by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
The Toronto Maple Leafs have played better – or more to the point, fared better – on the road than at home in their playoff series, which might embolden a bettor more than narratives about the team’s history in Game 7 on the road.
The Maple Leafs are the +120 away underdog (bet $100 to win $120) while the Boston Bruins are a -140 home favorite (bet $140 to win $100) on the NHL betting lines for Tuesday, with a 5.5-goal total. The teams are meeting in Game 7 of the first round at TD Garden for the second season in a row and third time in the last seven, and Boston, of course won the previous two. In this series, though, the away teams are 4-2 and have won three consecutive games. The average total has been 5.67 goals.
The Maple Leafs are 8-5 this season in away games as a +110 to +130 underdog, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.
On Sunday, Boston avoided elimination with a 4-2 win. Auston Matthews, with his series-most fifth goal, and Morgan Rielly scored for the Maple Leafs. Brad Marchand scored two goals for the Bruins while Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci also scored.
While NHL teams play 82 games to gain home-ice advantage for the playoffs, it does not have a great effect on results when a series goes the distance. Road teams have won 48 of the last 92 Game 7s in the NHL, or 52.2 per cent. Historically, though, Toronto is 0-5 in their last five Game 7s on the road dating to 1995. (One pattern for totals bettors: all five contests had at least six goals.)
With all that said, the series has been dead even when the teams are at even strength, where NaturalStatTrick.com credits the Maple Leafs with 51.12 percent of even-strength scoring chances and 51.96 percent of high-danger chances.
Banking on Toronto to live on such margins and prevail could be largely dependent on whether the Maple Leafs negate or reduce the advantage the Bruins have enjoyed on special teams, where their power play is a lethal 43.8 percent (seven for 16) compared to Toronto’s merely competent 21.4 percent. In other words, the choice could come down to confidence in a regression from Boston’s power play and/or adjustment from the Leafs, or Toronto falling back into negative patterns.
Matthews leads Toronto in goals (5), points (6) and shots on goal (29) in the series, while Mitch Marner is the only other Maple Leaf with more than one goal. John Tavares, a 47-goal man in the regular season, has just one goal but is tied for second among Leafs forwards with 17 shots.
Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen has a 2.70 goals-against average and .925 save percentage through the first six games of the series. The Bruins’ Tuukka Rask has a 2.54 GAA and .921 save percentage.
The winning team will move on to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference semifinal and will host games 1 and 2 of the series.