Maple Leafs-Bruins Game 7 Betting Odds, Preview: Will Boston’s Defense Hold Up?
Tom Szczerbowski, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Charlie McAvoy
- The Boston Bruins are -135 favorites over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their first-round series.
- Michael Leboff breaks down the odds and analyzes a matchup between an offensive juggernaut and a defensive force.
Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins Betting Odds, Preview
- Maple Leafs odds: +125
- Bruins odds: -135
- Over/Under: 5.5
- Channel: NBCSN
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
Tuesday night features a pair of Game 7s, starting with an Original Six bonanza between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins kept their season alive with a 4-2 victory on the road in Game 6 on Sunday afternoon. It was Boston’s best performance of the series.
The Leafs spent most of the 3rd period in the Bruins end but Boston did a tremendous job keeping them to the outside. Game 7, in Boston, Tuesday night. #NHLBruins #LeafsForever #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/3UL4NWFNxE
— The Point (@ThePointHockey) April 21, 2019
This has been the closest series of the first round, with the teams alternating wins since Toronto took Game 1 in Beantown.
The Bruins lead in goals scored, 18-16, though the Leafs have scored three more goals at 5-on-5. In terms of shot share, the two teams are nearly identical. Toronto has attempted 307 shots at 5-on-5 while Boston has racked up 306 attempts.
- Shot Share: Boston 51.6%
- Expected Goals Share: Toronto 51.8%
- High-Danger Scoring Chance Share: Toronto 51.8%
Heatmap courtesy of Natural Stat Trick
Six games is obviously a small sample, but it was pretty clear coming into the tournament that there would be very little margin for error in this matchup and that has held true through 18 periods of hockey. Both teams have had their moments, but neither squad has been able to wrestle control of this series.
Part of the reason that neither team has been able to run away to the second round is that both goaltenders have been strong since Game 1. Toronto certainly has the edge in goal overall with Frederik Andersen and his .956 5-on-5 save percentage, but Tuukka Rask has more than held his own for Boston.
If you had to choose one of these goalies to play for you in a do-or-die game you’d always choose Andersen, but the Bruins play better defense than the Leafs do, so Rask usually won’t need to steal games for the B’s.
So far the Bruins’ biggest edge has been on the power play. The Bruins are 7-for-16 on the man advantage through the first six games while the Leafs have gone 3-for-14.
I don’t tend to weigh special teams too much when handicapping games, it’s not an easy thing to project, but those numbers are certainly interesting considering that Boston finished with the No. 3 power play unit in the NHL in 2018-19.
- Game 1: Toronto (+124) at Boston (-134)
- Game 2: Toronto (+132) at Boston (-145)
- Game 3: Boston (+105) at Toronto (-115)
- Game 4: Boston (+105) at Toronto (-115)
- Game 5: Toronto (+130) at Boston (-140)
- Game 6: Boston (+115) at Toronto (-125)
- Game 7: Toronto (+125) at Boston (-135)
The odds for Game 7 are pretty much in-line with the market for Game 1, though Boston did get as high as -145 on home ice earlier in the series.
Handicapping Maple Leafs vs. Bruins
You are going to hear a lot of talk throughout the day about how the Bruins have been in this situation a lot over the years and how the Maple Leafs have a storied history of coming up short in big moments.
None of that matters now.
Sure, the Bruins defeated the Leafs in Game 7 last season and the Leafs did blow a 4-1 lead in 2013, but those results have nothing to do with Tuesday night’s contest.
In terms of style, these teams couldn’t be more different. The Leafs are an offensive juggernaut and will look to keep the game moving while Bruins will want to keep the game predictable and limit Toronto’s space and snuff out their speed through the neutral zone.
If this is a high-event game that should favor Toronto, if it’s a rock fight the edge goes to the home team.
I’m looking to get the Bruins at -132 or better, but if you are looking to bet this game for entertainment purposes, I am closer to a bet on Boston than I am to Toronto. I make the B’s a slight favorite on neutral ice and when you factor in home-ice advantage, I’d be OK with a “I’m going to watch the game, so I want to bet it,” style wager on the B’s.
Listed odds courtesy of the Westgate SuperBook and current as of 12 a.m. ET.