Buy or Sell: Toronto Maple Leafs to Win the Eastern Conference
The Toronto Maple Leafs are putting together another tremendous regular season, but do they have what it takes to conquer their playoff demons?
It’s no secret that the narrative surrounding the Maple Leafs is that they’re a team that can find success in the regular season but can’t rise to the occasion in the postseason. There’s an element of “I’ll believe it when I see it” with Toronto in the playoffs, but they have put together some trends that should make you bullish.
Below, we’re going to look into the Maple Leafs’ current odds to win the Eastern Conference on the FanDuel Sportsbook and decide if there’s any value in what their odds are offering.
The answer to that question won’t be known until the Maple Leafs take the ice in the Stanley Cup Playoffs opening round. There’s reason to believe they’ve made strides toward conquering their playoff issues, but the core has remained relatively unchanged. That might make bettors pause when considering the Maple Leafs in the futures market, but if you look close enough, it’s evident their star players have had a different mindset and approach to games heading into the All-Star break.
When referencing their mindset, we’re talking about their willingness to play a more defensive structure, which has been evident as they sit sixth in goals allowed per game. Head coach Sheldon Keefe has emphasized a defensive focus, preparing the team for a seven-game grind, which could pay off in April and May.
What’s interesting about Toronto is that they’re essentially locked into their first-round playoff matchup. With the Boston Bruins comfortably atop the Atlantic Division, the Maple Leafs, and Tampa Bay Lightning are more than likely to meet in the playoffs for the second consecutive year. The Lightning advanced to their third straight Stanley Cup Finals last season after trumping the Maple Leafs in Game 7, but this could be the year where things change. The Lightning don’t have the cap space or assets to make any sizable moves ahead of the NHL’s trade deadline, while the Maple Leafs could potentially make a move. Adding a scoring winger should be a priority for Toronto, knowing their offense has dried up in big games during the playoffs.
The Maple Leafs are priced at +550 to win the Eastern Conference, which are the third-shortest odds behind the Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes. There’s too much talent on this roster for them not to get over the hump. They’ll be doubted until they finally win their first playoff series with this core, and this feels like the appropriate season where they can take advantage of a Lightning squad that may run out of gas. As a result, we like the value that the Maple Leafs present to win the Eastern Conference. It starts with one playoff-round win, and the Leafs are well-positioned to get it this season.
Buy or Sell: Buy the Maple Leafs’ odds to win the East at +550