- The Tampa Bay Lightning are early underdogs against the Toronto Maple Leafs for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
- Tampa Bay has lost eight of their last 11 games but has advanced past the first round in the last three seasons.
- Toronto has gone 2-1 against the Lightning this season and have +425 odds to win the series 4-3 but have not won a series since 2004.
TORONTO – The Tampa Bay Lightning are starting their Stanley Cup pursuit as series underdogs against the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second straight season. Toronto will also start the series with home ice for the second year in a row, as they try to win their first playoff series since the 2004 season.
First Round NHL Odds
- Toronto Maple Leafs -150
- Tampa Bay Lightning +130
While the Tampa Bay Lightning have won the Eastern Conference for the last three straight seasons, online sportsbooks in the US still favor the Leafs to knock TB out. Toronto currently has the second shortest odds at +525 to win the East and TB has +750.
Past Lightning Eastern Conference Pre-Season Odds
- 2023: +1200 (TBD)
- 2022: +700 (winner)
- 2021: +900 (winner)
- 2020: +675 (winner)
Maple Leafs Depth Helps Betting Odds
The Maple Leafs have added much more depth to their squad than they had when they lost to TB last season in the first round last season. Veteran defenseman Luke Schenn was one of the biggest additions to the team and the former Lightning player scored against Tampa Bay during their matchup last Tuesday.
Toronto beat the Lightning in Tampa Bay with a score of 4-3 while resting Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, while having the third string goalie Joseph Woll in net. The Lightning started all of their players for this game and managed to break their season record of shots on goal (48) but could still not beat Toronto.
The tight game in Tampa last Tuesday could point towards another seven game series, as sportsbooks with Stanley Cup futures have odds for the exact outcome of the first round battle, including +200 odds for the series to be decided in seven.
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Series Correct Score Odds
- Toronto Maple Leafs 4-0 +1000
- Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 +1200
- Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 +475
- Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 +750
- Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 +450
- Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 +475
- Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 +425
- Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 +525
More Lightning Playoff Magic?
The Lightning have lost eight of their last 11 games, with only one game remaining on the 2022-23 regular season against the Detroit Red Wings at home. Andrei Vasilevskiy has a 2.65 GAA this season, which is the highest number that he has recorded since joining the NHL with the Bolts.
Before betting against Tampa Bay, it is important to remember that they were also the underdog for the series against Toronto last year but came out victorious. Unlike last year, TB will have Brayden Point in the lineup for this series, who has recorded a personal record of 48 goals on the season.
The Leafs have gone 2-1 against the Lightning this season but playoff hockey always clears the slate.
Ben has always been a huge sports fan who loves to keep up with all things NBA and NFL. He is a Editing, Writing, and Media major at Florida State University and enjoys spending his free time watching sports and hanging out.