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Maple Leafs Primed for a Victory Against Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Preview

Unique global circumstances have led to a unique NHL schedule format for the 2020-21 regular season – and that should delight hockey fans who crave Original Six rivalries. The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs kick off their respective campaigns Wednesday, squaring off in the first of 10 regular-season encounters between the historic league rivals.

Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Date/Time: January 13, 7 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Scotiabank Arena
  • TV Coverage: TVA, SNET
  • Opening Odds: Maple Leafs -145| O/U 6.5 (Line History)
  • Canadiens vs Maple Leafs Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Toronto opened the betting festivities as a -145 favorite but has since settled into the -135 to -140 range at the majority of sportsbooks. The total is locked in at 6.5, with the OVER and UNDER at an identical -110 in most spots.

Montreal News & Notes

Montreal players and brass are saying all the right things coming off a rough season in which the Canadiens finished 24th overall and fell to Philadelphia in six games in the opening round of the playoffs. And there’s reason for optimism here, with Montreal having added depth pieces at all positions, including goaltender Jake Allen and forwards Tyler Toffoli and Josh Anderson.

Still, you need some level of star power to make waves in today’s NHL – and the Canadiens might be a bit short in that regard. Only one skater (Tomas Tatar) finished with more than 50 points last year, and Montreal’s third-leading scorer from 2019-20 (Max Domi) is now in Columbus. The Habs do, however, have a much stronger goalie situation behind Allen and Carey Price.

Toronto News & Notes

The Canadiens and Maple Leafs are a study in opposites: While Montreal will look to rely on solid depth at all positions, it’s no secret that Toronto will lean on its heavy hitters, especially up front. Auston Matthews will look to build on an impressive 47-goal, 80-point campaign while fellow superstar center John Tavares is eager for a bounce-back after injuries limited him to 60 points.

The biggest question mark for Toronto, as usual: goal prevention. The Maple Leafs surrendered 227 goals in 70 regular-season games in 2019-20, sporting the sixth-worst goals-against average in the league. So it’s no surprise that Toronto once again sought to bolster its blue line, bringing in veteran defensemen T.J. Brodie, Mikko Lehtonen and Zach Bogosian.

Betting Pick: Maple Leafs (-135)

These teams aren’t that close in talent level, and this line would be a lot higher in Toronto’s favor were this game played later in the season.

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Shark Bites
  • Toronto is 4-1 in its last 5 home games vs Montreal.
  • Matthews had 2 goals in 3 games vs the Canadiens last season.
  • The OVER is 5-1 in the last 6 head-to-head meetings.