Canada, and they have a tough act to follow after last weekend's 11-round shootout. Both teams are coming into this game hot; Toronto's on a three-game winning streak and Philadelphia's on a four-game point streak. Following a pair of unders for each team this week, look for an outburst of goals on Saturday night, as the over has hit in nine of the Flyers' last 12 visits to Toronto.

Vegas Golden Knights at Washington Capitals (Saturday)

It'll be a 2018 Stanley Cup rematch in D.C. on Saturday night with the Golden Knights visiting the Capitals. Washington is on an improbable run of 10 overs in its last 11 games, while both meetings with Vegas last year also flew over the total. At the rate the Capitals have been scoring, it's only right to keep riding the wave and trust the over in this spot.

Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets (Sunday)

Don't look now, but the Stars are back to .500 after winning seven of their last eight games, while the Jets haven't been able to string any sort of streak together. Winnipeg has won just one of its seven contests at MTS Place in regulation - with a game against the Canucks scheduled for Friday before this one - and the last five have all gone under the number. Dallas' winning streak has been predominantly based on good defense and goaltending, so look for another tight encounter here with the game staying under the total.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Chicago Blackhawks (Sunday)

Michael Hutchinson will almost certainly get the nod here for the Leafs in their fifth back-to-back of the season. They're 0-4 in this spot so far, while the Blackhawks are actually 2-0 when playing their second game in as many nights. Chicago is struggling and could be in for a long season, but this is a nice spot to back the team at plus-money while continuing to fade the Leafs until they prove capable of winning on no rest.

Game props

Vancouver Canucks at Winnipeg Jets (Friday)

Despite all the talk about Winnipeg's lack of talent on the blue line, the early returns haven't been nearly as bad as advertised. The Jets have allowed just nine goals in their last five home games, while the free-scoring Canucks haven't been nearly as strong offensively outside of British Columbia. Vancouver has scored just five goals in its last six trips to Winnipeg, so the team total under 3.5, 2.5, and perhaps even 1.5 are all worth strong consideration.

Los Angeles Kings at Montreal Canadiens (Saturday)

The Canadiens sure love playing on Saturday nights. They've scored at least five goals in four of their five games on Hockey Night in Canada this season and there's no reason that shouldn't continue against a Kings team that has allowed 63 goals already this season - only the Red Wings have conceded more. Bet the over on the Habs' team total at 3.5, and even at 4.5 if you want to live a little.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Chicago Blackhawks (Sunday)

Adding to the note on this game above, the Leafs have allowed 18 goals (excluding shootouts) in their four games on the second half of a back-to-back, while the Blackhawks have scored eight in their two. Overall, the first-period over has hit in four of those six contests. You can back the over on the 1.5-goal total in the opening 20 minutes, while also putting some coin on Chicago's team total over 3.5.

Player props

Los Angeles Kings at Montreal Canadiens (Saturday)

Max Domi is marred in a bit of slump with just one point in his last six games after recording an assist in six straight. There's no better spot for him to break out than at home against one of the worst defensive teams in hockey.

Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks (Saturday)

The Sharks can't prevent anyone from scoring these days, as they're level with the Kings in allowing 63 goals already this season. The Predators shouldn't have an issue getting on the scoreboard, with Roman Josi a good bet to record an assist in this game. He has 12 through the first 16 contests, including seven on the power play.

Alex Moretto is a sports betting writer for theScore. A journalism graduate from Guelph-Humber University, he has worked in sports media for over a decade. He will bet on anything from the Super Bowl to amateur soccer, is too impatient for futures, and will never trust a kicker. Find him on Twitter @alexjmoretto.

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