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NHL Maple Leafs vs Bruins Game 1 Betting Preview

High Scoring Series Expected at TD Garden?

Two of the best scorers in the NHL get set to duel starting in Saturday’s Maple Leafs vs Bruins game 1 betting matchup. Auston Matthews (107 points) and Toronto are series underdogs up against David Pastrnak (110 points) and Boston.

The Bruins are out to make things right after last year’s shocking first round exit against the Panthers after Boston won the President’s Trophy. Toronto also had their season ended by Florida, but they made progress in getting to the 2nd round of the playoffs for the first time in 19 years.

Why the Maple Leafs Have Value Saturday

Boston has to seem a little less intimidating in 2024 considering they set the NHL record for wins (65) and points (135) last year but were still eliminated in 7 games in the first round last year by Florida. That’s two straight first round exits by Boston so this team may have some serious postseason problems.

Matthews was his usual superb self this year, leading the league with 69 goals and adding 38 assists to finish 6th in points. Matthews has 10 goals in his last 10 games so he’s still got juice even after playing 81 games this year. Toronto as a whole had a top 7 offense in goals/game, shots, power play, and faceoff.

Boston had the league’s #5 scorer in Pastrnak, but they don’t have as much depth as Toronto. The Bruins were the #14 scoring team in the league and only fired off the 21st most shots. The Maple Leafs had four players score over 65 points this season while Boston only had two.

Why the Bruins Have Value Saturday

It can be embarrassing for any team to lose in the first round of the playoffs, but that’s especially true for a squad that set regular season records for success and was the favorite to win the Stanley Cup – as the Bruins were in 2023. While that was a gut punch in the moment, Boston can use that loss for momentum in 2024.

The Bruins may catch a break in Game 1 with Toronto dealing with some goaltender issues right now. In his last two starts Ilya Samsonov has allowed six goals to the Devils and five to the Red Wings – both at home and when the Leafs were -168 and -188 favorites. Some Maple Leafs are clamoring for Joseph Woll to start in net on Saturday but he’s allowed 4+ goals in three of his last five outings.

The Leafs may have a slight offensive advantage for Game 1 and the rest of this series, but Boston gets the edge on defense. The Bruins ranked 6th in the league in goals against and had a top 7 penalty kill team.

Free Maple Leafs at Bruins Game 1 Betting Pick

Boston being priced at just -130 for this contest does seem like a low number which raises some red flags, but the Bruins simply have too many intangibles on their side. Boston has the better goaltending on paper whether it’s Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman between the pipes and the Bruins are at home where they were 24-11-6 this year. Take advantage of a good price.

Free Pick: Bruins -130





Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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