NHL Odds & Pick for Senators vs. Maple Leafs: Bet the Under in Final of Three Straight Meetings
Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Artem Zub battles with Joe Thornton.
- The Senators and Maple Leafs are set to play their third straight game against one another.
- Ottawa won a wild one in the first machup, and Toronto won a tight one in Game 2.
- Who has the edge in Game 3? Matt Russell previews the matchup below.
Senators vs. Maple Leafs Odds
|Maple Leafs Odds||-305|
|Time | TV||Thursday, 7 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday night and via DraftKings.|
For the first time in my life I sat down, grabbed the remote, and I went searching for CPAC — the Canadian Public Affairs Channel. Canada’s version of C-SPAN broadcasts Canadian Parliamentary debate, and of primary note on this day, voting on legislation.
Very boring, right?
Not if the thing the 300+ members of parliament are voting on is the future of sports betting in Canada. One by one they voted from various rooms in their various homes, and at the end of the day, it was a domination in favor of “Yes” or more accurately “Pour/For” for single-game betting’s legalization in Canada.
The vote passed 303-15, it was a lead not even the Toronto Maple Leafs could blow. Hours later, the Senators and Leafs played a hockey game that was about as dry as a parliament meeting.
A boring game is ideal for the Senators, a team still building its talent corp. Monday’s win was anything but that, as their comeback from down 5-1 was a lightning rod of reaction for fans and media alike. Obviously, Ottawa would rather the game not come to that level of desperation.
On the flip side, the Maple Leafs likely had some hard conversations about defensive responsibility, something that’s lapsed pretty consistently over the last few years. The result? A choppy affair in the next meeting.
The Senators were massive underdogs again in the rematch at a price that made little sense. Despite losing the game 2-1, Ottawa had more than enough opportunity to win the game, recording 1.81 expected goals for at even-strength, compared to 1.91 for the Leafs.
On top of that, the Senators had 11 high-danger chances 5-on-5 to the Leafs’ nine, as the game was tied 1-1 through two periods. Ignoring a somewhat fortunate game-winner for the Leafs, it was actually the Senators that were more impressive given that the max-focus effort the Leafs should have brought to the rink after Monday’s fiasco.
Toronto Maple Leafs
A loss to the Senators on Monday didn’t dissuade price-makers from making Toronto greater than a -300 favorite on Wednesday, so I don’t expect a Leafs win in the rematch to change any minds either.
Whether it’s the eye test or the metrics, there just isn’t a case to be made for betting on the Leafs at these prices. Which is a shame because they probably WILL win the game.
My “Let’s Do That Hockey” model, as discussed on THE WINDOW: Sports Betting Podcast gives the Leafs a 62% chance of winning the game. However, if you’re asking me to pay -300 on the moneyline, you’re asking me to pay a price for something happening 75% percent of the time.
Nothing from the four games these two teams have played against one another would indicate that the Leafs are good enough to surpass that expected win probability. Nor does their 152 high-danger chances for, and 145 high-danger chances given up, on the season.
What I will say about the Leafs is that they seem to be paying attention to their head coach. They can often be willing to trade chances with the opposition, knowing that they’re often more talented, and thus more likely to score. They were able to execute a definite change in their game plan to get the win on Wednesday.
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Betting Analysis & Pick
Based on my numbers rating these teams heavily toward their even-strength value, the moneyline pricing should be something like TOR -172/OTT +152. So why would you ever want to bet on something at almost double that?
There is one wild card in the rubber match, and that’s the goaltender for the Leafs and the off-chance it’s not Frederik Andersen for once. Predicting who’s going to be in the crease has been a consistent mystery in the NHL this season, but the Leafs could be talked into playing Michael Hutchinson, who’s been on the bench in replacement of usual backup Jack Campbell.
There’s also the possibility Campbell comes back on Thursday night. Should either be in the net, we can green light the Senators at +250 or better, even though they’ve already won their requisite 1/3 of the games in this set.
If, however, both starters are a go. I think the final game of the three looks more like the second game than it does the run-and-gun first matchup. The Leafs have gotten their reminder about defensive responsibility and had some positive reinforcement.
The Senators would be happy with another 1-1 game to start the third period. At a total of 6.5, we’re still getting first-game pricing with second-game strategy, making the under a good look in this one.
Picks: Total Under 6.5 (-115 or better) | Senators (+250 or better if Andersen doesn’t start)