Toronto wins. Tampa Bay wins. Toronto wins. Tampa Bay wins. An interesting, and so-far predictable pattern has broken out between these two teams with each team winning once on the road and once at home, sending the first-round series back to Toronto tied at two Tuesday night.
Back home, the Maple Leafs are slight -125 favorites to win the game on the moneyline with the Lightning +100. If the win/loss trend continues, Leafs bettors in Ontario will surely go home happy.
Tampa Bay has been borderline unbeatable after a loss over their past three playoff seasons, but with the Lightning winning the last game 7-3, that trend is irrelevant in this game. With goals from the first, third and fourth lines, Tampa Bay got almost everyone going offensively, proving coach Jon Cooper right that he didn’t think scoring against Toronto would be an issue.
The Ontario sports betting over-under for the game is currently set at 6.5 with the over favored at -120. Based on the past few games this would seem to be the play but plus money on a 6.5 line is very enticing especially with the solid goalie matchup in this game.
Leafs-Lightning Series Schedule
- Game 1, May 2 in Toronto: Leafs 5, Lightning 0
- Game 2, May 4 in Toronto: Lightning 5, Leafs 3
- Game 3, May 6 in Tampa: Leafs 5, Lightning 2
- Game 4: May 8 in Tampa: Lightning 7, Leafs 3 (series tied 2-2)
- Game 5: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. in Toronto.
- Game 6: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. in Tampa.
- Game 7: If necessary, Saturday, TBD, in Toronto.
Will Defense Show Up?
Both teams’ coaching staffs won’t be happy with the offense allowed over the past games so both teams should bring their top defensive game in front of their goalies as well.
Toronto has also spread out the offense nicely, with the top duo of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner still leading the way, though they had only one point between them in Game 4. William Nylander was the offensive star for Toronto with two goals after a quiet start to the series.
The forward depth has also pitched in offensively, with Ilya Mikheyev and Pierre Engvall both having three points and David Kampf producing two goals through four games. Despite these strong performances, for Toronto to get the win it will assuredly need Matthews and Marner (six points each in the series) to get back to finding the scoresheet. Captain John Tavares also will need to get going as he hasn’t scored a goal and has just two points for the series.
Time for Goalies to Come Up Big
Perhaps more important than any other matchup in Game 5 will be the matchup between the goalies, Jack Campbell for Toronto and Andrei Vasilevskiy for Tampa Bay. Both goalies have a near identical GAA of just over 3.50 for the series.
Campbell was terrific in Game 1, pitching a shutout, but has been mediocre since and got pulled after allowing five goals on 16 shots in Game 4. With the offense that Tampa Bay has, giving it any momentum is costly. That was evident in Toronto’s two losses as the Lightning added to their leads quickly in both games. In the other net is reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Vasilevskiy, who has an uncanny ability to win big games.
Current Stanley Cup Odds
Other Wagers to Consider
As always, NHL bettors will be heavily invested in this playoff game featuring their favorite team.
In addition to the -125 odds to win on DraftKings Sportsbook Ontario, the Leafs can also be found at +185 to cover the spread of 1.5 goals, meaning they would need to win by two or more for bettors to cash, or they can be bet to win in regulation at +120, but then any win that comes in overtime would qualify as a losing bet.
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