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Favorite to win Lightning vs. Maple Leafs series in first round of 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Bolts and Maple Leafs face off in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We break down the odds for their matchup.

Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates to the attack against the Detroit Red Wings during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on April 26, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

A hockey dynasty goes up against a cursed team in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Tampa Bay Lightning face the Toronto Maple Leafs. And despite winning two straight titles under COVID-19 altered schedules, the defending champions enter as an underdog against the second-highest scoring offense in the NHL.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Toronto: -120
Tampa Bay: +100

The Pick: Tampa Bay +100

Is this a joke? Are we just allowing people to double their net worth without consequences now? The Bolts did a spectacular job mailing in long stretches of the regular season, likely pacing themselves after two exhausting Stanley Cup wins the last two years. But they threw it into high gear two weeks ago, kicking off their push with an 8-1 win over .. (checks notes) .. the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Putting the Lightning as an underdog implies they are what they appeared to be over the first 76 games. But that was a team playing in second gear knowing they’d need to leave as much in the tank as possible for when it matters. And now that it does matter, expect plenty of championship experience to shine through.

Auston Matthews is a tremendous player, and the Leafs had a terrific season. But Jack Campbell has never won a playoff series, and Andrei Vasilevskiy has won eight in a row.

Bolts for the mortgage.

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