NHL Odds, Expert Pick, Prediction: Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens (October 12)

NHL Odds, Expert Pick, Prediction: Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens (October 12) article feature image

Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Michael Bunting (58) of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens open their season Wednesday in a division matchup.
  • Toronto, one of the high-scoring teams in the NHL, enters as the favorite, but Tony Sartori sees value in the total.
  • He breaks down the matchup and his betting pick below.

Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens Odds

Maple Leafs Odds-250
Canadiens Odds+200
Over/Under6.5 (-135/+110)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

With the 2022-23 NHL season finally underway, we have an exciting Atlantic Division tilt between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. Last season, the over hit just once in the four meetings between these two teams.

Will we get another low-scoring affair, or can the goal-scoring pick up this time around?

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Maple Leafs Score With the Best

An over-machine last season, the over/under went 45-30 for Toronto, a trend I believe should stay very much alive this year. The Maple Leafs should once again be an offensive juggernaut, spearheaded by the Bunting-Matthews-Marner line.

Last season, Toronto finished third in the league in goals for (GF) at 5v5 and ninth in finishing in all situations. We know what we are getting from this offense, but what about the defense?

At 5v5, they finished just 22nd in goals against (GA) and did absolutely nothing to address the blue line over the off-season. Additionally, they made a downgrade in net as they lost Jack Campbell and brought in Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov.

Murray finished last year with a .905 SV% and 3.05 GAA, which is not bad but not great either. While he was on the Ottawa Senators, Toronto's defensive situation is not any better.

Canadiens Defense Is Questionable

Just like the Leafs, Montreal's overs last season were a strong bet (46-33). When Martin St. Louis took over behind the bench, the young forwards regained a lot of confidence, especially the Caufield-Suzuki-Anderson line.

However, the defense remained a problem as they finished 28th in the league in GA at 5v5. Speaking of their defense, the blue line enters this campaign with a massive problem due to the departures of Alexander Romanov and Jeff Petry.

For opening night, Montreal is throwing out four (!!) rookie defensemen to play alongside David Savard and Chris Wideman. With their first task going against one of (if not) the best offenses in the league, this group is going to have its hands full.

Backing up this defense is goaltender Jake Allen. Last season, he went 9-20-4 with a .905 SV% and 3.30 GAA. With an extremely inexperienced blue line in front of him, Allen will have to stand on his head for the majority of this contest.

Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens Pick

These were two of the best teams to take the over on last season, so we should expect more of the same to start the year. This total opened at 6.5 and quickly shaded up to the -130 range, with some books even hanging seven.

I believe the only hesitation that books have in moving the total to seven is the fact that the under went 3-1 between these two clubs last season. However, Montreal's offense got much better under St. Louis and their defense got even worse over the off-season.

We know what we are going to get from Toronto, so if Montreal can just score 2-3 goals, then this game should see a minimum of seven goals. If you have to, I would still play this total at seven.

Pick: Over 6.5 (-135)

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