Desperate Maple Leafs clear Game 5 underdogs on betting lines

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman joins the Starting Lineup to speculate on whether anything will happen within Maple Leafs management if they bow out in 5 games to the Boston Bruins.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will need a win to avoid elimination from the NHL post-season when they travel to Boston for Saturday’s Game 5 clash with the Bruins as +165 underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Maple Leafs failed to build on the momentum gained from a 4-2 Game 3 victory as -113 favourites. A Boston goal in the first minute of Game 4 on Thursday set the tone for Toronto’s 3-1 loss as a +102 home underdog, and leaves the club facing a 3-1 series deficit going into Saturday night’s Maple Leafs versus Bruins betting matchup at TD Garden.

Not surprisingly, the Maple Leafs tumbled at the sportsbooks following Thursday’s defeat. Toronto now sits as a distant +1050 longshot on the playoff series prices to mount a comeback against the Bruins after opening the post-season as a +130 bet, and has fallen to +6000 on the Stanley Cup odds, well back of the +1400 odds it sported ahead of Game 1.

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With the loss, the Maple Leafs also extended their current run without consecutive wins to eight games, and have gone 14 games since posting three straight victories, a feat they must now duplicate to advance to the second round for the first time since 2004.

The Maple Leafs have struggled with consistency at both ends of the ice during their current 3-5-0 run, tallying just one goal in four of their five losses, while surrendering four goals per game, generating a 3-1-1 run for the UNDER for totals bettors in those contests.

Toronto has also been a dismal road performer in recent months, claiming wins in just four of its past 14 contests away from Air Canada Centre. That run started with a 4-1 loss at TD Garden as a +118 underdog on Feb. 3, which put the brakes on a three-game win streak in road dates with Boston.

The Bruins look to advance to the second round for the first time since 2014 when they hit the ice on Saturday as strong -190 betting favourites. After dominating the Maple Leafs offensively through the first three games of the series, the Bruins relied on the strong play of goaltender Tuukka Rask, who turned away 31 of 32 shots in Thursday’s win, which ended Boston’s five-game losing streak on the road.

While the Maple Leafs have plummeted, Boston has soared to a heavy -1600 favourite on the NHL series prices, and sits at +675 on the odds to win the Stanley Cup this spring.

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