NHL's Eastern Conference Best Bets for Thursday

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes both have a chance to move onto the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight with a victory.

Below, you can look at both Eastern Conference games on tonight’s NHL slate and at some of our best bets on the FanDuel Sportsbook.

Carolina Hurricanes (+105) vs Boston Bruins (-126) Total: 6 (O+100/U122)

The home team has held serve in every game so far in this series, which points to the Bruins tonight as the series shifts back to TD Garden one last time. Boston outscored the Hurricanes 9-4 in two home meetings, which are the only two games they’ve been able to solve Carolina this season. Playing a factor is the matchup advantage as the home team, with Bruce Cassidy able to exploit certain lineups where the Bruins have a distinct edge over Carolina.

Putting the “perfection line” back together is one of those advantages and the Bruins did a masterful job of using the trio at home. The leader of the line in this series has been Brad Marchand, who was otherworldly against the Hurricanes on home ice, with eight points in the two contests. With the Bruins on the brink of elimination, there are too many veterans on this team for them to go quietly. Expect them to force a decisive Game 7 and do so by multiple goals like we’ve seen in both Bruins victories in this series.

Best Bets: Bruins puckline -1.5 (+188)

Toronto Maple Leafs (+110) vs Tampa Bay Lightning (-132) Total: 6.5 (O-115/U-105)

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in an all too familiar spot tonight, where they’ll have a chance to eliminate a team for the second postseason in a row. The Leafs had the Montreal Canadiens on the brink last year before losing three straight games and they’ll have the same opportunity tonight against the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Game 5, where they trailed 2-0 after the first period before ultimately coming back and winning 4-3, was an indication they may be ready to take that leap. Prior Maple Leafs teams wouldn’t have achieved that and there’s definitely a feeling around this group that is much different than years past.

With that being said, the Lightning won’t be an easy out, especially at home which is why we should expect another tight game. Even though we did see a killer instinct from the Leafs team in Game 5, it’s going to be hard to send the Lightning golfing, and the Leafs will likely have to wait until Game 7 to do so.

Best Bets: Lightning moneyline (-132)