It’s time to ignite the Battle of Ontario for the first time this season as the Toronto Maple Leafs get set to host the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Arena.
Both sides play a similar game where they’ve been scoring a lot of goals but at the expense of defending. Are we in for another high-scoring affair tonight?
The NHL odds suggest this could be the case... find out why in my free NHL picks for the Senators vs. Maple Leafs on November 8.
Senators vs Maple Leafs odds
Senators vs Maple Leafs predictions
We’ve got our first installment of the Battle of Ontario for the 2023–24 season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have had the majority of success in this matchup lately — winning six of the last seven meetings — and I think there’s a strong possibility they continue that dominance in what could be a high-scoring affair.
Goals seem to be coming in bunches at Scotiabank Arena, with an average of 8.67 scored per Game through the first six contests.
Toronto has been abysmal defensively all season, ranking 23rd in expected goals against and giving up the seventh most high-danger chances in the NHL. This has been most apparent on home ice too, where the Leafs are giving up an average of 4.67 goals per game. If that type of poor defensive play continues, the Ottawa Senators will make you pay.
The Senators are fourth in league scoring, averaging 3.8 gpg, while ranking 11th in expected goals. So to win this one, I truly think it’ll take another big night from the Leafs offense similar to what we saw happen Monday night in their win against Tampa. And I think the Buds are more than capable of doing that against an Ottawa team in turmoil with significant injuries to the defensive corps.
The Sens will be without two of their top defenders as both Thomas Chabot and Jake Sanderson are out tonight, while Artem Zub will be a game-time decision. With these injuries, the Ottawa blue liners are being asked to play tougher minutes than they’re capable of doing at this point in their careers — and it’s exposing the Senators to their lack of defensive depth.
This is especially obvious when you notice Ottawa has given up 38+ shots in each of its last four games and has given up the third most high-danger chances at 5-on-5 this year. That should have Toronto licking its chops.
Auston Mathews leads the league in shots on goal with 57, with teammates William Nylander and John Tavares not far behind at 54 and 47 respectively. This high volume has led to a good amount of production, with the trio combining for 24 goals in the young season.
Furthermore, Mathews and Tavares are both tied for the NHL lead in slot shots in the high-danger area, with Matthews converting five times from that region. So it’s safe to say the Sens can’t afford to give Toronto the same amount of quality looks on goal they’ve been allowing... or Toronto will be hearing that goal horn go off quite a bit.
Additionally, both sides have struggled on the penalty kill, with each unit operating at a sub-75% success rate. Therefore, there’s a strong possibility we see multiple special teams goals in this one, helping us reach the Over.
My best bet: Over 7 (+105 at SIA)
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Senators vs Maple Leafs same-game parlay
Matthews anytime goalscorer
With all the goals I'm expecting, I like for Matthews to score at least one. We all remember the remarkable four-goal debut he had against Ottawa back in 2016. Well, he’s parlayed that into 23 total goals against this team in just 29 games. He’s also been on a tear with a league-leading 13 goals to start the season in just 12 games.
For the final leg of my parlay, let’s take the Leafs on the moneyline. They’ve cashed in on that prop in six of the last seven meetings and should be able to take advantage of a wounded Ottawa team that struggles at Scotiabank Area with just one win in its last seven trips to Toronto.
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Senators vs Maple Leafs moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The Maple Leafs opened as the favorites tonight at -175 odds, with the Sens getting +145 as the road dogs. Toronto is getting 82% of the handle, and rightfully so. Ultimately, I do believe it’ll be a high-scoring game, but Ottawa’s been a tad leakier defensively with even worse goaltending. Also, with the injuries to Ottawa’s blue line, it could be troublesome for the Sens, who’ve given up 17 goals in their last three divisional games combined.
There’s been a little movement on the total for tonight’s game. The original number was set at 7.0 goals on Tuesday afternoon. That was quickly bet down to 6.5... only to move back to 7.0 shortly after midnight Eastern time on Wednesday morning, with 75% of the money coming in on the Over.
Despite the movement, I still think that the Over is the play here tonight at +105 odds (Under -125). Neither side has been able to defend the crease this year, and that’s bad news bears for the struggling netminders considering both squads are scoring at a Top 10 pace. Factor that in with poor penalty killing and a pair of top-half-of-the-league power plays, and we could be in for a doozy tonight.
I hope the goal light operators ate their morning Wheaties!
Senators vs Maple Leafs betting trend to know
The Senators are 0-4 in their last four games while playing on three or more days of rest. Find more NHL betting trends for Senators vs. Maple Leafs.
Senators vs Maple Leafs game info
|Location:||Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON|
|Date:||Wednesday, November 8, 2023|
|Puck drop:||7:00 p.m. ET|
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