The Montreal Canadiens take on the Toronto Maple Leafs for the third time this season, so I bring you the best betting pick, tips, and odds for their North Division showdown at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Saturday night.
The Maple Leafs outlasted the Canadiens 4-2 as -105 road dogs this past Wednesday, while they beat Montreal 5-4 in overtime as -145 home favorites back on an opening day. Toronto is a -130 moneyline fave for Saturday’s game, according to BetRivers Sportsbook, while Montreal is listed as a +115 underdog.
The Habs dropped two straight games and three of the last four
The Montreal Canadiens (8-4-2) have won just one of their last four contests and are tied with the Edmonton Oilers for the second spot in the North Division, five points behind Toronto. The Habs are coming off a 3-0 defeat to Edmonton on the back end of a back-to-back set this past Thursday.
Montreal failed to score for the second time this season despite taking 38 shots. The Canadiens have the fourth-highest scoring offense in the NHL, tallying 3.57 goals per contest, while their power-play percentage is the 17th-best in the league (10-for-48).
On the other side, the Habs are tied for the ninth-best in the NHL in goals against, allowing 2.64 per contest. Carey Price owns a 4-2-2 record and a 2.84 GAA with a .896 save percentage, while Jake Allen is 4-2-0 with a 2.01 GAA and an excellent .933 save percentage.
The Maple Leafs eye their fifth straight win
The Toronto Maple Leafs (11-2-1) had a few days to rest following that 4-2 victory over the Canadiens. They’ve won eight of the last nine games overall including the previous four, as the Leafs swept the Canucks in a three-game home series before beating Montreal.
Toronto has the highest-scoring offense in the NHL, tallying 3.71 goals per contest. The Maple Leafs’ power-play percentage is the fourth-best in the league (15-for-43), while centers Mitchell Marner (G6, A15) and Auston Matthews (G11, A5) combined for 37 points already.
Frederik Andersen has guarded the cage 12 times thus far, posting a 9-2-1 record with a 2.59 GAA and a .908 save percentage, while Jack Campbell is 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and a .923 save percentage. Toronto allows only 2.57 goals per contest (7th in the NHL).
- 4-9 in the last 13 games against Toronto
- 1-5 in the last six road tilts against Toronto
- 8-1 in the last nine games overall
- 6-1 in the last seven games at home
The Maple Leafs outlasted the Canadiens last Thursday even though they took just 24 shots towards Carey Price. Montreal broke the deadlock after just 76 seconds of play, but the Maple Leafs took control in the second period and tied the game. Toronto needed only 2:32 of play in the third period to score twice and the Maple Leafs’ offensive talent should be a key factor once more.
As I’ve mentioned, Montreal is fourth in the NHL in goals scored per game, but Toronto is leading the league, and the Maple Leafs have some top-notch forwards at their disposal. Therefore, I’m backing the Leafs to extend their dominance over the Habs.
Pick: Take Toronto Maple Leafs at -130
I’m a bit surprised by the Maple Leafs’ defense, expecting them to concede more goals than just 2.57 per game. Both Toronto and Montreal are doing a good job defensively, but they also score goals at will, so I’m going with the over on the totals. Interestingly, the Canadiens have scored seven short-handed goals, way more than any other team in the league (Toronto has zero).
Six of the last eight meetings between the Canadiens and Maple Leafs went in the over, producing seven or more goals in total.
Pick: Go over 6.0 goals at -120