OKBET Betting Picks and Predictions for the Maple Leafs against Canadiens: Nylander & Marner Skate Circles Around Habs

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Tonight’s game between Toronto and Montreal will start a new chapter in hockey’s fiercest rivalry. Our NHL predictions expect a lot of shots and for a pair of Leafs skaters to reach their shot prop totals due to how inexperienced Montreal’s blue line is.

The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will rekindle their rivalry tonight at the Bell Centre, but will the overwhelming underdogs be able to stop the Buds from firing 40 or more shots at the goal?

Learn more about it in my free NHL picks and predictions for the Leafs vs. Canadiens matchup.

Best odds for Maple Leafs vs Canadiens

TeamsMoneylineTotalPuck Line
Toronto-275o 6.5-146-1.5-106
Montreal227u 6.5+121-112.5

Picks and Predictions for Maple Leafs vs Canadiens

The Canadiens had one of the worst defenses in hockey last season, but they now have an AHL blue line going into the season opening.

Tonight against one of the finest offensive teams in hockey, Montreal will play four inexperienced defenseman. The Leafs recorded the seventh-most shot attempts and averaged 34.6 shots per game last season. They will now play a team that took the most shots last year; this club will have at least one rookie defenseman on each of its three defensive pairs, with a pair of NHL rookies making up the third pairing.

The Leafs may dominate possession, with the top two lines putting a lot of pucks on net. The shot market is by and away the greatest market to exploit tonight, with less fluctuation than the point market.

So far in the preseason, William Nylander has looked excellent and has played some encouraging international hockey in the offseason. Some believe he may score 40 goals this season, and with the return of John Tavares and the hard-working Denis Malgin on his line, he should be generating a ton of shooting opportunities for the second line and the power play.

Last season, Mitch Marner led the Leafs in assists, but the winger averaged 3.11 shots per game and had more shots against the Habs than any other club – 19 in four games. He’s raised his shooting output in consecutive seasons, finishing last season with 5.83 shot attempts per game.

When you examine the matchup and the high pricing for their individual point markets, these are the two greatest projection plays. This may be the greatest location for the Leafs’ shot markets all season.

My best bets are: Nylander, William More than 2.5 shots (-138 at OKBET)
Marner, Mitch More than 2.5 shots (-140 at OKBET)

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OKBET canadiens

Moneyline Analysis for Maple Leafs vs Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens will start four rookie defenseman, including first-round pick Juraj Slafkovsky, and will also make 23-year-old Nick Suzuki the team captain. Even the team’s head coach, Martin St. Louis, will be making his debut behind the bench. With an outstanding offensive club like the Leafs, this squad lacks a ton of experience, and the problems on the blue line are too great to overcome.

Even with its lack of quality, Montreal has always played Toronto well, but its defense has never been this inexperienced. Every defensive partnership for Montreal will include a rookie, and despite the most recent adjustment, the team will still have trouble finding favorable matchups.

Chris Wideman and David Savard, two seasoned defenseman for the Habs, would probably skate in the bottom four on any other club, but they will play significant minutes on Wednesday.

They’ll play a Toronto squad that still has its core together, led by Auston Matthews, who scored the most goals last season. The third line of Toronto has pace on the wings and will be able to create opportunities, which might be a problem for the host team given Toronto’s depth scoring.

John Tavares, the captain and second-line center for Toronto, will also probably start after being doubtful earlier in the week.

Matt Murray, a seasoned goaltender who has played well in the preseason with a save % above.950 in three games, is a solid substitute for the Leafs’ departed goalie Jack Campbell, who left in free agency.

With the lineup they have today, the Canadiens might allow even more shots than they did last year, when they allowed 34.4 shots per game. In 5-on-5 play, defense, goaltending, and special teams, the Leafs are superior. For the Buds, it can be a crucial night.

TeamsMoneyline
Toronto-275
Montreal227

Over/Under Analysis Maple Leafs vs Canadiens

This sum started at 6.5 and has reached 7 in some spots, and it is probably justified. If you wager on the Over 6.5, expect to pay a hefty juice fee of up to 35 points.

The Habs, who had the worst and least experienced squad heading into the 2022–23 season, let up the most goals previous year. With all rookies on the blue line tonight, they might be vulnerable to several penalties and could face Toronto’s perhaps greatest power play. They had a Bottom-6 penalty kill.

In the end, Montreal will need to score at least two goals for this game to reach seven. The oddsmakers believe three Montreal goals are more likely than fewer given their team total, which is presently at -140 for the Over 2.5. I believe this easily goes over the Over if the Canadiens score two goals. If they can get three points, the alternate total Overs will win money.

With some new goaltender for the Leafs and a hungry young Montreal squad, perhaps the Habs can bury a pair or more goals, but I’d rely on their team total. I simply can’t see the home team slowing down the Leafs tonight. The Leafs’ blue line has never looked better as it does in Under 2.5.

Given that I anticipate Toronto to attempt 40 shots on goal today, Jake Allen will need to stand on his head for this Under to win.

TeamsTotal
Torontoo 6.5-146
Montrealu 6.5+121

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