Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Series Odds, Bets

Written By Evan Scrimshaw on April 18, 2023
maple leafs odds

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs begin with one of the most anticipated series of the year, a rematch of last year’s first round between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs. With the Lightning coming off a third straight trip to the Stanley Cup Finals and the Leafs looking to finally break the curse and get out of the first round for the first time since 2004, Maple Leafs odds at sportsbooks make Toronto the favorite.

These teams went to seven games when they played in the first round last year, but with the Leafs loading up at the trade deadline, Toronto fans are quietly confident this might be the first time they see second-round hockey in the salary cap era. The puck drops for Game 1 on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sportsnet, CBC and ESPN.

Lightning vs. Maple Leafs Odds: To Win Series and Total Games

The odds above are as of Monday, with Maple Leafs odds converting to an implied probability between 60-64% for Toronto to win the series.

(Eastern Time)
Maple Leafs
Bet now
Bet now
Bet now
Bet now
Bet now
Bet now
4 Games
Bet now
Bet now
Bet now
5 Games
Bet now
Bet now
Bet now
6 Games
Bet now
Bet now
Bet now
7 Games
Bet now
Bet now
Bet now

Tampa Bay at Toronto: Game 1 Odds

Playoff History

The Lightning have made four Stanley Cup runs under this core – a Finals loss in 2015 to Chicago, before winning it all in 2020 and 2021 and losing to the Avalanche in 2022. They’ve made the Eastern Conference Finals two additional times, losing to Pittsburgh in 2016 and Washington in 2018.

The Leafs, on the other hand, lost to Washington in six in 2017, lost to Boston in seven in 2013, 2018, and 2019, before losing in five to Columbus in the COVID-Bubble required best of five qualifying round, and then losing in seven to Montreal in 2021 and Tampa in seven in 2022.

You could not have two teams less similar in terms of past performance, with Tampa Bay delivering at the highest stages consistently, versus a Toronto team that consistently fails to meet the moment.

2022 Series Recap

Last year, the Leafs had home ice advantage, as they do this year, but home ice was not very predictive in that series. The Lightning got a split of the first two games in Toronto, before Toronto came back and got home ice back in Game 3. From there, the home team won the next three games, before Tampa won a road Game 7 to eliminate Toronto.

The best thing for the Leafs to take from that series is they managed to get to a Game 7 and only lose it by one goal while being massively outplayed at goaltender. Jack Campbell gave them a .897 Save% in that series, against Andrei Vasilevskiy’s .922. Campbell cost the Leafs in Games 2, 4 and 6, and if he had been able to just play decently in any of those, the Leafs would have won that series easily.

Whether Tampa Bay can rely on as big a goaltending edge this year will be key to determining whether it can win again.


Toronto comes into this series with a 13-point advantage over Tampa Bay in the standings, only one regulation loss in their last 10 games, and with key midseason acquisition Ryan O’Reilly having found his spot in the lineup, with six points in his last five games after returning from an injury.

The Lightning on the other hand are 4-6 in their final 10 and have been limping through the end of the season. Jon Cooper has had to bench his star players for third periods of blowouts to get the team’s attention, but some of the late season malaise has been resting players to either get them healthy or keep them fresh.

There’s no case for the Lightning to be favored on the basis of their regular season output – Leafs are fourth in the league in 5-on-5 expected goal differential, whereas Tampa is 15th. In nets, Andrei Vasilevskiy has been worse this year than usual, posting a fairly pedestrian .915 Save% this year, a number beaten by Ilya Samsonov’s .919%.

The Lightning did get the kinds of offensive explosions from Nikita Kucherov (113 points), Brayden Point (51 goals) and Steven Stamkos (84 points) that they need, but the Leafs have four elite offensive forwards in Tavares, Nylander, Matthews and Marner. Tampa’s problem is its defense, which gave up the third-most 5-on-5 goals of any playoff team this season, while the Leafs gave up the fourth least.

There’s limited special teams advantages in this series – both Toronto and Tampa score on 26% of Power Plays, while the Leafs kill off 82% of their penalties, while Tampa Bay only kills off 80%.

Final Thoughts on Maple Leafs Odds

The Leafs should win this series.

They should have won last year too, if not for Campbell being unable to hit hockey’s version of the Mendoza Line or for the refs deciding to invalidate a Leafs goal in Game 7 for the hockey equivalent of the NFL’s pick play, something that is rarely called otherwise.

The thing about teams that are thought of as chokers is they’re choke artists until they’re not. The Leafs are too talented with their mid-season acquisitions to not be able to match up to Tampa Bay physically, and the fact the Leafs go three deep at center means the Lightning’s usual depth advantage isn’t there this year.

The Lightning’s advantage, as always, will be Vasilevskiy, and anyone who doesn’t think he can blindly rob Toronto of this series is lying to themselves. But Samsonov has been better than him this year, and even if you think that doesn’t survive first contact with the playoffs, Toronto doesn’t need Samsonov to be Vasilevskiy’s equal. Just don’t get beat so badly.

I believe the Maple Leafs will likely go back to Toronto for Game 5 with three shots at closing out this series, and I think they get it done in Game 5. That’s what I’ve bet, and as painful for a lifelong Leafs hater to say it, they should easily win this series and break the cap-era curse.

Game 1 Player Props: Maple Leafs vs. Lightning

Best NHL Playoffs Sportsbooks Promo Codes And Bonus Bet Offers

UP TO $1,250 BONUS
New User Bonus. T&Cs Apply.
DraftKings Promo: Bet $5 Get $200
PLUS $50 Bonus Bet On Deposit
PLUS Up to $1,000 Deposit Bonus
Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
To Claim: Click Bet Now
UP TO $1,250
On Caesars
Stream NFL Games In App For Free
+ Get 1,000 Caesars Reward & $1,000 Tier Credits
Redeem for Bet Credits, Hotel Stays, & More!
Use Promo Code: LEGALFULL
No Sweat First Bet
Up to $2,500 No Sweat First Bet
Available on iOS, Android & Desktop
To Claim: Click Bet Now
Bet $1
GET $200
In Bonus Bets
Bet $1, Get $200 Win or Lose
Sign Up, Deposit and Play Today in VA!
Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+ 
To Claim: Click Bet Now
Evan Scrimshaw Avatar
Written by
Evan Scrimshaw

View all posts by Evan Scrimshaw