NHL Betting Preview (Mar 4): Bruins vs Maple Leafs Odds

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Nicholas Martin
1 month ago
Monday’s rivalry matchup between the Bruins and Leafs offers a preview into what has become a highly probable first round matchup.
The Bruins have stumbled to a record of just 4-7-2 since the All-Star break, which has allowed the red-hot Panthers to open up a small lead in the division.
The Leafs have won 13 of their last 16 games, and would be just four points back of Boston with two games in hand if they can manage a win in regulation Monday.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Odds

  • Bruins Moneyline Odds: +112
  • Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds: -133
  • Puck Line Odds: Bruins +1.5 (-222), Maple Leafs -1.5 (+177)
  • Game Total: 6.5 goals (over -105, under -115)
All odds courtesy of Betano and are subject to change. Create your account with Betano today!
Boston Bruins
It might seem a little unfair to start locking the Bruins into either the 2 or the 3 seed in the Atlantic when they are only two points back of the Panthers, who have played one less game. Consensus odds for the Bruins to win the division are +260 though, which implies only a 27.8% chance to win the division.
Their are two reasons the Bruins prices are as long as they are to win the Atlantic race. First, the Panthers are power-rated as the top team in the East by every competent oddsmaker right now. Second, the Bruins power-rating has is dropping due to a relatively large sample of modest play.
Since the All-Star break Boston has played to a -10 goal differential, and has won only a single game by more than a goal. They have played to an expected goal % of only 48.54, and been outshot by over two shots per 60.
They still feature two of the world’s best goaltenders in Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark, and at full health own one of the best blue-lines in the league. Those strengths will always offer the Bruins a chance versus any side, and would be their clear edges in a playoff series against the Leafs.
What has become more clear though, is that the Bruins offensive core is not as deep as other Cup contenders. Charlie Coyle, Pavel Zacha, and Morgan Geekie are all having underrated seasons, which has helped to cover what was perceived to be a clear weakness down the middle.
Still, the trio is not well equipped to go head-to-head with the likes of what other top Eastern sides are offering and offers the most obvious flaw with the roster. We know the Bruins will look to upgrade at the deadline, but their greatest problem is that they don’t have a true 1C like Bergeron anymore, and there simply is not anyone like that on the market.
The Bruins are suffering through some injury concerns ahead of this matchup. Pavel Zacha is a game-time decision, while  Hampus Lindholm is out for this contest. Matt Grzelcyk took the ice at today’s morning skate, and is likely to return to the lineup.
Jeremy Swayman is probable to start. He has played to a +13.1 GSAx and .919 save % across 34 appearances this season.
Toronto Maple Leafs
There were some ugly moments in Saturday’s 4-3 shootout victory over the Rangers, but it was still an effort that Sheldon Keefe can be proud of overall. Toronto owned 61.54% of the high danger scoring chances, and allowed only five high danger scoring chances against in even strength play.
The questions towards the Leafs legitimacy as a playoff contender will always revolve around their defensive play, and goaltending situation. Nobody will ever care what the team does prior to the start of the postseason, but they are doing a good job of answering those questions for the time being.
Over the last 16 games the Leafs have allowed an average of just 2.85 goals against per game, and have allowed less than four in 11 of those contests. They have allowed only 26.76 shots against per 60, and 3.03 xGA/60. They have scored 4.06 goals for per game, which ranks first in the league.
Mitch Marner has found his game, and had some excellent sequences Saturday versus the Rangers. William Nylander has suddenly broken out of a post contract lull with a ten game point streak, and has helped Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi find their form.
Whether or not Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll can combine for such strong numbers down the stretch is the Leafs biggest question mark, especially wne compared to a Boston with Swayman and Ullmark.
Samsonov has played to a .908 save % since January 21st though, and will be offered another chance to start Monday.
Best Bets for Bruins vs Leafs:
If there was ever a time for the Leafs to take advantage of the Bruins, it is now. The Bruins have put up a below NHL .500 record for over a month, and their underlying numbers don’t suggest it has simply been a run of bad-luck. Things aren’t getting any easier with Lindholm and Zacha out of the lineup, either.
Boston is going to bounce-back and play a sharper game after being humiliated by the Islanders Saturday, in what was clearly not their best outing. Still, it continues to feel like the Bruins are being given lots of credit for their dominant start to the season with their recent betting prices.
The Leafs are essentially at full health, and have displayed legitimately strong play in all faucets of the game for a 16 game sample. It’s always scary fading the Bruins, who are so good at leaning on elite goaltending to win close games, but it has to be done here as I believe the Leafs deserve to be a larger favorite in this matchup.
Anything better than -140 is a play for me on the Leafs.
Best Bet: Leafs Moneyline -133 (Play to -140)

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