It’s hard to believe that at this late stage of the season, only 1 team has punched their Stanley Cup playoff ticket and only 1 team has been officially eliminated. Math aside, it’s already clear that there are several other teams who will certainly be in the postseason, as well as another bunch who will be watching the action from the comfort of their home couch.
The one team that is officially in and ready to roll is the Tampa Bay Lightning, which is no real surprise given how dominant they have been all season long. The goal for this team now is to get to the end of the season without losing any of their key players to injury, and since it also looks as though they have the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference locked up, they can afford to be creative in how they assign ice time coming down the final stretch. The Lightning will start this week on the road in Toronto against a Maple Leafs team that will also be in the postseason. They are trying to secure a solid seeding and are favored by 1 ½ in this one, with the O/U set at 6 ½.
Lightning vs Maple Leafs NHL Week 24 Odds, Preview & Pick
- When: Monday, March 11 at 7 PM EST
- Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
- TV: ESPN+
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- NHL Week 24 Odds: Tampa Bay Lightning -115 (Total 6.5)
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Lightning?
At this late stage of the season, there is almost zero doubt that the President’s Trophy for the best record in the NHL will be landing in Tampa Bay at the end of the regular season. The Lightning has already amassed 108 points and is showing no real signs of slowing down, winning 8 of their last 10 games.
They have a 15-point lead over the Bruins in the Atlantic and are 19 points up on the Maple Leafs, so a loss here is not going to hurt them at all. It was the Leafs who picked up the road win the last time that these two met, but Tampa were winners of 3-straight over Toronto prior to that loss. The Lightning is an impressive 23-7-2 on the road this season and is 13-19 ATS in road games.
- Goals: 3.86
- Shots: 32.16
- PP/PK Percentage: 28.76
- Goals: 2.62
- Shots: 32.17
- PP/PK Percentage: 14.54
Why bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Realistically, the Maple Leafs are in a very comfortable position and are guaranteed to finish no worse than 3rd in the Atlantic, unless of course they totally collapse. They can move up, though, as they are within 4 points of the 2nd place Boston Bruins.
It’s all about securing a decent seeding in the Eastern Conference at this stage, with a top 4 berth securing home-ice advantage in the opening round. Surprisingly, the Leafs have a better road record than they have at home, although they are still a respectable 21-12-1 in their own building. Their current form is not that bad either, going 6-2-2 in their last 10 games. Against the spread, the Maple Leafs have gone 16-18 in home games.
- Goals: 3.59
- Shots: 32.28
- PP/PK Percentage: 22.73
- Goals: 2.84
- Shots: 33.00
- PP/PK Percentage: 19.77
Lightning vs Maple Leafs NHL Week 24 Betting Trends
- Tampa Bay is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
- Tampa Bay is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Tampa Bay’s last 10 games on the road
- Toronto is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
- Toronto is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Toronto’s last 7 games at home
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
This is a tough one to call, but I am going to take Toronto to win a close one. The last two meetings between these teams have gone UNDER, so perhaps expect more of the same.
Score: Tampa Bay Lightning 2 – Toronto Maple Leafs 3