Leafs vs Lightning Game 3 Odds, Pick, and Prediction
The Tampa Bay Lightning head back to Amalie Arena in a 1-1 series with the Toronto Maple Leafs. With a venue change, comes a change in the NHL Playoff odds. Tampa Bay is now listed as home favorites in the Leafs vs Lightning Game 3 odds after being pegged as underdogs in the first two games of the series. The Lightning are 27-11 in their last 38 playoff games as a favorite.
Let’s take a look at the Leafs vs Lightning Game 3 odds from BetMGM as we make our best prediction for this Atlantic Division rivalry.
Leafs vs Lightning Game 3 Odds
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+100||+1.5 (-250)||O 6.5 (+100)|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||-120||-1.5 (+195)||U 6.5 (-120)|
Odds are courtesy of BetMGM
Ontario online sports betting markets list the Leafs at -105 on the moneyline. For the cheeky Ontario sports bettors, users can find the Leafs to win by 2 or more at +225.
Toronto Maple Leafs Betting Outlook for Game 3 NHL Playoffs
Toronto certainly took a step back in the Game 2 of their NHL Playoff series against Tampa Bay. In Game 1, Toronto boasted a 4.92 expected goals rate, but in Game 2 that number slid down to 3.07. Shockingly enough, the main offensive production came from the Nylander-Kampf-Engvall line. Even though Marner did score, he had just a 0.19 expected goals rate.
I expect the Matthews line to return to better form in Game 3. Auston Matthews scored a hat-trick in his most recent road game against Tampa, so it’s safe to say he’s comfortable playing at Amalie Arena.
Jack Campbell was tested a lot more in Game 2. He faced 24 shots in Game 1 and 34 shots on Wednesday night. Campbell’s Goals Saved Above Expected rate dropped from 1.39 to -0.63. I think Campbell played better than his average game in Game 1 but worse than his average game in Game 2. I think bookmakers are expecting Campbell to have a better performance in Game 3, which is why BetMGM Ontario lists the Over 6.5 at +100 in the Leafs vs Lightning Game 3 odds.
If the Leafs want to take a lead in this series they need to stay out of the box considering Tampa went 3-for-7 on the powerplay on Wednesday night.
Tampa Bay Struggles in Game 3’s at Amalie Arena
Tampa Bay did a complete 180 on Wednesday night by absolutely dominating the Leafs in almost every facet of the game. However, the Lightning return home for Game 3, which is territory they are unfamiliar with since they’ve had home-ice advantage in almost every playoff series over the past three years.
Whether it is unfamiliar territory or not, these are waters the Bolts prefer not to swim in. Tampa Bay has not won a Game 3 of an NHL Playoff series at home since 2015, losing four straight.
VA 👏 SY 👏 pic.twitter.com/xfiliSNoIv
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) May 5, 2022
Andrei Vasilevskiy had a much better Game 2. His Goals Saved Above Expected went from -0.3 to 0.07. Hockey fans in general hold Vasilevskiy to a pretty high standard, but I think these are the numbers to expect from him. The Lightning have been susceptible to high danger chances, Toronto just got in their own way yesterday for two periods.
The Lightning were very productive in Toronto on Wednesday night, which is why we are seeing them as short favorites in the Leafs vs Lightning Game 3 odds despite being the higher seed. The biggest surprise was the offensive output from the Maroon-Bellemare-Perry line, which was arguably their best trio in Game 2.
Leafs vs Lightning Game 3 Pick & Prediction
I don’t feel confident picking a side because we’ve seen inconsistencies from both teams. The Eastern Conference has been tough to handicap in the NHL Playoffs, a perfect example would be New York. The one thing bettors can count on in this game is goals, which is why my Leafs vs Lightning Game 3 pick is Over 6.5 at +100.
Going back to last year, the Lightning have won six straight outscoring opponents 22-4. However, the two teams they played in these six contests were the Habs and Islanders. Two squads that do not produce nearly as much offense as Toronto and rely on their goaltenders (Sorokin & Price). I think this narrative will flip.
Since December, when Jack Campbell allows 4+ goals in a Toronto loss the over is 8-1 in the next game. Those nine games averaged 8.7 total goals. Not to mention, the over is 5-1 in the Lightning’s last six as a home favorite.
For these reasons, I’m rolling with Over 6.5 at +100 in the Leafs vs Lightning Game 3 odds. Be sure to shop around for the best prices. PointsBet Ontario, BetRivers, and Caesars Sportsbook are all offering NHL Playoff game odds.
Pick: Over 6.5 (+100) 1 unit
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