The Boston Bruins will be gunning for their first playoff win on home ice in almost four years when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday in Game 1 of their first-round series as -150 favorites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston’s postseason home swoon dates to a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens as a -170 wager in Game 7 of their second-round series during the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Bruins’ struggles continued a year ago with three consecutive home losses in their stunning first-round defeat at the hands of the Ottawa Senators, saddling Boston with a dismal 4-8 record in its past 12 postseason clashes at TD Garden going into Thursday night’s Maple Leafs vs. Bruins Game 1 matchup.
Perched as -160 favorites on the NHL series prices entering their first postseason tangle with Toronto since 2013, the Bruins also must shake off a late-season slide that saw them post just one win in their final five regular-season contests, including two losses to Florida that denied them the top spot in the Atlantic Division standings and top seeding in the Eastern playoff bracket.
The Bruins surrendered four goals in three of their final five outings, including Sunday’s lackluster 4-2 loss to the Panthers as a -312 home bet. The defeat marked the fifth time the Bruins have allowed four or more goals in 10 home contests.
However, the Bruins have scored with regularity on home ice, tallying five or more goals on six occasions during a 10-1-1 run at TD Garden, producing a 7-2-3 record for the OVER in totals betting.
This series also has all the makings of a high-scoring affair after Toronto finished the regular season trailing only the Tampa Bay Lightning in goals scored. The high-powered Maple Leafs are coming off their best campaign in franchise history with 49 wins and 105 points, but travel to Boston trailing as +140 underdogs on the NHL series prices.
The Maple Leafs have had plenty of time to prepare for the postseason and recover from key injuries since clinching a playoff spot in late March but have struggled on the road since early February, falling to defeat in eight of their past 12 contests away from Air Canada Centre.
With just one win in their past eight meetings, the Bruins cannot afford to look past Toronto, which has attracted considerable attention as a +1100 wager on the Stanley Cup odds. However, the Bruins have also rocketed up the NHL futures, and currently trail only the favored Nashville Predators at +550 on those betting lines.
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