Last Updated May 12, 2022, 6:28 PM

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Picks, Predictions, Odds

The Toronto Maple Leafs will face the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. on Thursday night for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a best-of-seven series. The Maple Leafs lead the series 3-2. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on TBS.

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Score Prediction

Lightning 3, Maple Leafs 2

Best Bet

Lightning -114
Under 6.5 (-105)

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TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING PREDICTIONS

The Toronto Maple Leafs have pushed the Tampa Bay Lightning to the brink of elimination following a comeback performance in Game 5, seizing a 3-2 series lead. The Leafs fell behind early, as Steven Stamkos struck for an even-strength goal just 5:19 into the game, and Victor Hedman followed up with a power-play mark just 52 seconds later to quiet the crowd.

The struggling John Taveras was clipped by a William Nylander slapper on the power play, deflecting in a goal to slice the lead in half early in the second. That's how things stayed until 3:01 of the third period when Morgan Rielly was left all alone, connecting for the game-tying goal from Taveras and Nylander to blow the roof off of Scotiabank Arena. Nylander responded with a clapper at 4:14 to take the lead. It was short-lived, as Ryan McDonagh scored a rare playoff goal to knot things up 3-3. However, it was superstar Auston Matthews putting the Leafs back up for good at 13:54, as Toronto moved within one win of scooting on to the second round for the first time since 2004.

It won't be easy for the Leafs, of course. Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy has been money following a postseason loss since 2020. In fact, he is 16-0-0 with a 1.41 GAA, .945 SV% and five shutouts following a loss in the playoffs. That's pretty amazing, and sounds like we might be right back in Toronto on Saturday for a decisive Game 7.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING BETTING ODDS

Maple Leafs +105
Lightning -114
Maple Leafs +1.5 (-250)
Lightning -1.5 (+200)
Over 6.5 (-115)
Under 6.5 (-105)

More Odds Futures Odds

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Thursday, May 12, 2022
  • Matchup: Atlantic vs. Atlantic
  • Venue: Amalie Arena
  • Location: Tampa, Fla.
  • TV-Time: TBS, 7:30 p.m. ET

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 57-23-7
  • ATS: 41-46
  • O/U: 49-31-7

The Maple Leafs offense struck again in Game 5, although it took a little while for them to get going. If they lose this series, though, which would mean the final two games, no one could point to a power outage on offense. The Leafs have scored three or more goals in all five games of this series, and that's against a two-time champion goaltender in Vasilevskiy. That's impressive. In fact, Toronto is averaging 4.0 goals per game, lighting the lamp 20 times through the first five games.

Superstars Mitch Marner (2 G, 5 A) and Matthews (3 G, 4 A) have been much maligned for disappearing in the postseason in the past, but they're front and center in terms of the team's success to this point in these playoffs. Rielly (2 G, 3 A) and Nylander (3 G, 2 A) have also been nice secondary options.

Jack Campbell has managed a 3-2-0 record with a 3.41 GAA and .895 SV% so far in these playoffs with one shutout, but that's still been better than Vasilevskiy by a whisker.

Toronto is 12-4 in the past 16 games when working on a day of rest, but all trends can be tossed out the window. This is a team which hasn't won a playoff series since 2004, and a Stanley Cup since 1967. So the pressure is ratcheted up, and you have to fade the Leafs until they prove they're not the same failing team in the postseason.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 52-25-8
  • ATS: 39-46
  • O/U: 46-37-2

The Lightning are facing an elimination game, which is a little shocking for the two-time defending champs. It's well publicized how Vasilevskiy has helped this team bounce back after a postseason loss, but is the fire still burning brightly? Or is the team fat and happy after winning two Cups in the past two seasons? We'll find out a lot about this team in Game 6.

Tampa Bay is still 6-2 in the past eight playoff games when favored, and 46-21 in the previous 67 overall as a favorite. However, they're also just 5-12 in the previous 17 games overall this season when facing a team with a winning percentage over .600, for which the Leafs certainly qualify.

On totals, it's all OVER all the time for the 'Ning. They're 17-5 in the past 22 games overall, and 7-1 in the past eight at Amalie. In addition, the OVER has hit in four straight in this series, while going 4-0 in the past four when Tampa Bay is favored, too.

The Lightning turn to Andrei Vasilevskiy to help them force a Game 7 vs. the Leafs. (Getty Images)

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING CONCLUSION

We have a lot of storylines going on here. The much-maligned superstars of the Maple Leafs are finally coming through, and they're just one win away from advancing to the second round together for the first time in their careers. Overall, Toronto is on the verge of a trip to the second round, something we haven't seen since 2004.

We also have the two-time defending champions on home ice in an elimination game. Will they be vanquished by their Original Six counterparts, or will they be prideful and force this baby back to Toronto for Game 7? I tend to roll with the champs, as they're tried and true, and not a team with a rich history of failure and disappointment.

What I expect to be different in this game is that the scoring will be down a skosh, as nerves might set in a bit on the Toronto side, while Tampa Bay won't want to take a lot of chances, leading to odd-man rushes the other way, either. The Lightning might play it close to the vest, and the Leafs might do so, too. Playing against the OVER is dangerous here, as that's the dominant trend for both teams. But you have to figure defense will come into play at some point in the series, right?

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS vs. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING BETTING TRENDS

  • Maple Leafs are 12-4 in the past 16 games on a day of rest.
  • Lightning are 6-2 in the past eight playoff games as a favorite.
  • Lightning are 5-12 in the past 17 vs. teams with a win pct. over .600.
  • OVER is 4-0 in the past four Eastern QF games for the Maple Leafs.
  • OVER is 21-4-2 in the past 27 road games for the Maple Leafs.
  • OVER is 9-1-1 in the past 11 as a road 'dog for the Maple Leafs.
  • OVER is 6-1-1 in the past eight as a 'dog for the Maple Leafs.
  • OVER is 17-5 in the past 22 games overall for the Lightning.
  • OVER is 7-1 in the past eight home games for the Lightning.
  • OVER is 7-1 in the past eight as a home fave for the Lightning.
  • OVER is 4-0 in the past four as a favorite for the Lightning.
  • OVER is 4-0 in the past four meetings.
  • OVER is 5-0 in the past five meetings in Tampa.
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