by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
The combination of a veteran rejoining their top line, a home-ice loss to shake off and a rebuilding opponent means the Toronto Maple Leafs’ best betting value might be found in the alternate game lines.
The Maple Leafs are -300 favourites and the Ottawa Senators are +250 underdogs with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Monday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Maple Leafs are 16-4 in their last 20 home games when they go deeper than -225 as the moneyline favourite, with the total going OVER 12 times. Nine of those wins were by more than 1.5 goals.
Senators vs Maple Leafs | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Senators are 3-17 in their last 20 games as an away underdog of +200 or more, with the total going UNDER 11 times. Ten of those defeats were by more than 1.5 goals. The total has gone OVER at online betting sites in 10 of the teams’ last 14 matchups, but all four UNDER results are within their six most recent meetings.
The Senators and Maple Leafs, who are playing three games in four nights this week, were on the opposite ends of 2-1 games on Saturday. Ottawa edged the Winnipeg Jets despite being on the short end in expected goals-for percentage (xGF%) according to both MoneyPuck and Natural Stat Trick. Toronto lost against the Montreal Canadiens at home but had the xGF% edge. It was the Maple Leafs’ first loss after leading through the first two periods (all advanced stats are from five-on-five play only).
The Senators are last in the NHL standings with a 3-12-1 record, but cannot be accused of playing dull hockey. With centre Josh Norris and wings Drake Batherson and Brady Tkachuk leading the way, the Senators are actually among the league leaders in high-danger chances generated in the five-on-five phase. However, they give up just as many, to the count of being in the bottom five in the NHL in the rate at which they allow them – and they might be using a backup goalie on Monday.
Ottawa is 10th in the 31-team NHL in share of shots-for (51.5 percent) as well as 19th in expected goals-for (49.7) and 20th (50.0) in high-danger chances. They are 29th in goal scoring (2.13 per game) and 31st in goals against (4.00), while ranking 25th on the power play (13.1 percent) and 24th in penalty killing (74.6).
Ottawa netminder Matt Murray (upper-body injury), who has a 2-7-1 record with a 3.69 goals-against average and .882 save percentage, is day-to-day. If Murray is ruled out, then Marcus Högberg would likely start on the exact one-year anniversary of his only career appearance against Toronto, when he allowed three goals on 16 shots. Högberg has a 1-5-0 record with a 4.23 GAA and .859 save percentage this season.
The Maple Leafs, who are 11-3-1, reunited the Auston Matthews-Joe Thornton-Mitch Marner line at practice on Sunday. Thornton is eligible to return after spending 10 games on long-term injured reserve with a rib fracture. Toronto is trying to coax more depth scoring out of its second line, which will now have Zach Hyman flanking center John Tavares and right wing William Nylander. Marner and Matthews accounted for nine of Toronto’s 22 shots on goal against the Canadiens, so there is incentive to demonstrate that they are more than a one-line team.
Toronto is 21st in the NHL in share of shots for (48.9 percent) as well as 18th in expected goals-for percentage (50.0) and 17th (49.8) in share of high-danger chances. The Maple Leafs are fourth in goal scoring (3.53 per game) and seventh in goals against (2.53). They have the third-ranked power play (34.1 percent), but are zero-for-five in their last three games. The penalty killing unit is ranked 21st (76.9).
Frederik Anderson, who is 9-3-1 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .909 save percentage, is likely to start since Toronto has the back-to-back games slated for later in the week. Andersen is 7-5-2 with a 3.37 GAA and .885 save percentage in 14 career games against Ottawa.
The two North Division counterparts play again on Wednesday and Thursday at Scotiabank Arena.