Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press
The Toronto Maple Leafs (43-22-7) will look to extend their winning streak to five games on Tuesday when they visit the Atlantic-leading Tampa Bay Lightning (49-19-4) as road underdogs. The Maple Leafs begin a tough two-game road trip against the two top teams in the NHL at Tampa Bay while the Lightning have already clinched a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
NHL betting line: The Lightning opened as -149 favorites (wager $149 to win $100); the total is at six goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).
NHL betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 4.0-1.8, Maple Leafs (NHL picks on every game).
Why the Maple Leafs can pay on the NHL lines
Toronto plays just four road games in its last 10 games of the season but has to take on Tampa Bay and the Nashville Predators this week before returning to the Air Canada Centre for a three-game homestand.
The Maple Leafs will find out what they are made of here, as they have lost two of the first three meetings with the Lightning, with the lone victory (4-3) taking place at home on February 12. While Tampa Bay owns one of the best home records in the league, the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators both won there recently.
Why the Lightning can pay on the NHL lines
The Lightning are still looking to clinch the division title and have two games remaining versus the Bruins (one at home and one on the road). They also host Nashville in the final week of the season and only lead Boston by four points in the Atlantic.
In other words, Tampa Bay cannot afford to lose games like this down the final stretch, and Sunday’s 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers showed the team means business after getting blanked 3-0 by Boston at home on Saturday. Expect another strong effort.
Smart betting pick
These teams could meet at some point in the playoffs, so each of them will want to leave a lasting impression in the final regular-season meeting. But Toronto has not been nearly as good away from home at 18-14-5 and lost 4-3 on the road to the Lightning on February 26.
The good news for the Maple Leafs is that the visitors have won five of the past seven meetings in this series, according to the OddsShark NHL Database. While Tampa Bay might in fact be the better team, look for Toronto to pull off the upset.
NHL betting trends
Toronto is 4-1 in its last five games.
The total has gone under in four of Toronto’s last six games against Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay is 10-3 in its last 13 games.
All NHL odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.