NHL Playoff Thursday Picks May 2, 2024

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by OddsCrowd Analysts

NHL Thursday Picks, 5/2

With Tuesday night featuring four elimination games in the Stanley Cup playoffs and three of them coming to fruition, tonight features just a single game on the ice. However, it’s arguably the most anticipated series of the first round between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins, and we’ve provided our best bets below.

NHL Thursday predictions

  • Bruins money line over Maple Leafs (-105)
  • Under 5.5 total goals (-105)
  • Brad Marchand to record an assist (+105) 

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs best bet: Bruins money line (-105)

Following Tuesday night’s loss, Bruins fans may be getting some flashbacks, and they may label them as nightmares. Despite having a record-setting season in 2023, they were bounced from the Stanley Cup playoffs in the first round by a different Atlantic Division team - the Florida Panthers.

That too was after grabbing a 3-1 lead in the series, which they also had over the Maple Leafs. The most concerning part was the fact that they were on home ice and Toronto superstar Auston Matthews wasn’t even on the ice.

However, a change of scenery and getting away from the pressure of the Boston faithful may be exactly what the Bruins need for tonight’s Game 6. Although the overtime loss on Tuesday was a heartbreaker, they have still been the better team throughout this series, and Jeremy Swayman is still standing on his head.

Let’s also not forget that it’s been the Leafs who have collapsed in the postseason for two decades now, winning just one playoff series since 2004. Toronto kept things exciting but look for Boston to close it out tonight.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs over/under bet: Under 5.5 goals (-105)

When it comes to the total for Game 6, it’s no surprise to see it listed at just 5.5 goals. Despite having some serious firepower on both sides, the goaltending has certainly stepped up.

We already mentioned the stellar play of Swayman for Boston, and the Leafs have done their part in keeping this series low-scoring as well. Three of the five games have finished with fewer than six goals, and that same trend was seen in the regular season. In four meetings between these rivals, three of them finished with just five goals scored.

Bruins vs. Maple Leafs player prop bet: Brad Marchand to record an assist (+105)

The man to help the Bruins finish off the series and advance to the second round should be Brad Marchand. The new captain after Patrice Bergeron’s retirement this past offseason has been absolutely incredible against the Leafs in the opening round.

He’s always been known as one of the biggest pests in the NHL, but he’s also lighting up the box score. In the five games of this series, he’s recorded a whopping eight points. Many remember his magnificent two-goal Game 3, but five of those eight points have been assists.

In fact, he had an assist in each of the first four games of the series. Of course, it certainly helps given the fact that he skates alongside David Pastrnak, who took the second-most shots on goal this season. Marchand also had the Leafs’ number in the regular season, recording four assists in four games against them. All that adds up to a Bruins victory led by the play of Brad Marchand.

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