NHL best bets today (Trust Maple Leafs to bounce back in big way)

There’s no hiding it, after a terrific first round of the NHL Playoffs from a betting perspective, Round 2 has been a disaster. I’m 0-4 through the first four games. The good news is, I built up enough of a cushion in Round 1 that I’m still well inside the profitable line.

I’m sitting at 31-22-1 (+8.87 units) heading into tonight’s action.

Let’s try to bounce back as best we can tonight.

Best NHL bets for Thursday, May 3

  • Maple Leafs -1.5 (+130) vs. Panthers
  • Kraken/Stars OVER 5.5 (+110)

Maple Leafs -1.5 (+130) vs. Panthers

Despite what the final score said, the Maple Leafs largely dominated Game 1 against the Panthers. If you look at expected goals, the Leafs had the advantage, 4.46-2.47. An almost two goal margin.

Toronto also managed the most high-danger scoring chances amongst all teams in their opening game, totaling 20.

The only way the Maple Leafs continue to lose is if Ily Samsonov keeps playing at a subpar level and Sergei Bobrovsky continues to look like his 2016 self when he last won the Vezina Trophy.

But, I can’t see that happening. Regression is coming for Bobrovsky and Samsonov is poised to have a big game tonight after a below average performance on Tuesday.

Not only do the Leafs win, they win with margin.

Give me the Toronto puck line at +130.

Kraken/Stars OVER 5.5 (+110)

Despite a high-scoring Game 1, the total for this game is still set at 5.5 with the OVER juiced to plus-money. So, I’m going to go that direction in tonight’s pivotal Game 2.

It’s important to note that the Seattle Kraken were the best 5-on-5 shooting teams in the NHL this regular season, sporting a shooting percentage of 10.34% during 5-on-5 play. No other team had a 5-on-5 shooting percentage higher than 10%.

Let’s also take into consideration that Philipp Grubauer finally regressed to his usual self in Game 1, and I expect that level of play by him to continue. He had a save percentage of only .886 in the opening game of the series.

Let’s sit back and root for goals in tonight’s Western Conference matchup.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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