NHL Betting Preview (April 30): Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Game 5 Predictions

Is this the last stand of the Toronto Maple Leafs as we know them? All signs seem to point to yes, and they’re coming in hobbled and hurt. It’s not the fact that they’re losing this series to the Boston Bruins, it’s how they’re losing, and they’re running out of time to fix it. The Bruins have an opportunity to wrap the series up in five games tonight, and home ice is in their favour, so let’s look at what Toronto needs to do to keep this going.

Bet on Maple Leafs vs. Bruins GM 5

TOR +140
BOS -156

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The Maple Leafs are road underdogs, coming in between +132 and +145 on the moneyline.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Best Odds

Maple Leafs Moneyline Odds+145 @ Proline+
Bruins Moneyline Odds-156 @ TonyBet
Puckline oddsMaple Leafs +1.5 (-189) @ Pinnacle
Bruins -1.5 (+169) @ Pinnacle
Series oddsMaple Leafs +750, Bruins -1200 @ Bet365
Total Over 6.0 goals (+106) @ Pinnacle
Under 6.0 goals (-119) @ Pinnacle
Time/DateApril 30, 7:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: CBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports (French)
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Last Matchup

After a few days of Toronto media discourse about how part of the Game 3 loss was, inexplicably, on the fans for not being loud enough in key moments, the 19,256 at Scotiabank Arena were rocking to start Game 4, showing that they’d give their team every chance to win as long as they were given something to hope for.

This, unfortunately, was not reciprocated. The Maple Leafs fell behind with five minutes remaining in the first period following an awful turnover from Ryan Reaves, feeding James Van Riemsdyk for a scoring chance that suited all his strengths. In the second period, a Max Domi cross-checking penalty quickly turned into a Brad Marchand power-play tally, and Boston added yet another one of it’s last-minute goals with 42 seconds remaining in the frame, this time from David Pastrnak.

The Leafs looked as good as done by the time the third period came along, and only a garbage time goal from Mitch Marner gave the appearance of anything different. There was little push to the rest of their fight and the buzzer eventually put a dejected-by-this-point crowd out of its misery, and put the home team officially on the brink of elimination.

Betting Toronto Maple Leafs (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS, 1-2-1 o/u)

Once again, many of the same problems that have bogged the Leafs down have continued to inflict pain in this series. Most obviously, special teams let them down again, with the power play unit going 0-for-3 including another unsuccessful 4-on-3 stint, while they were only able to kill two of the three Boston power plays.

In this series, the Leafs are a putrid 1-for-14 with the man advantage, while Boston has gone 6-for-13. That’s a combined efficiency of a little over 60%, which is nothing close to enough in a playoff series. With the total goals in this series sitting at 14-7 in favour of Boston, and two of those goals being empty-netters, that special teams disadvantage is quite literally all the difference.

How much of that is systems, how much is personnel, and how much is luck? It’s tough to say. What’s certain though is that it needs to change Tuesday. The season, and frankly, jobs are on the line for a lot of people if they can’t find an adjustment and ride with it for a while.

Betting Boston Bruins (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS, 1-2-1 o/u)

Over on Boston’s end, they’re no doubt happy with the buffer they’ve built here. Stealing two wins from an opponent’s home arena is huge, especially after they took one from you. They’re on the other side of this special teams blowout and their goaltending has been a massive advantage for them.

In fact, that’s the big question I, and likely others have going into Tuesday – do they ride the hot hand, or do they go back to the tandem? The Bruins got a lot of criticism last year for not sticking to their 1A/1B formation and letting Linus Ullmark try to close out against the Panthers until it was too late and their – wait for it – 3-1 lead was blown. At the same time, Jeremy Swayman’s results against Toronto, both in this series and over his career, have been so spectacular that it’s tough to argue for taking the net away from him.

Projected Bruins and Leafs Lines

Today’s Toronto Maple Leafs LinesToday’s Boston Bruins Lines
Tyler Bertuzzi – Auston Matthews? – Max Domi
Matthew Knies – John Tavares – Mitch Marner
Calle Jarnkrok – Pontus Holmberg – William Nylander
Nick Robertson – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves

Morgan Rielly – Ilya Lyubushkin
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Joel Edmundson – TJ Brodie

Starting In Goal
Joseph Woll
PO: 0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 SV% (5 shots)
Season: 12-11-1, 2.94 GAA, 0.907 SV%
Jake Debrusk – Pavel Zacha – David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand – Charlie Coyle – Morgan Geekie
James Van Riemsdyk – Trent Frederic – Danon Heinen
Justin Brazeau – Jesper Boqvist – Pat Maroon

Mason Lohrei– Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Parker Wotherspoon

Starting In Goal
Jeremy Swayman
PO: 3-0-0, 1.34 GAA, 0.956 SV%
RS: 25-10-8, 2.53 GAA, 0.916 SV%

On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any major adjustments happening either way going into Tuesday. This can obviously change in the next few hours or even minutes.

The biggest wildcard here is the status of Auston Matthews, who is currently a game-time decision. Losing your best player when you’re already on the brink of elimination, needless to say, would be a troubling revelation for the Leafs.

William Nylander to score a goal


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Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Injury Concerns

The Maple Leafs are waiting to see how Auston Matthews is feeling over the next few hours. The team has noted that he is suffering from some form of illness and that it seems to only be getting worse with more physical activity. The fact that it’s stretched through more than a couple of days is raising a lot of eyebrows in Toronto right now, as is the fact that it’s slowed him down to the point of making him unavailable.

Matthews did come out before morning skate to get some reps in, though he didn’t participate in the actual practice, leaving the situation even more up in the air.

As of right now, Boston doesn’t appear to have any new ailments to report home.

  • The Bruins have won nine of their last 10 games against the Maple Leafs, dating back to February 2023. The lone exception is Game 2 of this series. Boston are up 7-3 against the moneyline in that stretch and the total goals over has hit in six of 10.
  • Boston is 6-4 in their last 10 games, splitting the puckline 5-5 and only clearing the total goals over twice.
  • The Maple Leafs are 3-7 in their last 10 games, with a 2-8 record against the puckline and a 6-3-1 record against the total goals line.
  • Auston Matthews co-leads the Maple Leafs in goals (six) and points (10) over their last 10 games while holding the outright lead in shots (54). Should he miss Game 5, John Tavares becomes their sole leader in the lineup for goals over that stretch, while Mitch Marner becomes the sole points leader.
  • Marner also leads the team in assists in that stretch, with eight. Despite the frustrations with him, the numbers haven’t been quite as bad as many are advertising.
  • On Boston’s end, it’s the Marchand and Pastrnak show. Marchand leads the team with five goals and 11 points in their last 10 games, while Pastrnak leads in assists (seven) and shots on goal (34).

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs Predictions

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