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Morning Coffee: Bruins open as slight favourite against Maple Leafs at FanDuel


Here we go, again.

For the fourth time in 11 years, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins will clash in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It will be their first postseason meeting since the Bruins knocked the Maple Leafs out of the playoffs in the first round in back-to-back seasons with Game 7 wins in both 2017-18 and in 2018-19.

In fact, Boston has won each of the previous six playoff series versus Toronto dating back to 1969 – one of only four teams in NHL history to win six consecutive playoff series against one opponent.

For the Maple Leafs and their fans, all that matters now is what happens next.

The Bruins opened as a small favourite to win the first round series at -120 odds at FanDuel.

Toronto is even-money to advance to the second round.

All things considered – last night’s results represented the best-case scenario for the Maple Leafs in terms of how the Eastern Conference playoff bracket is set up.

This is the Morning Coffee for Wednesday, April 17th, 2024.


Bruins Open As Slight Favourite Versus Maple Leafs At FanDuel

The Florida Panthers trailed the Bruins by a single point for first place in the Atlantic Division entering last night.

If the playoffs had started on Tuesday, Toronto would have faced Florida in the first round of the playoffs.

At least on paper, that would have been considered a much tougher match-up.

The Panthers are the second choice to win the Stanley Cup at FanDuel at +700.

Only the Carolina Hurricanes (+650) have shorter odds.

Of course, part of that equation is the fact that Florida ultimately finished in first place in the Atlantic Division.

Still, Boston is currently 13-to-1 to win the Stanley Cup at FanDuel – nearly an identical price to Toronto at 14-to-1.

That match-up wouldn’t have been possible if the Ottawa Senators didn’t pull off the upset win over the Bruins as a +195 moneyline underdog last night in Boston.


Five NHL playoff series are set, with the final three Western Conference matchups still to be determined.

Of the five matchups that are already locked in, the Maple Leafs and Bruins are considered the most even on paper, with Boston only a narrow -120 favourite to win the series.

The Panthers are -176 to win the latest installment of the Battle of Florida against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Lightning are +146 to advance to the second round.

Meanwhile, the Washington Capitals clinched the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with back-to-back upset wins in Boston and Philadelphia to close out the regular season.

Their reward is a first-round series against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers in the most lopsided series on paper in terms of the betting odds.

The Rangers are a monster -375 favourite.

That number represents a 78.9 per cent implied probability that New York will advance.

The Capitals are +290 to pull off the series upset.

Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes are a -350 favourite to beat the New York Islanders in the final Eastern Conference playoff series.

The Islanders are +275 to advance to the second round.

In the Western Conference, only one playoff series is set in stone.

The Colorado Avalanche are -138 to beat the Winnipeg Jets in the first round.

Winnipeg is currently +115 to pull off the series upset.

It will be very interesting to see how the remaining Western Conference series play out, especially in the Pacific Division where the most likely scenario is a first-round matchup between the Edmonton Oilers and the Vegas Golden Knights.

We’ll have plenty of time in the coming days to review futures bets for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

As for this morning, it’s time for another FanDuel Best Bet focused on tonight’s action.

Last night, the Senators cost me a 2-0 sweep with their upset win over the Bruins.

Fortunately, the Los Angeles Lakers took care of business against the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA Play-In Tournament at plus-money.

I’m sticking with the NBA for my FanDuel Best Bet for tonight’s games.

I’ll take the Philadelphia 76ers -4.5 against the Miami Heat.


The 76ers were one of the hottest teams in the NBA down the stretch with eight straight wins.

Joel Embiid’s return has completely changed the dynamic of this team, which added Buddy Hield and Kyle Lowry at the trade deadline to bolster their depth in anticipation of the return of their MVP centre.

Nobody is overlooking the Heat after what they did last season, but the 76ers are a much better team than a No. 7 seed with Embiid in their lineup, and I like them to take care of business at home tonight.

I’ll take Philly -4.5 as my FanDuel Best Bet for tonight’s NBA Play-In Tournament action.