NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Flyers vs. Islanders (Jan. 17)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Flyers vs. Islanders (Jan. 17) article feature image

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Keith Yandle

  • The Philadelphia Flyers have lost seven in a row, so it's no surprise that they are big underdogs against the New York Islanders on Monday night
  • Instead of backing a side, Jonny Lazarus believes the Over/Under is in play at UBS Arena:

Flyers vs. Islanders Odds

Flyers Odds+150
Islanders Odds-180
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After a minor resurgence under new coach Mike Yeo, the Philadelphia Flyers are back to where they were a few weeks ago, which is to say they are struggling big time.

Meanwhile, the New York Islanders remain inconsistent, though they have won three of their last four games.

The Flyers Are Searching for Answers 

The Flyers have lost seven games in a row, but their last three defeats came by a combined three goals, so perhaps some better results are on the horizon. Even so, the silver linings are quite dim for this team, which has now endured two separate seven-game losing streaks this season.

Philadelphia's statistical portfolio suggests that it is one of the worst teams in the NHL. Only two teams (Coyotes, Sabres) have a worse expected goals rate than the Flyers (44.3%) and Philadelphia's -0.8 goal differential per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 is the eighth-worst mark in the circuit.

The biggest issue for the Flyers is on defense, where they rank last in expected goals (2.8) and high-danger scoring chances (13.2) per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. The offense, which is 18th in shots on goal per game, 25th in power play percentage, 26th in high-danger chances per 60 minutes and 26th in goals per game, isn't doing enough to pick up the pieces.

Goaltending used to be Philadelphia's biggest flaw, but that script has changed this season. In fact, you could say that the Flyers would be much lower down the table if it wasn't for Carter Hart and his +4.5 Goals Saved Above Expected. Hart's 7-12-4 record isn't all that impressive, but when you note that he's playing behind the worst defense in the league, it becomes understandable.

The Islanders and Flyers are playing a home-and-home, so it's possible Hart sits Monday and plays at home on Tuesday, so keep an eye on the team news. Hart's deputy, Martin Jones, has skated to a -0.1 GSAx and .909 save percentage (SV%) in 14 appearances this season.

Who Are the Islanders?

The Islanders have only played 30 games this season and have not played with a fully healthy squad seemingly all season. You can't completely count this team out of the playoff picture just yet, but the math isn't in their favor at the moment.

The Isles are coming off a 2-0 loss to Washington on Saturday, which brings to light their inconsistent offense. New York ranks 30th in the NHL in goals per game (2.23) and 22nd in high-danger chances created per 60 minutes (10.4).

No matter who Barry Trotz goes with in goal, the Islanders should have the advantage. Not only are the Isles the better defensive team, but Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov are both in good form. Sorokin has been consistent all season with a +6.5 GSAx and a .925 save percentage, while Varlamov struggled in the early part of the season but has only allowed three goals in his last three games.

Flyers vs. Islanders Pick

With the Flyers desperate to get off the schneid and the Islanders clinging to hopes that the season isn't lost, I think this could be a tight game.

Betting the under in a Flyers game is nobody's idea of a fun time right now, but the Islanders don't have the offensive firepower to take advantage of Philadelphia's biggest flaw and — as long as Hart gets the nod — the goaltending matchup should be strong, no matter who plays for the Isles.

Pick: Under 5.5 -130

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