Claus Andersen/Getty Images
The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to complete a remarkable comeback against the Boston Bruins. They are solid road underdogs at the sportsbooks for Game 7 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series on Wednesday. The Maple Leafs trailed the series 3-1 before winning the last two games by a combined score of 7-4, the last being a 3-1 victory at home on Monday.
NHL betting line: The Bruins opened as -150 favorites (wager $150 to win $100); the total is at 5.5 goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
NHL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 3.4-2.2, Bruins (NHL picks on every game)
Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.
Why the Maple Leafs can pay on the NHL lines
Heading into this series, Toronto had won seven of the previous eight meetings with Boston, according to OddsShark’s NHL database. So it was more surprising to see the Maple Leafs get outscored 12-4 in the first two games on the road before bouncing back with a 4-2 win in Game 3 at home.
The key for the Maple Leafs all season has been how well goaltender Frederik Andersen performs, and he came through with 32 saves in Game 6 to pull them even. In their three wins in this series, Andersen has stopped 114 of 120 shots (.950 save percentage). If he can stay dialed in here, Toronto can pull off another road upset, like Saturday in a 4-3 victory at TD Garden, and move on to the second round.
Why the Bruins can pay on the NHL lines
One thing about the playoffs is that you can blow a 3-1 lead, win a Game 7 and pretend like almost nothing dramatic happened. That is the case for the Bruins, who have played like they did at the end of the regular season, when they had a few opportunities to win the Atlantic Division title but allowed the Tampa Bay Lightning to edge them out.
Boston is a veteran team that simply needs to put the last two games in the rear-view mirror and focus on winning a home game to advance. The Bruins had one of the best home records in the NHL during the regular season (28-8-5) and will lean on that in an effort to close out the Leafs on Wednesday.
Smart betting pick
Toronto has all the momentum in this series, although that can be easily taken away with a strong start by Boston in Game 7. Lost in the shuffle of Game 6 was a good effort by Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, a former first-round pick of the Maple Leafs in 2005 who could be the difference-maker.
Bettors should definitely trust Rask more in this situation than Andersen and take Boston to win another close game at home.
NHL betting trends
Toronto is 4-8 in its last 12 games on the road.
The total has gone over in eight of Toronto’s last 10 games on the road.
Boston is 4-10 in its last 14 games against Toronto.
All NHL odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.