Free Picks: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens

Montréal vs Toronto NHL
Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, NHL, Bell Centre

Fans of Toronto and Montreal have been spoiled with goals this season. Firing on all cylinders, the Leafs and Habs have been offensive threats in 2021. With that being said, I think the high-scoring days between these two clubs are over. With how strong the Montreal and Toronto defense has been as of late, I think we see a low-scoring battle in Montreal on Saturday.

When two high-scoring teams collide, good things are bound to happen.

Fans of both Toronto and Montreal have been entertained by goal-scoring this season. The Maple Leafs have scored the most goals in the NHL. Meanwhile, Montreal scores 3.47 goals per game, which is good for 6th in the entire NHL.

In three games this season, the two teams combine for an average of 6 goals per game. Looking at NHL regular season odds, the current over/under for Saturday’s contest is listed at 6 (888Sport) but I also found the under of 6.5 at Betway. Montreal averages the most shots per game in the NHL, currently firing 34.1 shots per game. Toronto surprisingly shoots only 29.4 shots per game, which is one of the lowest in the league.

I think it’s clear for this bet I am looking at the over/under. Despite the two clubs scoring 6 goals per game, 9 of those goals came in the first game of the season, when the Leafs won 5-4. Since then, the two teams have combined for 9 goals in two games, which has me looking at the under for this game.

It is expected that Carey Price will get the nod for Montreal. The number one goalie in Montreal is 5-2-2 on the season with a .901SV%. What’s interesting is that Michael Hutchinson is listed as the probable goalie for Toronto. In his only start of the season, Hutchison is 1-0-0 with a 3.00 GAA. If Hutchinson does get the start, that could easily influence the odds.

I still think the under is the way to go in this contest. Toronto’s defense has seen an uptick in production recently. Usually roasted for being terrible, the Leafs have allowed more than 3 goals just twice since February 6th, a stretch of 7 games.

Are the days of high-scoring games between Montreal/Toronto finished? I love betting the over on BetPicks, but with Montreal’s top-notch defense, coupled with Toronto’s increased defensive productivity, I think this game is low scoring. And I mean that in a relative nature, as we could see a 4-1 or 3-2 contest.

Either way, I am confident in this game hitting the under. At worst, I see 6 goals being scored, which is still a huge win for us.

Stats

  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Toronto’s last 7 games.
  • The Maple Leafs are ranked 20th in total goals against
  • Montreal allows 2.53 goals against per game
  • The under has cashed in 5 of Montreal’s last 5 games.

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have always wanted to be a writer and sports are my favorite thing in the world, so I combined the two to make a career. I have been a long-time gambler and sports betting writer that isn't afraid to look at the underdog or specials. I am covering the NHL, MLB and NCAA Football for BetPicks.ca and am a huge fan of both sports - as well as many others. Follow me on Twitter @Patrick_Trudeau so we can talk betting, sports, or why ketchup DOES belong on Poutine.

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