NHL Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Islanders vs. Flyers Game 7 (Saturday, Sept. 5)
The Philadelphia Flyers are 16/1 to win the 2021 Stanley Cup. Credit: Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images.
- The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers battle on Saturday, Sept. 5 in Game 7 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series.
- The Islanders have let the Flyers hang around to force a Game 7 but remain the favorites heading into the final game of the series.
- Check out a full breakdown of the game with betting odds and picks below.
Game 7: Islanders vs. Flyers Odds
|Islanders Odds||-137 [BET NOW]|
|Flyers Odds||+118 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
The New York Islanders played one of their strongest games on Thursday night. The Isles outshot the Flyers, 51-33. They won the expected goals battle, 4.26 to 2.12 in all situations and 2.66 to 2.07 at 5-on-5. Plus, they created 17 high-danger scoring chances, while only allowing nine.
On most nights, the Isles would win that game. But weird stuff happens in hockey and Philadelphia goaltender Carter Hart proved to be the difference in an otherwise one-sided contest.
Philadelphia’s Black Magic
That’s sort of been the story of this series. The Islanders have yet to lose a game in regulation and have been the better team at 5-on-5, yet they let the Flyers hang around and force a Game 7.
The Flyers proving to be incredibly opportunistic in this series as any mistake the Islanders make seems to end up in the back of their net.
Philadelphia pulled a similar stunt against the Canadiens in Round 1. The Flyers somehow won that series in six games despite only scoring seven goals at 5-on-5 against the Habs.
The Flyers have been better offensively in this series, scoring 15 goals, but they’re still having some trouble creating scoring chances. Philadelphia is averaging 2.14 expected goals and eight high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes against the Isles.
The Flyers are taking what the Isles give them and hoping that Hart can make it stand up at the end of the game.
|High-danger scoring chances||82||56|
Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.
Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.
xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.
Barry Trotz’s Defense Is Still Clicking
The Islanders have allowed nine goals in the last two games, but New York’s defense has largely done its part. The Islanders are one of the best teams in the league at keeping teams to the outside and they’ve been able to do that against a Flyers team that has struggled to consistently generate chances.
Philadelphia has averaged 2.08 expected goals and 7.9 high-danger scoring chances in its last two wins, so it’s not like the Flyers are beating down the door. The Islanders could stand to tighten up and limit some mental mistakes, but the Isles’ much-ballyhooed defense is still worthy of praise.
Dance with the Fella Who Brought Ya?
There’s no goalie controversy in Philadelphia. Carter Hart has been superb throughout the tournament and No. 79 will be in the blue paint Saturday night.
It’s a different story for the Islanders. Barry Trotz has leaned on Semyon Varlamov for most of the tournament, but he has been outplayed by Hart. Varlamov was really good through the first two rounds of the playoffs, but he’s lost two games in a row and hasn’t had his A-Game since the beginning of this series.
The Islanders have one of the league’s most reliable backup goalies in Thomas Greiss, who is a Game 7 option. Greiss was superb in New York’s last win, which came on Sunday.
I expect Trotz will play Varlamov, but I view both goalies as equals.
Series Betting History
The Flyers opened this series as slight favorites, but the market quickly turned as it was clear that the Islanders were a threat. By Game 3, the Islanders were favored. They were -137 (55.8% implied win probability) when their heads hit the pillow on Friday night.
Odds via DraftKings
A big reason for the jump in price between Games 5 and 6 is that Philadelphia’s best player and No. 1 center Sean Couturier missed Game 6. It is unclear if Couturier will be back for the finale. If Couturier is back, expect the price on Philadelphia to come down.
One thing to keep in mind for this game is that it could generate a massive handle by NHL standards. One of the biggest gambling events on the planet —the Kentucky Derby — is airing on NBC right before Game 7. I wouldn’t be shocked if a lot of bettors stick around and throw some money at the hockey game after the “Run for the Roses.”
Game 7 Betting Analysis
I’m really interested to see where this number stops. I can’t imagine the Isles will continue to see much betting enthusiasm at -140, so I do think if you’re looking to bet the Flyers you should probably get your bet in sooner rather than later.
The Islanders have been the better team and the Flyers are lucky to be in this spot, but this number is too high. The Islanders started this series as slight underdogs and now find themselves as high as -140 for Game 7. That’s quite a jump, even if the Flyers are missing Couturier.
Most of the time the betting market overreacts to injury news, but Couturier’s absence is a big deal. He is one of the game’s best two-way centers and would be tasked with handling Mat Barzal’s line on Saturday night. Barzal, Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle were all over the place in Game 6.
Scott Laughton has filled in admirably as the No. 1 center, but Philadelphia doesn’t have the depth down the middle to make up for Couturier’s absence. With Laughton, Kevin Hayes, Derek Grant and Nate Thompson the Flyers are basically rolling out a good second-line center (Hayes), two third-line pivots (Laughton and Grant) and a replacement-level grinder (Thompson) in a Game 7.
I am skeptical that Couturier will play, but you just never know in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so I’m going to wait until the picture is clearer on Saturday. Here’s how I’d play it:
If Couturier is out I’d play the Islanders up to -130 (54.3% implied probability). Conversely, I’d play Philadelphia if they got to +130.
If Couturier is in I’d play the Islanders at -125 (53.3%) and the Flyers if they got to +125.