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Leafs, Habs Battle in Possible First-Round Preview

Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs are favored over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night in NHL betting odds.

The Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Montreal Canadiens for the eighth time this season on Monday night in the first of a three-game series. The Leafs have won five of the first seven meetings, including a 4-1 win last Wednesday night. The Leafs are favored in this one.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Montreal Canadiens
  • Date/Time: May 3, 7 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Bell Centre
  • TV Coverage: RDS
  • Opening Odds: Maple Leafs -135 | O/U 5.5 (Line History)
  • Maple Leafs vs Canadiens Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The game opened with the Maple Leafs as favorites at -135 and the line has since moved to either -138 or -145 depending on the sportsbook. The total opened at 5.5 and has stayed at that number with the OVER favored in the -116 to -125 range.

Toronto News & Notes

The Maple Leafs are poised to cruise to the North Division crown with five games left on their schedule and a nine-point lead over the second-place Oilers. The Leafs are the highest-scoring team in the North by a wide margin and have allowed the second-fewest goals.

The Leafs are third in the NHL in goals at even strength and third in goals for percentage. They are also third in expected goals at even strength and second in expected goals for percentage. In a nutshell: this team scores – a lot. And that should be no surprise with a top-line center well on his way to a Rocket Richard Trophy. Auston Matthews has 38 goals, nine more than anyone else in the league.

There are questions about the Leafs heading into the playoffs, the health of starting goalie Frederik Andersen being the biggest. Andersen has been on IR for almost a month, but they have received quality goaltending from their backups.

Montreal News & Notes

The Canadiens head into their final few games with some uncertainty about whether they will be playing any extra hockey this season. The Habs are fourth in the North, eight points up on Calgary for the final playoff spot. It is unlikely they relinquish the spot, but the Habs are dealing with some key injuries that threaten their plans.

Carey Price, Brendan Gallagher and Jonathan Drouin are all out indefinitely while captain Shea Weber and wingers Tomas Tatar and Paul Byron are all questionable for Monday.

In their absence, forwards Tyler Toffoli and Nick Suzuki have been carrying the load offensively. Toffoli, with goals in six of his last seven games, leads the team and is tied for fourth in the league with 27. Suzuki has four goals and seven points in his last five games. Look for the pair to be a main source of scoring against the Leafs.

Betting Pick: OVER 5.5

The Habs have found a bit of a scoring touch over their last few games after a long offensive drought in the previous few weeks. And we know the Leafs don’t have trouble scoring. This is a better bet than trying to pick a winner between rivals that have played each other fairly evenly this season.

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Shark Bites
  • Toronto is 8-3 in its last 11 road games.
  • The UNDER is 4-2 in the last 6 head-to-head meetings.
  • Toronto is 6-12 in its last 18 games at Montreal.