NHL Betting Preview (Mar 7): Maple Leafs vs Bruins Odds

Photo credit:Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Nicholas Martin
1 month ago
The Leafs will look to respond to Monday’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Bruins as they get an immediate rematch Thursday at TD Garden.
The betting prices on this matchup have moved significantly compared to Monday’s matchup, where the Leafs had home ice advantage, and were not playing back-to-back.

Maple Leafs vs. Bruins Odds

  •  Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds: +118
  • Bruins Moneyline Odds: -139
  • Puck Line Odds: Maple Leafs +1.5 (-213), Bruins -1.5 (+167)
  • Game Total: 6.5 goals (over +112, under -139)
All odds courtesy of Betano and are subject to change. Create your account with Betano today!
Toronto Maple Leafs:
With a 2-1 overtime win last night over the Sabres the Leafs have now won 14 of their last 18 games.
Their performance Monday versus Boston was one of only two notably bad games in that time frame, and they have made a clear case for Brad Treliving that he should be looking to buy someone significant.
People sometimes need to keep in mind the parity in the NHL when expecting any team to go better than 14-4-0 over an 18 game sample. With that said it was the timing of the Leafs letdown versus Boston that drew such a notable response, and this game gives them an opportunity to make things right.
They took care of business yesterday at home versus a Sabres team that has been surprisingly excellent at making games into a slog, and now must prepare for the tougher leg of the back-to-back spot.
The Leafs owned 51% of the high danger chances Monday versus Boston, and could certainly have generated more than one goal with any luck. With that said, you can’t come out and play such a sloppy first period versus a talented team like Boston. The Leafs have enough edges over the Bruins right now to own much of the play, but will need to ensure that the Bruins are forced to earn tougher goals than they did Monday.
It’s unclear if the newly acquired Joel Edmundson will make his debut in this matchup or not. If he was, I would assume it would be on the third pairing.
We will likely see Joseph Woll get the start in this matchup after Ilya Samsonov played yesterday versus Buffalo. Woll has played to a +8.2 GSAx and .914 save % across 17 appearances this season.
Boston Bruins:
The Bruins perspective on the Leafs game would be the exact opposite in terms of recent play. That 4-1 victory was a clear high point in what has been a highly mediocre run of play recently, which likely quelled some concerns of more detailed observers.
They followed that game up with an extremely closely contested nail-biter versus the Oilers, a game they ultimately lost in overtime after allowing an empty net goal.
Since the All-Star break the Bruins own a -8 goal differential. They have been outshot by two shots per 60 on average, and are only own a record of 5-4-6 (5-10 straight up). At times their offensive play has looked pretty stagnant and one dimensional. The data supports that take, as their 2.98 xGF/60 ranks 22nd in that time frame.
Yes, they have the ability to turn any contest into something close to coin-flip and leaning on strong goaltending and defensive play to get wins. Does that make you one of the NHL’s best teams though? I’m not sure it does, though it will still make Boston a highly irritating out for any playoff opponent.
Jeremy Swayman has been confirmed as the Bruins starter in this matchup. He has played to a +16.1 GSAx and .921 save % in 35 appearances this season.
Best Bets for Leafs vs Bruins:
The Leafs are given an immediate opportunity to shake off Monday’s loss at home with a win in Thursday’s rematch. Admittedly, I thought the Leafs were a solid bet at -130 in that matchup, and suffered my only loss with the LeafsNation.
That one game shouldn’t mean that the Leafs now deserve to be +118 on the road Thursday, considering how their overall process has looked in comparison to Boston for over a month. While the first period was ugly, the chances were there for it to be a game.
In a game that is so high variance, Thursday’s price is too much of an adjustment to Monday’s result.
The Bruins have better goaltending, and a better defensive core at full health. There is no debating that. Still, the Leafs have more offensive players in strong form, and have leaned on that strength to own a better share of the play recently than Boston.
While this is a traveling back-to-back spot on the road for Toronto, the Leafs have been better on the road this season. It is still a three in four spot for the Bruins as well, so the rest advantage isn’t that significant.
The Bruins deserve to be a favorite here, but I believe -139 is too long. Anything better than +110 is a bet for me on the Maple Leafs to respond with a win here.
Best Bet: Maple Leafs Moneyline +118 (Play to +110)

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