Maple Leafs or Lightning in Game 1 of 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Quinn Allen
By , Updated on: Apr 17, 2023 08:00 PM
Maple Leafs or Lightning in Game 1 of 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs?
  • What: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Toronto Maple Leafs - 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 1
  • Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
  • When: Tuesday, April 18th at 7:30 PM ET

Familiar foes clash in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Tampa Bay Lightning faces the Toronto Maple Leafs in a very intriguing series. Game 1 is scheduled for Tuesday evening in Toronto, with puck drop set for 7:30 PM ET at Scotiabank Arena. The season series was split with two wins apiece, but the Bolts did knock out the Leafs at this stage in six games last season. Find the Lightning vs Maple Leafs Game 1 picks below.

Before we get into the odds and prediction for Tuesday's encounter, make sure to check out our online sportsbook reviews, and the top NHL betting sites.

Lightning vs Maple Leafs Odds

Tampa Bay Lightning+137+135+135
Toronto Maple Leafs-152-160-155

The Leafs are expected to win Game 1 according to BetOnline with -152 odds. The Lightning comes back at +152. Toronto went 34-17 as a moneyline favorite during the season, while Tampa posted a 13-15 record an a moneyline underdog.


Tampa Bay might have taken a step back this year with a sixth-place finish in the very competitive Eastern Conference, but no team has had more postseason success over the last few seasons. The Lightning won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021 and came oh so close to capturing another in 2022, losing to the Colorado Avalanche in six games in the Finals. Tampa has so much playoff experience and will surely be confident as another hopeful Cup run begins.

This squad thrives most in front of net, scoring 3.41 goals per game, which ranks eighth in the NHL. Brayden Point went off in 2022-23, scoring 51 times and supplying 44 assists for a total of 95 points, but he had a teammate who was even better in terms of overall production. Nikita Kucherov had 30 goals and a mind-boggling 83 assists, playing all 82 games. Insane efficiency. Steven Stamkos and Brandon Hagel also finished with a minimum of 30 goals. You simply cannot count out Tampa Bay.

The Maple Leafs almost always look good in the season but then proceed to crumble in the playoffs. In fact, they've exited in the first round in each of the last six years. For a franchise with such history, it's simply not good enough. However, there is a feeling they can finally get over that hump and make a run out of the East.

Toronto, on paper, is a powerhouse. They have a true four-headed monster with Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and William Nylander. Both Matthews and Nylander had 40 goals each and also notched more than 40 assists apiece. Tavares and Marner? Just a combined 179 points. The offense runs through these four.

One question mark for the Leafs heading into this series could be netminder Ilya Samsonov. He actually had a rather decent season, but has been banged up over the last month. Plus, he's got just one win in seven career playoff starts. Nevertheless, Toronto will be absolutely fired up for Game 1 on home ice and are deservingly the favorite in the series after locking down fourth in the conference.

Lightning vs Maple Leafs Game 1 Picks

The Leafs thumped Tampa Bay 5-0 in the series opener last year. While it may not be such a lopsided scoreline, I expect Toronto to continue their winning ways, having collected victories in their final four regular-season outings.

Toronto Maple Leafs moneyline Vs Tampa Bay Lightning

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:

Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen leverages his broadcast journalism degree and passion for sports in his betting previews and analysis. Based in Kelowna, Canada, he has emerged as an expert voice with picks featured on OSB, MTS, SBD, and as a ClutchPoints editor. With a lifelong fandom of...

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