Maple Leafs vs Sabres Odds, Picks, and Predictions Tonight: Toronto Tallies Goals in Bunches vs Leaky Buffalo Defense

Auston Matthews had a hat-trick the last time the Maple Leafs played the Sabres, and our NHL betting picks don't envision the NHL's leading goal-scorer or his teammates having much trouble finding the twine tonight.

Dec 21, 2023 • 13:57 ET • 4 min read
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We’ve got 12 games on the NHL slate tonight, including an Atlantic Division showdown between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres.

Will we get another goal-fest between these two cross-border rivals? The NHL odds suggest that might be in the cards against tonight, and I think it’ll happen too.

Find out why in my free NHL picks for this Thursday, December 21 matchup of Maple Leafs vs. Sabres.

Maple Leafs vs Sabres odds

Maple Leafs vs Sabres predictions

The Toronto Maple Leafs enter tonight on a losing note after a 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday. It was the first time all month that the Maple Leafs were held to under three goals, and they will be looking to get back to that torrid scoring pace they’ve been on all month long. 

Toronto has been a force offensively in the month of December, averaging 4.38 goals while generating the second-most high-danger chances (3.33/60), according to Natural Stat Trick. The Buds will look to continue that dominance tonight against a Buffalo Sabres team struggling to keep the puck out of the back of the net. 

Buffalo gave up nine goals in their last outing to the Columbus Blue Jackets and have averaged 3.6 goals against in the month of December. The Sabres haven’t had good goaltending all season, with all three netminders posting a sub .900 SV% on the season. Poor defensive play is also to blame for them being seventh in the Atlantic heading into tonight. The Sabres are giving up over 30 scoring chances per game this year, with 13.61 of them being of the high-danger variety. 

That’s a slippery slope when playing the Leafs.

According to NHL Edge, John Tavares and Auston Matthews rank second and third in the NHL, respectively, in high-danger shots. So given that the Leafs are generating quality chances at an elite rate, it should play into their favor and result in some offense tonight.

Additionally, the Maple Leafs hold an edge on special teams. Toronto’s power play is clicking again, operating at 30% over its last eight games, which should bode well against a Sabres PK that has a low kill rate of 72% across their last 10 contests. That should give the Leafs a chance to add a goal or two toward the 4+ we need to hit the team total.

My best bet: Maple Leafs team total Over 3.5 (-125 at SIA)

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Maple Leafs vs Sabres same-game parlay

Maple Leafs team total Over 3.5

Over 6.5

Auston Matthews anytime goal

For Leg 1 of my same-game parlay, we’ll go with my best bet and take the Leafs to go Over the team total of 3.5 goals. 

Next up, let’s marry the best bet with taking the Over on the game total of 6.5 goals. The Battle of the QEW is always a high-scoring affair. We’ve seen the Over hit in nine of the last 10 meetings between these two. With both defenses being leaky, resulting in sub-par goaltending on each side, I expect the goal-fest to continue.  

For my final leg, let’s roll with a Matthews anytime goal. The man is on fire, with goals in five straight games and 11 goals in his last seven. He also netted a hat trick against the Sabres earlier in the season. I say he remains hot and nets one of the 4+ goals needed for the first leg to hit. 

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Maple Leafs vs Sabres moneyline and Over/Under analysis

The Maple Leafs are favored on the moneyline tonight at -155, while the Sabres enter as +125 underdogs. 

The Leafs are the far better team, but they always seem to have trouble with Buffalo. Toronto is just 4-6 on the moneyline over the last 10 meetings between these teams. There isn’t a lot of value in taking the Leafs, so I suggest either Toronto in regulation at +105, or roll the dice with the dogs who’ve won two straight games vs. the Buds.

As for the total tonight, the number started at 6.5 goals and has since been bet up to 7, with the Over now at +105 and the Under favored at -130. 

This matchup has been prone to high-scoring affairs, with the Over going 7-1-2 in the last 10 meetings between the Leafs and Sabres. The two pushes came with a total set at 7. Given the fact that both squads have questionable goaltending and defensive play, there’s a strong probability the trend continues. 

Maple Leafs vs Sabres betting trend to know

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hit the 3P Moneyline in nine of their last 12 games. Find more NHL betting trends for Maple Leafs vs. Sabres.

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Maple Leafs vs Sabres game info

Location: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, NY
Date: Thursday, December 21, 2023
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: Sportsnet Ontario

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