NHL Betting Preview (Mar 9): Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs Odds

With the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline now a progressively distant memory, it’s time to get back to the games on the actual ice. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens both made a few last-minute moves (which you can break down on our latest edition of Coast to Coast), and how they’re here to resume their generations-long rivalry. We could see some new additions make debuts tonight, but even if we don’t, it’s always an exciting affair when these two teams face off with each other.

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens

TOR -210
MTL +175

The Maple Leafs are healthy road favourites, sitting at -210 on the moneyline, a number that has crept shorter overnight.

Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens odds

Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds-210
Canadiens Moneyline Odds+175
Puck Line oddsMaple Leafs -1.5 (+115), Canadiens +1.5 (-135)
Total Goals line6.5 goals (over -115, under -105)
Time/DateMar. 9, 7:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports (French)
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

All odds courtesy of

About the Maple Leafs (35-19-8 SU, 22-40 ATS, 33-27-2 o/u)

The Maple Leafs wrapped up their trade deadline on a relatively quiet note yesterday, squeaking in the acquisition of Connor Dewar in the dying minutes. Dewar may be an unfamiliar name for Leafs fans. Still, his playstyle will be familiar to many, as he’s of the same depth-minute, defensively sound, PK-friendly, forecheck-happy ilk that Toronto has rotated in their lineup for years. The 24-year-old native of Gilbert Plains, Manitoba was once a Maple Leafs rookie camp invite, skating with the team in 2017 after going undrafted. A strong Draft+1 year got him back into the ranks in 2018, when Minnesota selected him with a third-round pick. Six years later, he’s Toronto-bound for a fourth.

While we wait to see when he’ll draw in for the first time, the rest of the Leafs have themselves focused on a better offensive performance than they’ve given over the past two weeks. Two 4-1 losses to Boston and even a 2-1 win to Buffalo were not the offensive showings that we’re used to seeing, though many were happy to see the team get pesty and physical in the latter Boston defeat. Odds were against Toronto’s success given they were on the road end of a back-to-back against a team that plays them well, so the likes of Jake McCabe (who got fined for a cross-check on Brad Marchand), and Tyler Bertuzzi (who dropped the gloves against his former team), got their pound of flesh instead. Ideally, they’ll harmonize that energy with their productive skill as the season moves forward.

About the Canadiens (24-29-10 SU, 40-23 ATS, 33-28-2 o/u)

Those who read my weekly Coast to Coast column will know that the Habs have done a pretty good job of keeping this season respectable despite their rebuild, never wavering past two games above or below 0.500 until about three weeks ago. They’ve been scrappy and avoided lengthy losing slumps until recently, though they’ve now won just three of their last 14. Even still, they’ve managed to keep a lot of these losses tight, with seven of the eleven losses being just one-goal deficits, including shootout losses to Florida and Tampa on their road trip over the past week and change.

Many were curious to see how the team would proceed at the deadline with all of this in mind, whether it would be a gutting of the lineup or a standing pat. From a skater’s perspective, it was the latter, though the Canadiens were wise to make a move in goal. With Sam Montembeault extended earlier in the season and Cayden Primeau starting to get more NHL reps, the team decided to move on from Jake Allen, trading him to a desperate New Jersey Devils team who struck out on big-name options and shifted to the “try a few new faces and hope someone catches fire” model. Allen has struggled this year, posting a 6-12-3 record and a 0.892 save percentage, not unlike the results of the previous season. In return, Montreal received a third-round draft pick that could escalate to a second with good performance, which is money in the bank for a team still building out its future depth chart.

As for tonight, the Habs always play with energy when they face their rivals in blue, especially when the lights dim at the Bell Centre on a Saturday night. Even in defeat, they’re always a challenge, so Toronto shouldn’t treat them as ordinary minnows.

Last Matchup

Believe it or not, these two teams haven’t faced each other since the season opener. That matchup saw some wild swings in momentum, with Montreal scoring the first two goals, Toronto responding with three, Montreal responding with three more, and Toronto responding with two. Leading the way was Auston Matthews, who picked up the first of his six hat tricks on the season. The game eventually went to a shootout, where Mitch Marner was the only goal scorer.

Projected Lineups

Today’s Toronto Maple Leafs LinesToday’s Montreal Canadiens Lines
Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – Max Domi – William Nylander
Bobby McMann – John Tavares – Calle Jarnkrok
Noah Gregor – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves

TJ Brodie – Jake McCabe
Morgan Rielly – Ilya Lyubushkin
Simon Benoit – Timothy Liljegren

Starting In Goal
Joseph Woll
9-7-1, 2.89 GAA, 0.911 SV%
Cole Caufield – Nick Suzuki – Juraj Slafkovsky
Joshua Roy – Alex Newhook – Joel Armia
Josh Anderson – Jake Evans – Brendan Gallagher
Tanner Pearson – Rafael Harvey-Pinard – Jesse Ylonen

Michael Matheson – Kaiden Guhle
Arber Xhekaj – David Savard
Jayden Struble – Jordan Harris

Starting In Goal
Samuel Montembeault
13-11-5, 3.14 GAA, 0.905 SV%

It remains to be seen how Toronto will integrate its most recent additions into the lineup for this one if they do at all. Joel Edmundson is pretty likely to make his debut, though it remains to see who draws out. Connor Dewar likely isn’t rushed in, but we’ll keep tabs on whether that changes.

Montreal’s roster is unblemished, with their big move on Friday being the departure of Jake Allen. Without the move, they likely lean towards Montembeault tonight anyway.

Auston Matthews to score a goal


Key Injuries

The Maple Leafs are still awaiting timelines on Mark Giordano’s head injury and Conor Timmins’ complete recovery from mononucleosis. On the Canadiens’ end, Christian Dvorak is out for the season with a pectoral muscle injury, as is Kirby Dach with a torn ACL & MCL. More imminently, Colin White has been on IR for the past week following an upper-body injury.

  • These two teams have split their last ten games against each other, going 5-5 since May 2021 (yes, Game 7 of their series against each other). Toronto has won the last three, dating back to February 2023.
  • Montreal has been the underdog in every game and has raked on the puck line as a result, going 8-2 in those ten games. The total goals over has been hit in six of those ten games.
  • The Canadiens are 2-8 in their last ten games but have kept their losses to better opponents close, so they sit 7-3 against the puck line. Someone who bet on them ten times equally against the puck line in that stretch would’ve gained approximately 3.4 units, despite their record!
  • The Maple Leafs are 7-3 in their last ten, and 5-5 against the puck line. Their first string of puck line success for the year was brief, made even more obvious by their 1-4 record in their last five games.
  • Nick Suzuki leads all Montreal forwards in their last ten games in both goals (6) and points (10). His 61 points in 63 games so far have him on his way to the most productive year of his career.
  • Cole Caufield has 44 shots in Montreal’s last ten games but has only found the back of the net on two of them. Uncharacteristic for the American sniper.
  • The Leafs are on a pretty quiet run right now, thanks to 1, 2, and 1-goal performances over their last three games. Over the last ten, Mitch Marner remains the pacemaker for points at 14 (3G 11A), while Auston Matthews and William Nylander share the lead for goals with six.

Wagers To Consider

  • Your Auston Matthews watch for today sits him at -140 for an anytime goal, +350 for two goals, and +1600 to repeat his hat trick from the last matchup between these two teams. Matthews has been uncharacteristically quiet with “only” three goals in his last eight games, and no multi-goal games in that stretch, so this would be a good night to pop once more.
  • I’d also look at Cole Caufield’s anytime goal prop, sitting at +125. As I mentioned above, he’s cold but still shooting, including 18 shots in his last four games. Caufield has historically been fantastic against the Leafs in the regular season, scoring eight goals on 27 shots in ten games, including six goals across five consecutive games.
  • I like the Leafs to pop tonight. I don’t know that it’ll be a blowout – it could end up a back-and-forth game – but I do think they’ll turn on the jets a bit and win this one. For that reason, the boosted Same Game Parlay that features a win and multi-point games for Matthews and William Nylander at +450 (up from +375) is intriguing.

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