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NHL Betting Preview (April 22): Maple Leafs vs Bruins Game 2 Odds

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Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Nicholas Martin
1 month ago
The Leafs will look to respond to being thoroughly dominated in Game 1 on Monday. Garnering a split in Boston would still be a positive result for the first two games, which seems easy to forget given the way Game One went.
Oddsmakers have given respect to the way that the Bruins dominated the opening matchup by making the Bruins a -150 favourite in Game 2 after they were only a -130 favourite in Game One.
I’ll outline the relevant game notes below, as well as hand out my best bet.

Maple Leafs vs Bruins Odds

  • Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds: +125
  • Bruins Moneyline Odds: -150
  • Puck Line Odds: Maple Leafs +1.5 (-220), Bruins -1.5 (+180)
  • Game Total: 5.5 goals (over -125, under +105)
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs were pummelled 7-3 in Game One last series by the Lightning, before bouncing back to win three straight and finally win a playoff series. I’m sure if you circled back and read the common media takes last year they would all state it was the same old Leafs and that the series was over, which is an interesting thought ahead of tonight’s Game Two.
There are some areas the Leafs will likely be able to clean up in Game Two, which should offer them a better chance. They took too many careless penalties in Game One, leading to two powerplay goals against. We likely see a more disciplined game from the Leafs tonight.
They got exposed on the game’s opening goal looking to impose their will physically. Edmundson stepped up for a debatable pinch on the wall, and Ryan Reaves finished a check instead of covering for his defenceman. Imposing your will physically is important, but you can’t get exposed with bad penalties, or get caught out of position defensively in doing so.
Their powerplay was also unable to break through, though they did create lots of chances with the man advantage. Calle Jarnkrok did not look effective on the top unit, and Sheldon Keefe has moved Tyler Bertuzzi to the top unit as a result.
Whether or not Bertuzzi actually gets PP1 minutes tonight will swing on the status of William Nylander, which is highly unclear at this point.
Puck movement out of the back end was a significant concern for the Leafs in Game 1 and could be the flaw that is most likely to remain in this matchup. It’s a flaw that has not only hurt the team’s ability to suppress chances against but has also made creating offence in transition difficult in recent playoff history.
It appears that Sheldon Keefe will keep the same defensive lines together for Game Two based on the morning skate, which is drawing some criticism ahead of this game. T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano aren’t very compelling additions to slide in, however, so it’s tough to say what decision is best.
Ilya Samsonov is likely to start in Game 2 after a relatively shaky performance in Game One. By no means was Samsonov horrible when you break down the actual goals against one by one, although he did not look overly sharp either, particularly on some of the Bruins’ looks that found iron. John Beecher’s opening goal on a clear-cut 2-on-1 was not stoppable. The 2-0 goal from Carlo was a shot you’d want saved. Jake Debrusk’s first goal was a perfect shot with a great screen from Morgan Geekie.
A fair synopsis would likely be that if you traded goaltenders the Bruins would still have won Game One, but likely in less convincing fashion.
Boston Bruins
While you would clearly have to credit the Bruins for being the better team defensively in Game 1, it is also still fair to say that the difference in play between the two netminders did affect the final score. Their game would definitely be viewed as somewhat less sharp if the Leafs finished some of their Grade “A” chances, but many of those chances did come once the Bruins were already up by a pair of goals.
Jeremy Swayman was tremendous in stopping 35-of-36 shots faced.
Per NaturalStattrick, the Bruins allowed 20 high-danger chances against, while only generating eight high-danger chances for. MoneyPuck’s model viewed the game far more favourably than that in favour of Toronto, but a manual viewing would tell you that NST’s model was a sharper take on the game.
It’s unclear if the Bruins will hand this start to Jeremy Swayman, or Linus Ullmark. Swayman owned slightly superior numbers in the regular season and was brilliant in Game One. Those facts make me believe he is the more logical choice, but because they effectively employed a two-goalie system all season, the decision remains a talking point.
Best Bets for Game Two:
The Leafs have a lot to clean up in tonight’s game to come up with a better result in tonight’s game to be sure, but that is being effectively quantified by the significant difference in price compared to Game One. The Bruins seem to be the trendy pick among public bettors, but at -150 I do not see any value.
There is a good chance the Leafs bounce back with a more productive offensive night, and that was likely the one area that we know should be better based on Game 1. Even with as talented as Swayman is, one goal was still the lowest likely output given the way that game went.
As noted Keefe has adjusted his top powerplay unit by sliding Bertuzzi into Jarnkrok’s role, which obviously would improve Bertuzzi’s chances to produce. Matthews, Bertuzzi and Domi had their chances in Game One, and could be liable to break through with some production in this matchup.
Bertuzzi is priced at +100 to record a single point on Bet365, and I see value there. His 10 points in seven games last postseason was part of his appeal to Brad Treliving, and he is well-situated to produce in this matchup.
If Nylander doesn’t play, I see enough value in backing a Bertuzzi point to bet a full unit, as Bertuzzi would then still play on the top powerplay. If Nylander does play, I would reduce my risk to a half-unit.
Best Bet: Tyler Bertuzzi Over 0.5 Points +100 (Bet365, Play to -110 if Nylander Sits, +100 if Nylander Plays)

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