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Maple Leafs a Good Bounce-Back Bet vs Blue Jackets

Pierre-Luc Dubois #18 of the Columbus Blue Jackets scores his second goal of the night against Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

You couldn’t have drawn up a worse result for the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3 of their postseason qualification series with Columbus. The Leafs are now in win-or-go-home mode as they host the Blue Jackets in Friday’s Game 4, one night after blowing a three-goal lead en route to a gut-wrenching 4-3 overtime defeat.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Date/Time: August 7, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Scotiabank Arena
  • TV Coverage: HNIC, NHLN, FS-O
  • Opening Odds: Maple Leafs -156 | O/U 5.5 (Line History)
  • Maple Leafs vs Blue Jackets Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Maple Leafs haven’t lost oddsmakers, who installed them at -156 favorites; that number has settled in between -145 and -150 in most spots. The total is solidified at 5.5, with the UNDER at -132.

Toronto News & Notes

This is going to be a difficult result to bounce back from – Toronto held a 3-0 lead just past the midway point of the second period, only to watch the Blue Jackets even the score while thoroughly outplaying the Maple Leafs over the final 28 minutes of regulation. Defensive miscues were plentiful in OT, capped by a giveaway that led to a Pierre-Luc Dubois goal on a partial breakaway.

A key to extending this series to a fifth and deciding game will be Auston Matthews’ return to form. While the Leafs did generate plenty of scoring chances, Matthews struggled to get much going as he finished with an assist, two shots on goal and a minus-1 rating in 27-plus minutes. Matthews’ goal prop is a decent play, particularly with the team facing elimination Friday.

Columbus News & Notes

So the Blue Jackets finally figured out their offense – or at least, one of their players did. Dubois erupted for three goals in what is clearly the biggest victory of Columbus’s season to date. And that’s not the only encouraging sign for the Blue Jackets, who skated circles around the Toronto defense over the final half of the game en route to a 43-shot performance.

But while Columbus is in the driver’s seat, it wouldn’t hurt for the Blue Jackets to do a little damage with the man advantage. The Blue Jackets have misfired on nine power-play opportunities in the series, and are one of only four teams in the postseason still looking for their first PP goal. They’ve been much more effective on the penalty kill, giving up just one goal in eight chances.

Betting Pick: Maple Leafs

Both teams will be exhausted after playing nearly 79 minutes the night before, but Toronto is still the superior offensive team and will do what is necessary to shake up the defense following Thursday’s dismal showing.

Shark Bites
  • Columbus is 10-4 in its last 14 games vs Atlantic Division foes.
  • The OVER is 15-5 in Toronto’s last 20 games vs Metropolitan Division opponents.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Columbus’ last 6 games.