Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs Free Preview

Air Canada Centre will be the site for an Atlantic Division showdown as the Buffalo Sabres visit Toronto to face the Maple Leafs. The opening face-off is at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, March 26, and you’ll be able to see the game live on MSG Western New York.

Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs Odds

With a -300 moneyline, Toronto enters the game as the obvious favorite. The line for Buffalo sits at +250 and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals (-105 for the over, -115 for the under).

The Maple Leafs are 45-30 straight up (SU) and have earned 7.8 units for moneyline bettors this season. That winning percentage, the third-best in the Atlantic Division in this young season, is a welcome improvement over the 40-42 record from last year’s regular season campaign. Through 75 regular season outings, 39 of its games have gone over the total, while 32 have gone under and just four have pushed. The team’s 26-10 SU at home this year.

Toronto has converted on 23.2 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s good enough for fifth-best in the league. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked ninth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.5 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, Toronto has been called for penalties just 3.3 times per game overall this season, and 2.2 per game over its last five matchups home outings. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays for just 7.3 minutes per game over its last 10 outings, in total.

Averaging 30.8 saves per game with a .918 save percentage, Frederik Andersen (37-24-5) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Maple Leafs this season. If they, however, decide to give him a rest, head coach Mike Babcock might go with Curtis McElhinney (10-6-6 record, .935 save percentage, 2.09 goals against average).

The Leafs will continue seeking leadership from Mitchell Marner and William Nylander. Marner (64 points) has tallied 20 goals and 44 assists and has recorded multiple points on 16 separate occasions this year. Nylander has 17 goals and 37 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 40 games.

On the other side of the ice, Buffalo is 23-52 straight up (SU) and has lost 19.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. A total of 37 of its games have gone under the total, while 33 have gone over and just five have pushed. As the road team, Buffalo is 12-24 SU.

Buffalo has converted on just 17.1 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that places it in the bottom-10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 23rd overall and it’s successfully defended 78.1 percent of all penalties.

Buffalo’s players have been penalized 3.5 times per game this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five contests. The team’s had to defend opponent power plays just 6.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Robin Lehner (2.99 goals against average and .909 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Buffalo. Lehner is averaging 26.9 saves per game and owns a 14-38-9 record.

Jack Eichel (22 goals, 32 assists) and Ryan O’Reilly (20 goals, 33 assists) are the top offensive options for Buffalo and will pace the offensive counter for the visiting Sabres.

Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Predictions

Pick: SU Winner – Maple Leafs, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone over in four of Toronto’s last five games.
  • Toronto’s attempted 32.1 shots per contest overall this season (ranked 16th in the NHL), and 34.3 over their last 10 games.
  • The extra-man advantage could be even more key than usual in tonight’s game. The Sabres are 8-21 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 19-36 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Maple Leafs are 17-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 33-28 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Toronto is 7-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Buffalo is 1-2 in shootouts.
  • Toronto is ranked 7th this season with 8.3 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher lately, as it has averaged 8.9 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.8 takeaways over its last five.
  • Buffalo has scored 2.3 goals per game as a team this year, but has been averaging 0.5 goals per contest over its last four games (0-4 SU over that span).
  • Buffalo has created 5.5 takeaways per game (ranked 30th in the NHL).
  • Toronto could hold an advantage if it’s a close one late. The team’s 23-11 in games decided by one goal, while Buffalo is 10-22 in such games.