Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can Montreal Keep It Close? (March 26)

Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Can Montreal Keep It Close? (March 26) article feature image

Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Allen

  • The Canadiens covered the first two matchups against the Maple Leafs this season. Can Montreal do it again?
  • Our NHL betting analyst makes his picks and predictions for the puck line based on the odds below.

Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens Odds

Maple Leafs Odds-270
Canadiens Odds+215
Over/Under6.5 (+100/-120)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Saturday night features an Atlantic Division tilt as the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs travel to Montreal to take on the eighth-place Canadiens. This is the third meeting between these teams this season — the Canadiens covered the spread in each of the first two matchups.

Can Montreal keep it close once again? Or will Toronto cruise to an easy victory?

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs enter this contest following Wednesday's 3-2 home win over the New Jersey Devils. While the Maple Leafs won, they did not cover the spread, which has been a common theme for this Toronto team recently.

Over their last nine games, the Maple Leafs are just 2-7 against the spread (ATS) when priced as the favorite. The primary drive for these outcomes has been inconsistent defense and goaltending.

Erik Kallgren is the confirmed starting goaltender for Toronto and is very unproven thus far. Kallgren has started only three games this season, with only one of those starts coming on the road.

In his one road start, Kallgren gave up five goals in a 6-3 loss to the Nashville Predators. This game in Montreal could also be a look-ahead spot for the Leafs to fall as they face Florida and Boston in their next two games.

Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens enter this matchup following a 4-3 home loss to the Florida Panthers. Despite the obvious that Florida is lightyears better than Montreal, the Canadiens were still able to keep it close.

Keeping games close has been a trend for the Canadiens recently as they have found a spark under new head coach, Martin St. Louis. Montreal is 10-2 ATS over its last 12 games and could keep this one close against Toronto as well.

Jake Allen is the projected starting goaltender for the Canadiens and has looked sharp since returning from injury. In his four starts since his return, Allen boasts an impressive 0.922 save percentage.

Montreal is 4-0 ATS in those four games — a stretch over which the Canadiens faced some tough competition in Florida, Boston and Dallas. They should be able to keep this game close, especially against a Leafs team that likes to play down to their competition.

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Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens Pick

The Canadiens have covered the spread in both meetings against the Leafs this season, and even secured the victory in one of those games. I like them to keep it close once again on Saturday.

Montreal has been playing much better hockey since the St. Louis hiring, especially the forward group, and could give Kallgren trouble.

As I mentioned, the Leafs like to play down to their competition as they have failed to cover the spread against teams such as New Jersey, Buffalo, Arizona, Seattle, Columbus and Vancouver in the month of March alone.

Pick: Canadiens +1.5 (-105) | Play to -120

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