The Toronto Maple Leafs hold a four-point lead for second place in the Atlantic over the Tampa Bay Lightning but don’t want to give up any ground tonight versus a Buffalo Sabres team that has given them problems all season. The Leafs are massive -450 moneyline home favorites but the Sabres are 2-1 straight up again the Buds this season and have scored at least four goals in all three meetings.
Will Toronto continue to play down to its competition, even as heavy favorites? Can Buffalo keep racking up points as it has a .594 point percentage since the Jack Eichel game? Find out in our free NHL betting picks and predictions for Sabres vs. Maple Leafs.
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Sabres vs Maple Leafs odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Leafs opened as -435 on the ML but have still seen some movement their way as they sit as high as -480 at some books. The total opened at 6.5 and has hit 7.0. In the last meeting in Toronto (March 2), the Leafs lost, 5-1, as -400 ML favorites. That total closed at 6.5.
Sabres vs Maple Leafs predictions
Predictions made on 4/12/2022 at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Sabres vs Maple Leafs game info
• Location: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, CA
• Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2022
• Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
• TV: TSN4, MSG-Buffalo
Sabres vs Maple Leafs betting preview
Sabres: Drake Caggiula F (Out).
Maple Leafs: Rasmus Sandin D (Out), Jake Muzzin D (Out), Ondrej Kase F (Out), Petr Mrazek G (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Sabres vs Maple Leafs head-to-head record since 2019
Sabres: 4-6 SU, 36 goals for.
Maple Leafs: 6-4 SU, 35 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 4-1-1 in the Maple Leafs’ last six home games. Find more NHL betting trends for Sabres vs. Maple Leafs.
Sabres vs Maple Leafs picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Puck line analysis
The Leafs will be looking to pick up their eighth win in nine games tonight when they host the Sabres as monstrous -450 ML favorites. This certainly won’t be a lay-up for the boys in blue as Buffalo has given the Leafs fits all season.
In the first meeting (November), the Maple Leafs scored with one second remaining to take a 5-4 win. Then they got owned on home ice (March 2) and lost 5-1 as -400 ML favorites, followed by a 5-2 loss in the outdoor game in Hamilton.
In all, the Sabres have scored 14 goals in the three games and despite how good the Leafs are playing, we can’t ignore the past history between these two. Buffalo will also get a boost on the blue line with 2021 No. 1 overall pick Owen Power making his NHL debut tonight.
Toronto will be going with Erik Kallgren in net tonight as Jack Campbell is not 100% according to coach Sheldon Keefe. The rookie goalie played well versus the Habs on Saturday and has yet to see the Sabres this season.
He has, however, allowed at least three goals in five of his last six games and owns a 2.78 GAA with a .904 SV% on the season. He’s played averagely in net and has a -0.00 goals saved above expected, per Money Puck.
Kallgren will be without top-four defenseman Jake Muzzin who will be scratched for the game tonight. Muzzin had been playing solidly since returning from a concussion and likely will be replaced by Timothy Lijegren. The Leafs are deep on the blue line but missing Muzzin makes them worse defensively.
The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a respectable 8-5-3 record since playing Jack Eichel at home and the .594 point percentage is a Top-15 mark in the league over the last 32 days. Buffalo has taken a point from Vegas, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Calgary, Washington, the Rangers, Winnipeg, Nashville, and Carolina over that stretch.
There is an argument to be made that the Sabres have had the toughest schedule of late as they’ve faced Tampa, Florida (x2), Carolina (x2), and Nashville over their last six games and have played competitively.
The biggest question mark heading into tonight’s game is if Buffalo can contain Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
The duo leads the league in points since January 1 as Marner is averaging 1.77 points per game over his last 39 contests and Matthews is on a quest for 70 goals sitting at 58 on the season with 10 games to go. Matthews has just two points in the three meetings with Buffalo this season and Marner has just two assists.
Even if Matthews and Marner do get on the board, this Buffalo team has shown it can score and stay competitive with the Leafs. Toronto has managed just three goals over the last two meetings between these sides with goalie Craig Anderson stopping 63 of 66 shots.
The Buds have struggled with playing down to their opponents all season and the Sabres have the confidence of knowing they can beat this Toronto team that is due for a poor performance. This game should be a lot more competitive than the line is suggesting as Buffalo has been playing well of late and has faced some of the league’s best.
Getting a puck line at +2.5 is absurd.
Prediction: Sabres +2.5 (-117 at FanDuel)
This total opened at 6.5 but hit 7.0 rather quickly. Although the Leafs are 6-1 to the Over in their last seven games, this number might be high enough that we stay off. They had a closing total of 7.0 versus the Canadiens on Saturday — another team that plays them well — and did just enough to win the game but keep things to the Under with the 3-2 win.
Kallgren played well and the rookie goalie hasn’t given up more than three goals in any of his last six games. He has been serviceable and has been blown out in just one of his first nine NHL games.
Marner and Matthews are unstoppable right now but the Leafs are having issues with secondary scoring — yet again. Over their last 10 games, 13 of the team’s 32 5-on-5 goals were scored by Matthews and Marner while 12 of those came from other forwards and seven from defenseman.
The power play is coming off an 0-for-5 performance versus the Canadiens’ Bottom-5 penalty kill and the Leafs haven’t had an answer for 40-year-old netminder Craig Anderson who has held this potent offense to just three goals over the last two meetings.
We could certainly see both teams score three goals tonight, but the Leafs want this game badly after being embarrassed by Buffalo in back-to-back meetings. This matchup could very well play out like the Montreal game on Saturday where the Leafs shut things down defensively in the third period while playing with the lead.
Toronto has blown too many leads of late and protecting games late has been a point of emphasis for Keefe over the last 10 days. If his team can take a lead into the third period, we wouldn’t be surprised if the pace slowed down and it spent its time denying zone entries to the Sabres.
Anderson and Kallgren might look like goalies to fade on the Over 7.0, but they have been playing better than their overall numbers are indicating heading into tonight. The Sabres have been playing elite opponents of late and are 3-3-1 O/U across their last seven games.
With the last two meetings cloning at 6.5, it’s tough for us to take the plunge on the 7.0 here. Buffalo needed an empty-net goal in their 5-2 win to hit the Over 6.5 in the last meeting and only one power-play goal has been scored in 10 opportunities over the last two matchups.
We’d take the Over 7.0 in a Toronto vs. Florida matchup any day but are hesitant to hit it in a Buffalo vs. Toronto matchup.
Prediction: Under 7 (-112 at FanDuel)
Auston Matthews isn’t settling for 60 goals, he has his sights on 70 as he sits with 58 goals and 10 games to go. He’s been firing the puck at the net like a man possessed of late and has 33 shots over his last four games. Since January 1, a stretch of 40 games, the league’s leading goalscorer has 199 shots on net.
Matthews is averaging 4.77 shots per game on the season and 4.98 shots per game since January 1 (median of 4.5). He’s been letting it fly at 5-on-5 and on the power play of late and is 11-4 to the Over across his last 15 games.
There is also a revenge angle here as Matthews was suspended two games for cross-checking Rasmus Dahlin in the face in the last meeting. Matthews knows the Sabres have beaten his squad in back-to-back meetings and the best shooter in the league might hit sixth gear tonight and would love to hit 60 goals in front of the home crowd.
Pick: Matthews Over 4.5 shots (+100)