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Leafs vs Bolts is a Must-Win For Both Teams

With a playoff berth on the line, it can be argued that this game between the Bolts (+135) and Leafs (-165) is the most important of the entire NHL season to date. The Lightning need to win out if they want any chance at sneaking into the postseason and it all starts tonight. If the Leafs handle their business and get two points, however, Tampa will be eliminated and both the Buds and Senators will clinch a spot in Lord Stanley’s playoffs.

SHARK BITES
  • The Maple Leafs are 6-0 SU in their last 6 games at home against teams with losing records.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 3 of the Lightning's last 4 games against the Maple Leafs.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the Lightning's last 8 games with 1 day off between games.

The big question heading into tonight’s penultimate matchup between the Bolts and Leafs this season is whether or not Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will be able to suit up for the first time since November. Stammer has been on the questionable list for over a week now and it’s starting to look doubtful that he makes a return before the 2017-18 season. If he does come back tonight, though, don’t pencil Tampa into the postseason. When Stamkos returned in last year’s playoffs, in Game 7 of the Bolts’ Eastern Conference series vs the Penguins, he played just under 12 minutes, earned no points and lost 62 percent of the faceoffs he took.

I’m not saying that the Lightning will be a worse team with their captain back in the lineup but it’s been proven time and time again how hard it is to get back into game shape in the NHL after a long hiatus.

Toronto has more than enough motivation for this game tonight and I’m predicting the young Buds take it. They already have the 2-1 edge in the season series with the Lightning – winners of the last two meetings – and Tampa has been defeated in two straight division matchups.

If -165 value doesn’t turn your crank, roll the dice on the Leafs’ puckline that’s paying +170 at Bovada.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

NHL Hockey odds makers at Bovada had the Toronto Maple Leafs as -155 moneyline favorites in this betting matchup. Those over under betting saw the line open at 5.5 at BetOnline.

Handicapping models based on recent betting stats and prediction formulas pick a 3.2-2.2 win for the Maple Leafs. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Toronto Maple Leafs sport a record of 39-25-15 heading into this matchup, while the Tampa Bay Lightning sit at 39-30-10 on the season. The OVER/UNDER records are 36-41-2 for the Maple Leafs and 36-36-7 for the Lightning. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Toronto vs Tampa Bay injuries news.

The Lightning - Maple Leafs odds would favor the Lightning if the lines were set according to our power ranks. Toronto is rated No. 8 in the current Odds Shark poll, while Tampa Bay is at No. 2.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Toronto Maple Leafs No. 5-ranked offense (3.08 goals per game) against a Tampa Bay Lightning defense that ranks No. 17 at 2.81 goals per game allowed. The Maple Leafs powerplay has clicked at a 24.68% rate while the Lightning have a 80.8% rate on the penalty kill.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Last time out for Tampa Bay, they were a 4-0 loser as they battled the Bruins on the road. Moneyline bettors who got the Bruins at -168 were rewarded, while the 4 combined goals moved the game UNDER for totals bettors.

In their last action, Toronto was a 4-1 loser at home against the Capitals. Bettors on Washington at -150 on the moneyline collected their winnings from that game, while the total score (5) sent UNDER bettors home happy as well.

Betting Trends
  • Tampa Bay is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Tampa Bay's last 9 games
  • Tampa Bay is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Tampa Bay's last 6 games on the road
  • Toronto is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Toronto is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
  • Toronto is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games at home
  • Toronto is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Tampa Bay at Montreal, Friday, April 7th
Toronto home to Pittsburgh, Saturday, April 8th

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