The Toronto Maple Leafs will be making their second playoff appearance in as many years for the first time since 2004 when they take the ice for Game 1 of their opening-round set with the Boston Bruins as +140 underdogs on the NHL series betting prices at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Toronto is coming off a franchise record-setting campaign during which they set new team bests with 49 wins and 105 points, and have emerged as a +1100 bet on the Stanley Cup odds ahead of Thursday night’s Game 1 matchup at TD Garden.
The Maple Leafs have also enjoyed regular success against Boston over the past two seasons, claiming victories in seven of eight meetings, but trail on the NHL odds as +135 underdogs for Thursday’s contest.
While the Maple Leafs showed steady improvement this season, they produced inconsistent results at times down the stretch, going 4-3-0 in their final seven outings. Toronto has also struggled in dates away from the Air Canada Centre, posting just four wins in its final 12 road contests, a run that started with a 4-1 loss in Boston as +118 underdogs on Feb. 3.
However, the Maple Leafs have otherwise proven to be effective at containing Boston shooters during their current 7-1-0 run against their Original Six rivals, limiting the Bruins to just 2.37 goals per game during that stretch, while scoring four or more goals in six of those outings.
The Bruins enter their second playoff clash with Toronto in five years as -160 favourites on the NHL series prices despite ending the season with a slide that saw them fall to defeat in four of their final five outings. Boston closed its schedule with Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Florida as -312 home chalk, a defeat that cost the club its first Atlantic Division title since 2014.
Despite their season-ending swoon, the Bruins enter the post-season trailing only the Nashville Predators at +550 on the Stanley Cup odds, and perched as -155 favourites for the Game 1 betting matchup.
Boston was among the NHL’s best home teams during the past season, ranked third with just eight losses in regulation, and has picked up the win in 10 of its past 12 at TD Garden. However, the Bruins will also be eager to bury the memory of early exits in its past two playoff appearances, including a six-game loss to the Ottawa Senators in the first round last spring, and reverse a 4-8 run in their past 12 playoff games on home ice.