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Morning Coffee: A look at the Maple Leafs odds to win a playoff series at FanDuel

Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs Sheldon Keefe - Getty Images

The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin in exactly 33 days.

As of this morning, there’s still a lot to be decided.

Can Patrick Roy’s New York Islanders claw their way to a playoff spot in a crowded Eastern Conference race?

A 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes last night left the Islanders three points back of the Detroit Red Wings for the final Wild Card with a game in hand.

Patrick Kane played hero for the Red Wings last night with the overtime winner to cap a three-point outing in a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The NHL playoff races in both conferences have the potential to give us some serious fireworks down the final stretch.

While last night’s results were important to some teams, at least one NHL fan base has already made the switch to counting down to the start of the postseason without much to gain until then.

Good morning, Leafs Nation.

Let’s agree to forget about last night’s 4-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

It is what it is.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are sitting comfortably in third place in the Atlantic Division with 15 games remaining.

They’re 10 points clear of the ninth seed in the East.

They’re also too far back of the competition to consider a run at the Presidents’ Trophy or a division title.

The most likely scenario for the Maple Leafs is a third-place finish in the Atlantic, which would set up a date with either the Boston Bruins or the Florida Panthers in the first round of the playoffs.

“We want Florida” – Part II?

Leafs Nation has been waiting nearly a full year for their team to get an opportunity at redemption.

We’re just 33 days away from finding out whether this year’s team will be up to the challenge.

Now, it’s something you can bet on in Ontario.

FanDuel recently published a market that allows bettors in Ontario to wager on how far the Maple Leafs will go in the playoffs.

Based on the current odds, I’d wager that most of Leafs Nation won’t be impressed by what FanDuel thinks about Toronto’s chances to make a deep postseason run.

This is the Morning Coffee for Wednesday March 20th, 2024.

A Look At The Maple Leafs Odds To Win A Playoff Series At FanDuel

We’ll get to FanDuel’s odds that the Maple Leafs will win a playoff series in just a minute.

Before we do, let’s establish a few fundamentals.

First, the traders at FanDuel publish odds that they believe are the most accurate representation of the team’s chances based on the data they review.

Second, those odds are then put to the test as the FanDuel traders react and adjust their numbers based on the action that they take in each betting market.

If a number is off, we’ll see a market correction.

For example, if $10 million is wagered on the Stanley Cup winner market, and $9 million of that money is bet on the Maple Leafs, then you can expect to see Toronto emerge as the favourite to win the Stanley Cup.

The bottom line: betting markets provide a very accurate representation of the overall perception of the public often.

As of this morning, the Maple Leafs are the 10th choice to win the Stanley Cup at 15-to-1 at FanDuel.

For perspective, the Maple Leafs were 9-to-1 to win it all entering the playoffs last April.

So, not good.

Let’s focus on something a little more realistic.

Will Toronto win a playoff round?

According to FanDuel, the most likely scenario is the “Maple Leafs to win 0 playoff rounds”.

However, the implied probability that Toronto loses in the first round isn’t very different than the probability that the team will win a playoff round.

Let’s look at the actual numbers.

The Maple Leafs to win 0 playoff rounds is -120.

Those odds mean the traders are giving Toronto losing in the first round a 54.5 per cent implied probability.

Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs to win 1+ playoff rounds is currently -108 at FanDuel.

That number represents a 51.9 per cent implied probability.

Again, there really isn’t a significant disparity between Toronto’s chances to advance to the second round compared to a first-round playoff exit.

Also, that could change over time depending on where the money is wagered in that market.

The disparity is much more significant when it comes to the first two options versus the Maple Leafs chances to win two or more playoff rounds.

FanDuel set Toronto’s odds to reach the Eastern Conference Finals at +300.

That number represents a 25 per cent implied probability, or a one-in-four chance.

While FanDuel considers it far less likely that the Maple Leafs make it to the Eastern Conference Finals versus winning their opening playoff series or losing in the first round, that seems reasonable considering they might have to beat both Florida and Boston to get to the third round.

Toronto is +700 to win the Eastern Conference.

In terms of implied probability, FanDuel gives the Buds a 12.5 per cent chance to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.

The Panthers (+310), Carolina Hurricanes (+340), New York Rangers (+490) and the Bruins (+550) are the four teams with shorter odds to win the Eastern Conference.

Finally, the Maple Leafs are 15-to-1 to win the Stanley Cup – a 6.3 per cent implied probability.

Regardless of past failures and any current doubts, Toronto is still a top-10 choice to win it all at FanDuel.

While I’m not interested in betting on the Maple Leafs to win the Eastern Conference or the Stanley Cup Finals, I have considered a play on “Maple Leafs to win 0 playoff rounds at -120”.

I’d lean to either Florida or Boston in a first-round playoff series versus Toronto, and I’m not sure right now that either team wouldn’t be greater than a -120 favourite in that match-up.

With 33 days remaining until the playoffs start, it’s certainly worth taking a quick look at FanDuel’s playoff specials.

With nothing to gain the rest of the way, Maple Leafs fans are already counting down to the start of the postseason.

For Leafs Nation, the hope is that they won’t be disappointed again once they get there.