Tuesday NHL Picks: How We’re Betting Islanders vs. Flyers & Golden Knights vs. Canucks
Dave Sandford, NHLI/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan Reaves
- New York Islanders moneyline. Las Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone to score. Vancouver Canucks moneyline.
- Our crew of NHL betting analysts explain why these are their three favorite picks for Tuesday night's playoff slate.
The Boston Bruins became the first team to be eliminated from Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday night. They could have some company by the end of play on Tuesday.
The Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks each need to win on Tuesday to extend their stay in the bubble and the odds are against both of them. The Flyers are short -103 underdogs in their Game 5 encounter with the New York Islanders, while the Canucks are much more dramatic underdogs against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Here are our favorite bets for Tuesday’s NHL two-fer:
Michael Leboff: New York Islanders (-114)
- Odds available at DraftKings [Bet Now]
- Puck Drop: 7 p.m. ET
It is a bit surprising that the market has moved towards Philadelphia ahead of Game 5. The Flyers did put together a strong effort in Game 4, but they still lost their second game in a row, and the Islanders have controlled play for most of this series and they have been one of the most impressive teams in the playoffs.
These two teams are basically equals on paper so the odds were never going to get out of hand, but I did expect that the Islanders would see some early movement considering their form.
New York is 10-3 in the postseason and everything under the hood checks out. The Islanders have a +12 goal differential at 5-on-5 and boast a +0.65 expected goal differential per hour during their 13-game run.
|High-danger scoring chances||50||38|
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.
There were some encouraging signs from the Flyers in Game 4 but I would need a bigger number than this to play Philadelphia against the Islanders. It’s hard not to be impressed with New York’s overall body of work since the playoffs started and it’s hard to ignore that Game 4 was the first strong game from the Flyers in some time.
The price on the Islanders has ticked up since Game 1 of this series, but I don’t mind paying up since these odds are still palatable. It isn’t every day that you can get a team that has won 10 out of 13 games in the postseason at -114 odds.
I think the Isles are playable at -120 or better.
Sam Hitchcock: Mark Stone to score (+188)
- Odds available at DraftKings [Bet Now]
- Puck Drop: 9:45 p.m. ET
If Vancouver could suppress Vegas’s William Karlsson line, which has Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty as wings, it might be able to win this series. But the Canucks have not even come close to tamping its effectiveness.
The Karlsson line can do it all. It can forecheck and strike off the rush. On entries, the puck-handler can leave the puck for a cross-and-drop or be patient and look to make a seam pass to the off-wing. The Golden Knights’ first line has accrued 37 shots on goal in 38 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time. It has an expected goals of 67.06%. In Game 4, it launched 12 shots and tallied two goals. Pacioretty also added a goal on the power play.
At +145 to score in Game 5 on DraftKings, Pacioretty is a tempting option. As a sniper he is going to put rubber on Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom, and Pacioretty’s linemates will feed him early and often.
But Stone to score at +188 has a little more value. After a pinch by Vegas’s Brayden McNabb forced a turnover Sunday night, Stone nearly stuffed a puck past Markstrom. Stone can take something commonplace like a successful pinch and often find paydirt.
As the dominant puck-handler on the line, Stone also has the volition to call his own number. If the Canucks try to take away his passing lanes on odd-man rushes or the man advantage in Game 5 – which seems probable – he will be the one challenging the goaltender with the initial shot.
A bet on any player from the Karlsson line is worthwhile, although in my estimation, Stone is the preferred choice.
Pete Truszkowski: Vancouver Canucks (+200)
- Odds available at BetMGM [Bet Now]
- Puck Drop: 9:45 p.m.
The Golden Knights have done exactly what everybody expected them to do. The Knights have dominated the Canucks for the most part and are now one game away from a trip to the Western Conference Finals.
Vegas is setting the pace in the second round in shot share and expected goals rate. The Knights are second in high-danger scoring chance percentage.
Despite the discrepancy in shot attempts and shot quality, the series has seen some close games and tight situations. Vancouver played well in Game 2 and won. The Canucks held a lead deep into Game 4.
Vancouver has three paths to victory: a great goaltending performance from Jacob Markstrom, a display of talent from their elite guys such as Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, and their powerplay. They showed this through forty minutes of Game Four on Sunday.
I thought the lines in the first few games of the series were a little high. Vancouver as a +170 underdog in Games Three and Four was tempting. However, in Game Five, we can get Vancouver at +200 (BetMGM).
This is a no-brainer for me. Vancouver has a great goaltender and has elite top-end talent. This is also an elimination game for Vancouver so it’ll be hard for Vegas to match their desperation levels.
At +200, it’s implied that Vancouver has a 33% chance of forcing a Game Six. I think that’s way too low. I would bet the Canucks at any price better than +180. It won’t be fun, it won’t be pretty, but sit back and pray.