After being humiliated by the Montreal Canadiens in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, the Toronto Maple Leafs are primed to exact revenge against their longtime rivals on Wednesday night. The Maple Leafs open as decided favorites per their NHL betting odds.
Toronto dominated Montreal up until Game 5 of the playoffs. The Leafs went 7-2-1 against the Canadiens in the regular season and outscored them 34 -25. Montreal is also a shell of itself after losing several key players in free agency or injury and lead goaltender Carey Price is also absent. Toronto will have no excuses if it can’t beat the Canadiens.
|Team||Puck Line||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Montreal||+1½ -165||+145||5½ -130o||2½ -120o/-120u|
|Toronto||-1½ +145||-165||5½ +110u||3½ Evo/-140u|
Canadiens: Major Hangover
The Canadiens did not win the Stanley Cup, but they will suffer a severe hangover nonetheless. Montreal is in for a rough season following the losses of Price, shutdown center Phillip Danault and defenseman and team captain, Shea Weber.
In fact, Montreal is listed at -225 to not make the playoffs and its season points total is set at 88.5 points. The Habs were already a middling team before making the playoffs, finishing with a 24-21-11 regular-season record.
Montreal will need Jake Allen to step and become dominant as the goaltender while young forwards like Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki should go up another level. If this team will be worth betting online, it will need to show it can win games without its best players from last season.
Maple Leafs: So It Begins, Again
The Leafs find themselves back on familiar grounds: reeling from another first-round playoff exit. The fans and the media are jaded but the players can’t be. Toronto lost a slew of depth players in the offseason, including forwards Joe Thornton and Zach Hyman and goaltender Frederik Andersen.
But Toronto’s main players remain and are a year older and tougher (one would hope). Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares should still be atop the team in scoring while winger William Nylander broke out in the playoffs and should continue his hot streak.
“I wanted to become a little bit more of a leader on the team”
William Nylander found a new level to his game in the playoffs, which allowed him to find his voice in the Leafs dressing room 👇https://t.co/uZvX6zIQT5
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 6, 2021
The Leafs will be without Matthews (wrist) for the first three games at least, but Toronto should be able to handle Montreal and Ottawa two straight times. We’re not sure about this team’s Stanley Cup chances, but Toronto should still handle its weaker Canadian rivals.
Even without Matthews, the Leafs are the runaway online gambling favorites here. Over 70 percent of wagers are coming in on Toronto as the Leafs have too much firepower for Montreal. Even betting on Toronto’s puckline at +145 is a solid deal even if Toronto is just 2-4 in its last six home games against Montreal.
Allen went 0-3 in his three visits to Toronto, allowing three goals on two occasions. He’ll need to be better if Montreal is to make this one a close game. On the flipside, Jack Campbell won all three of his home starts against Montreal and allowed no more than two goals in each game.
But while it’s tempting to lay the plus-money on Toronto to win by two or more goals, its scoring depth can be a bit of an issue here, especially without Matthews. This one will be a low-scoring game, though the Leafs should finally beat Montreal.
Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs -165
The Leafs averaged 3.28 goals at home last season but have only been able to score more than three goals in three of its nine home games against Montreal. The Canadiens only did it in Toronto twice. At nearly a 5-1 payout, it’s worth betting neither will here.