Lightning vs. Maple Leafs prediction, odds

Lightning vs. Maple Leafs prediction, odds

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It isn’t day-after-day {that a} two-time defending champion opens the playoffs as an underdog, however that’s what we’re coping with on Monday night time because the Tampa Bay Lightning head to Toronto as slight +105 outsiders for Recreation 1. Whereas that value nonetheless signifies that is basically a coin flip, it’s fascinating to notice due to the narratives connected to every group.

On one hand, you’ve bought the Lightning, the league’s playoff powerhouse on the lookout for a three-peat and on the opposite facet are the Maple Leafs, who haven’t received a playoff sequence since 2004. Even with that baggage, it’s onerous to argue with the logic of putting in the Leafs because the favorites. Toronto was the stronger group within the common season.

Lightning vs. Maple Leafs Recreation 1 odds

Odds offered by BetRivers

Unfold: TB +1.5 (-225) vs. TOR -1.5 (+185)

Moneyline: TB (+110) vs. TOR (-127)

Whole: Over 6.5 (-103) | Beneath 6.5 (-115)

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Lightning vs. Maple Leafs prediction for Recreation 1

Not solely did the Leafs end 5 factors and eight targets forward of the Bolts within the standings, however the Buds additionally ranked contained in the top-5 by way of targets per recreation, anticipated targets price, high-danger scoring likelihood share and power-play share. Tampa’s numbers had been additionally sturdy throughout the board, however they didn’t match the Leafs in most respects and we did see the Bolts undergo uninspiring stretches at occasions throughout the common season.

However the fact is that bettors can’t actually deal with the Lightning like different groups. Positive, the metrics stay a very powerful ingredient in handicapping this group, however the Bolts have earned the advantage of the doubt over the previous few seasons. We all know what this group can do in a playoff setting and it’s actually doable that Tampa’s regular-season numbers — which had been nonetheless strong — took a dip as a result of the group was pacing itself for the playoffs. The Lightning have performed a ton of hockey because the NHL returned from its COVID-hiatus practically 20 months in the past and had a playoff spot locked up round Christmas. They are often forgiven in the event that they took their foot off the pedal at occasions. 

The general numbers for this matchup will point out that Toronto has been the higher group on this sequence, however there’s some uncooked handicapping that should come into play for this best-of-seven. And plenty of that handicap comes all the way down to this: How a lot inventory ought to we put into Tampa’s pedestrian stretch at a degree of the season the place they had been possible simply ready for the playoffs to start out?

The Tampa Bay Lightning placed on the strain on offenseGetty Photographs

From a matchup perspective, Tampa is likely one of the few groups that may hold with the Leafs over the course of a sequence. Precedence No. 1 for any group taking part in Toronto is to close down Auston Matthews and Mitchell Marner. Whereas it’s unlikely the Bolts can maintain Toronto’s dynamic duo off the scoresheet constantly, they do have the horses to considerably mute the Leafs high line, which will probably be lacking Michael Bunting for not less than the curtain-raiser.

You may anticipate Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper to do every thing he can to make sure that Matthews and Marner see a ton of Anthony Cirelli, Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, and Erik Cernak over the course of this sequence. Outdoors of the goaltending, Cirelli may find yourself being a very powerful issue on this sequence, because the shutdown heart has the flexibility to maintain Matthews and Marner considerably in test.

As long as the Bolts can maintain Matthews and Marner from constantly overruling them, then this sequence adjustments and the main target will shift to the goaltending, which is a large edge for Tampa Bay.

Andrei Vasilevskiy has been one of the best goaltender on the earth for the previous three years and even in a yr the place he didn’t get a lot consideration nonetheless posted a .917 save share and a +17.6 GSAx. 

On the opposite facet of the ice will probably be Jack Campbell, who has been Jekyll-and-Hyde throughout his profession in Toronto. After a spellbinding begin to the season, Campbell was one of many NHL’s least efficient goaltenders throughout the winter months till he ended up on IR. Whereas Campbell has regarded extra secure since getting back from harm, he’ll want to supply above-average goaltending to maintain tempo with Vasilevskiy and decelerate a scientific Tampa Bay assault.

In a sequence the place the margin for error is kind of skinny, the Lightning’s edge in purpose is probably going the difference-maker. Any plus-money on Tampa Bay is playable in Recreation 1.

Lightning vs. Maple Leafs Recreation 1 wager: Tampa Bay Lightning +100 or higher (+105 on BetMGM)

Additionally learn: Betting on the Lightning vs. Maple Leafs full sequence

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