We've got 15 games on the NHL slate tonight, including a cross-border rivalry between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres.
The Sabres are on the second night of a back-to-back and are playing their third game in four nights. Will Toronto be able to take advantage of a tired Buffalo team? The NHL odds suggest they should.
Find out how in my free NHL picks for this November 4 matchup.
Sabres vs Maple Leafs odds
Sabres vs Maple Leafs predictions
Buckle up, folks! We have our first battle of the QEW for the 2023-24 season.
Last year, the Maple Leafs won two of the three meetings between these clubs, outscoring Buffalo 14-9. They’ll look to find that level of offense tonight once again as they take on a tired Sabres team that’s playing its third game in four nights and is playing the second half of a back-to-back. Here’s why I think the Leafs can make that happen.
Goals are plentiful when these two teams play one another, with seven or more goals being scored in eight of the last 10 meetings between the two clubs. Toronto averages 3.5 goals per game at Scotiabank Arena this season, and I do like for them to go Over that number again tonight.
The Leafs finally got some 5-on-5 production from the top line of Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews on Thursday night against Boston, and both have had great success offensively against the Sabres, with each averaging more than a point per game against Buffalo. The same can be said for John Tavares. I look for them to continue that success tonight.
One of the reasons I like the Leafs offense to produce tonight is because of their ability to get to the scoring areas, as both Tavares and Matthews lead the NHL in high-danger shots, according to NHL Edge. This could result in some goals, considering the Sabres give up the ninth most high-danger chances and have a team SV% of .800 (22nd) in those situations.
The Sabres are also coming off a 5-1 loss to Philadelphia on Friday night, where Ukko-Pekka Luukonen made the start. So the expectation is that the Sabres will roll with rookie goaltender Devon Levi tonight. The 21-year-old rookie has not played since October 19 due to injury and struggled mightily prior to that, posting a 1-3 record with a 3.26 GAA and an .892 SV%. There could be some rust involved here, and sharpshooters like Matthews and William Nylander will be a big test for the youngster.
Additionally, Buffalo could be without their top shutdown defender as Mattias Samuelsson left Friday night’s game with an injury. He’s allowed a team-low 1.29 GA/60 to go along with a 2.35 expected-goals against, which also ranks first among Sabres defensemen. His absence should have Leafs forwards licking their chops, as there’s a pretty big drop-off on the right side of the ice after Samuelsson.
My best bet: Maple Leafs Over 3.5 goals (-160 at SIA)
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Sabres vs Maple Leafs same-game parlay
Maple Leafs Over 3.5 goals
Auston Matthews anytime goal
For tonight’s same-game parlay, I like for the Leafs’ core to have another big night against their division foes, where the goal-lamp operators expect a busy evening.
For leg one of the SGP, we’ll take my best bet on the Leafs Over 3.5 goals. Toronto averaged four goals a game against Buffalo last season and matches up well against this Sabres team that is giving up a lot of quality chances with a rookie goaltender in net.
Next up, I like for the game to go Over the total of 6.5 goals tonight. These two teams have combined for 7+ goals in five straight meetings and have done it in eight of the last nine games. The Leafs will be without Jake McCabe and Timothy Liljegren on the blue line tonight, while Sabres’ Samuelsson will be a game-time decision but will certainly not be 100% if he does play. Either way, it should be a high-event, high-scoring hockey game.
For the final leg of my parlay, I like Matthews to score an anytime goal. He’s got 13 goals in 23 games against Buffalo and ranks second in high-danger shots. It should bode well with Levi in net, who has a .722 high-danger SV% at 5-on-5.
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Sabres vs Maple Leafs moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The Leafs are heavy favorites on the moneyline at -225 odds, while the Sabres enter as +180 road dogs.
The Sabres are on their second night of a back-to-back and are playing their third game in four nights. Meanwhile, the Leafs are coming off a strong game against Boston, where the top line finally got some offensive production. If they roll that chemistry into tonight, the Leafs should win this one. Perhaps take a stab at a regulation Leafs win at better value (-140).
The total for tonight’s Game is set at 6.5, with a bit of juice on the Over at -130 odds and the Under paying +110. Both teams have struggled to an extent to score this season. However, this matchup in particular has seen more than 6.5 goals scored in five in a row and in eight of the last nine meetings between these two squads.
When you combine the history of these games with injuries piling up on both blue lines, the Over is the play.
Sabres vs Maple Leafs betting trend to know
The Over is 5-2-2 in the last nine meetings in Toronto between these squads. Find more NHL betting trends for Sabres vs. Maple Leafs.
Sabres vs Maple Leafs game info
|Location:||Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON|
|Date:||Saturday, November 4, 2023|
|Puck drop:||7:00 p.m. ET|
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