Bruins, Maple Leafs face off in matchup of NHL's top teams - Previews, Picks and Props!

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by Jake Cantrell

As somewhat of a parting gift before heading into All Star weekend, the final day of the season’s first half gives fans a matchup between the top two teams in the Atlantic Division, the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.

After a scorching hot start to the season, winning 21 of their first 25 games, the Bruins have come back down to earth a bit of late, surrendering points in 12 of their last 25 games including three straight losses heading into Wednesday. 

On the flip side, Toronto rides into the matchup in much better form, off the heels of a dominant 5-1 thrashing of the Washington Capitals for its third win in the last four games. The Maple Leafs rebounded from a slow start to the season with a hot month of November to climb to the third best record in the league heading into the break. 

When the two teams last met in mid-January, it was Boston’s Matt Grzelcyk who scored the game-winner with just over a minute left in regulation to claim a 4-3 win over the Maple Leafs.

While neither team heads into the matchup at its best, recent run of form definitely favors Toronto. However, Boston’s league best record still earns them the favor of most bettors on Tuesday, which shifted the line to now favor the Bruins. This could provide some value as the Maple Leafs, who opened as favorites on Tuesday, are now underdogs at +102. 

Perhaps the biggest factor in the game is home ice. With Toronto playing the host, the Maple Leafs will look to improve on their stellar 20-4-4 record at home, third best in the league. Meanwhile, the Bruins are on the tail end of a long road trip that has resulted in three straight losses. 

With the league-leading Bruins crawling to the All Star break on their coldest streak of the season and Toronto holding a dominant home record thus far, we’re calling for the upset on Wednesday. While conservative bettors can feel fairly safe taking the Maple Leafs with a +1.5 goal spread, we’re looking to cash in on a value pick with Toronto defending home ice and winning outright. 

Pick: Maple Leafs Moneyline

Over/Under: Under 6 Goals

Team Totals: Maple Leafs Over 2 Goals

Anytime scorers: David Pastrnak (BOS), William Nylander (TOR)

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