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Leafs Become Heavy -290 Favorites to Advance After Taking 3-2 Series Lead Over Bruins

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in NHL Hockey

Apr 20, 2019 · 9:41 AM PDT

Toronto Maple Leafs
Morgan Rielly and the Maple Leafs are one win away from advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Photo by Michael Miller (Wiki Commons).
  • The Maple Leafs can eliminate the Bruins in game 6 after a 2-1 win in game 5
  • 78.8% of NHL teams who have won game 5 in a series tied 2-2 have gone on to advance to the next round
  • Is there value betting Boston to overcome a 3-2 series deficit?

The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the verge of slaying their playoff nemesis. After a grimy 2-1 road win in game 5, the Leafs are just a win away from eliminating the Bruins and advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Not surprisingly, Toronto is a massive favorite to win the series now that they’ve taken a 3-2 lead, but are their series odds justified?

Maple Leafs vs Bruins Series Odds

Team Series Price
Maple Leafs -290
Bruins +240

Odds taken 04/19/19.

The Leafs and Bruins have alternated wins and losses through the first five games, with each team scoring and surrendering 14 goals.

History is Not on Boston’s Side

Historically, the team that’s won game 5 in a series tied 2-2 has proceeded to advance to the next round 78.8% of the time. The Bruins have been a playoff team eight times this decade, and only once have they overcome a 3-2 series deficit after dropping game 5.

They’ve already proven they can win in Toronto, so getting a victory there Sunday to force game 7 is certainly possible, but to do so they’ll need to perform better 5-on-5.

The Leafs Have Dominated Even Strength Play

The Leafs have been the far superior team 5-on-5 this series, controlling the play and limiting the production of Boston’s big three. Through five games, the Bruins’ number one line has produced just seven even strength points, while Fredrik Anderson has registered a .945 save percentage during 5-on-5 play.

Boston has been able to stay competitive thanks to their powerplay, which has produced the second most goals so far this postseason. If the Bruins can’t convert more even strength chances this series won’t make it back to Boston, and Patrice Bergeron and the boys will be booking much earlier tee times than most experts expected.

Toronto’s Time is Finally Now

Leafs nation has waited 15 years to see the blue and white advance to the second round of the playoffs, but fortunately for them they won’t have to wait much longer.

Sure, Boston has owned Toronto in the playoffs this decade, but the Leafs were playing from behind in both of those series and were lucky just to force a game 7. This time around, Boston is the one facing elimination and Toronto has been excellent at closing teams out. The Leafs hold an all-time series record of 19-5 when leading a best-of-seven 3-2 and I bet this is the year they finally overcome the Bruins, and move on to the second round.

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