NHL Odds, Picks and Predictions: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Islanders Game 4 Preview (Sunday, Sept. 13)
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Brock Nelson, Anthony Beauvillier
Game 4: Lightning vs. Islanders Odds
|Lightning Odds||-148 [BET NOW]|
|Islanders Odds||+128 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||5.5 (+108/-132) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Sunday, 3 p.m. ET|
I was genuinely surprised that the odds for Game 4 got as low as they did on Saturday morning. At 9 a.m. ET, the Tampa Bay Lightning were down to -127 with the New York Islanders at +110.
Brayden Point’s murky status for Sunday afternoon had a lot to do with that price, but the Lightning closed at -143 on Friday night and are getting Alex Killorn back for Sunday, so it was befuddling to wake up to those odds.
Things have settled a bit throughout the day, with the Islanders ballooning up to +128 at DraftKings as of 3 p.m. ET.
How We Got Here
Tampa Bay played without Point in Game 3 and lost, 5-3, but the Bolts played pretty well and were on the wrong end of some bad hops and mistakes. The Lightning generated more expected goals, created more high-danger scoring chances and attempted more shots than the Islanders at 5-on-5 in Game 3.
Much like Tampa did in Games 1 and 2, the Isles got the better goaltending and were the more opportunistic team on Friday night.
We have a series now and oddsmakers don’t think there’s much between these two teams in Game 4.
The Lightning have been the better team in this series but I’m not sure we’ve seen either side play their best game yet. Tampa’s 8-2 win was jarring, but there was a lot of funk to that scoreboard. The Bolts were not as dominant as the Islanders were messy in Game 1.
The second game of the set played out more like a chess match, with the Lightning playing well-structured hockey down two men. Tampa frustrated the Islanders long enough to keep the game tied deep into the third and then break their hearts with a last-gasp winner from Nikita Kucherov.
Two of the three games in this series have been coin flips, with each team taking one of them. That’s a compliment to the underdogs, though they haven’t exactly played “Islanders Hockey” outside of Game 2.
The Islanders will need to manage the game better if they want to even up this series. After allowing just 1.89 expected goals against per 60 minutes through their first three series of this tournament, the Islanders are surrendering 2.97 xGA/60 in three games against Tampa (5-on-5, score-adjusted). That is a recipe for disaster, even if the Lightning don’t have Point.
The Islanders are averaging 2.56 xGF/60 themselves in this series, but the Isles aren’t built for this type of hockey. If things go off the rails in Game 4 it’s advantage Lightning.
|High-danger scoring chances||33||24|
Game 4 Betting Analysis
It’s hard to make a decision on this game without clarity on Point and Islanders’ fourth-line center Casey Cizikas. I’m not going to say Cizikas is anywhere near the player that Point is, but he’s an integral piece of the Islanders’ hard-to-solve puzzle.
New York’s bottom-six was really good without Cizikas on Friday but his absence takes away one of Barry Trotz’s biggest weapons — being able to roll all four lines throughout the game.
I have been impressed with the Islanders throughout the postseason and, at the time of writing, it looks like the Isles could have some value by the time we drop the puck on Sunday because I have a hard time seeing this line plummeting back to -130 for Tampa Bay again. If it does get there, I’d be in on the Bolts.
Assuming it doesn’t, I’ll be on the Islanders at +130 or better if Point is out and +140 or better if he’s in (check our live NHL Odds page to shop for the best number).