by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
Some notable OVER trends might hint at where the Toronto Maple Leafs offer more betting value against the Ottawa Senators, who seldom roll over for their Ontario rival. The Maple Leafs are -350 favourites and the Senators are +290 underdogs with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Toronto is 6-2 in its last eight home games against Ottawa, with the OVER hitting in 11 of the teams’ last 14 matchups at Scotiabank Arena at online betting sites. The Maple Leafs are 15-5 in their last 20 home games when they go to -225 or deeper in minus money, with the OVER hitting in five of the last seven matchups in that moneyline range. The Senators are 5-15 in their last 20 away games as an underdog of +225 or more, and the total has gone OVER in seven of the last nine such matchups.
Senators vs Maple Leafs | OddsShark Matchup Report
Toronto leads the season series 4-2-1 against Ottawa, but only has a 17-16 advantage in five-on-five goals. Toronto holds a 52.0 expected-goals percentage (xGF%) with narrow edges in scoring chances (54.6%) and high-danger chances (53.9%), per Natural Stat Trick. The Senators are two-for-24 on the power play and the Maple Leafs are six-for-21. (All advanced stats are based on score- and venue-adjusted five-on-five play.)
The Senators, who are 13-24-4, have often seized on defensive sloppiness by Toronto this season. However, the Maple Leafs, over the last month, are fourth-best in the NHL at limiting high-danger chances in the five-on-five phase. The Josh Norris-Nick Paul-Brady Tkachuk and Mike Amadio-Tim Stützle-Drake Batherson lines (center listed first) led Ottawa to an impressive 65.5 xGF% during a 3-2 defeat against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Ottawa, particularly Tkachuk and Paul, may be due for more puck luck, but the Senators are also playing their fourth game in six nights. Since the start of 2019-20, Ottawa is 7-16-2 in away games with a single day of rest.
Since March 11, Ottawa is 25th in the 31-team NHL in xGF% (44.9), 20th in scoring-chance share (47.4) and 17th in high-danger chances share (47.2). Over this span, the Senators are 21st in goals per game (2.50) and 22nd in goals against (3.08). Their power play ranks 23rd (16.1 percent) and their penalty killing ranks 11th (83.3).
Marcus Högberg, who is 2-6-0 with a 4.19 goals-against average and .866 save percentage, has not played since Wednesday. Anton Forsberg, who is 1-2-1 with a 2.99 GAA and .918 save percentage, might also be an option. Matt Murray (7-12-1, 3.84 GAA, .880) has resumed practising but has not played since coming off injured reverse a week ago.
With the Maple Leafs, who are 27-10-3, this matchup might be more about testing a new first-line combo than the overall result. First-line center Auston Matthews will now be flanked by wings Mitch Marner and Alex Galchenyuk, who has been moved up after a four-shot game against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. John Tavares will be flanked by Zach Hyman and Ilya Mikheyev due to the absence of William Nylander (COVID19 protocol). Toronto has been full value for its strong record of late, as evidenced by a five-on-five xGF% of at least 58 percent in nine of its last 11 games. Having more rest hasn’t always worked to Toronto’s benefit. The Maple Leafs are 7-3-1 in their last 11 home games after two days off, but the time off meant more time to work on a power play that has been blanked in 12 of their last 13 games.
Toronto is second in xGF% (59.5), second in scoring-chance share (57.7) and third in high-danger chances share (62.0) over the last 30 days. During this span, the Maple Leafs are ninth in goals per game (3.00 per game) and 11th in goals against (2.54). Their power play ranks 31st (3.0 percent) and their penalty killing ranks 12th (83.3).
Jack Campbell, who is 10-0-0 with a 1.58 GAA and .944 save percentage, probably has a night off on the horizon since Toronto is beginning a four-in-six stretch of its own.