Sunday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils Betting Preview

Sunday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils Betting Preview article feature image

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Mathew Barzal.

  • The Islanders are road favorites against the Devils on Sunday in Newark.
  • New York has found its identity again of late, while New Jersey can't seem to avoid giving up goals.
  • Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup and makes his pick for the game below.

Islanders vs. Devils Odds

Islanders Odds-160
Devils Odds+135
Time4 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The New Jersey Devils managed a shocking four-goal collapse on Saturday against the Panthers, but they'll have the opportunity to immediately shake it off and bounce back with a win over the visiting Islanders.

Can the Devils get right here against some more manageable competition here?

Devils Defense Continues To Be Subpar

There's a lot to like about the play of a number of the Devils' top young forwards play of late, but the results remain consistently poor.

New Jersey has managed to lose seven of the last 11 contests despite playing to what appears to be a very reasonable 50.52 expected goals rate over that span.

However, I wouldn't necessarily argue that means we should see positive regression in terms of results coming for New Jersey. Even control of the play is simply not enough to cover up for league worst goaltending.

Nico Daws should get the start here between the pipes. He has been the Devils' best option so far this season, although he has still played to a lowly -7.6 Goals Saved Above Expected rating, with a .894 save percentage in 19 games this season.

Beyond the poor goaltending, I do continue to feel that New Jersey holds some softer defensive play in front of goal, which is not entirely reflected in expected goals data. What you really need to know is that New Jersey continues to allow a ton of goals.

Islanders Finding Their Successful Identity

Contrary to the Devils, I would actually argue that at times the Islanders defensive play can reflect more poorly in expected goals data than entirely deserved.

Specifically in previous seasons under Barry Trotz, I would have made that argument, which is a big reason as to why I feel so many of the goaltending options used found so much success.

Of late, I feel we are starting to see the Islanders play to the identity built in previous years under Trotz a little more. Friday's 3-0 win over the Rangers was a clear testament to that.

New York has quietly been on a 10-3-1 tear and enters this one in the midst of a three game winning streak.

A 48.55 expected goals rate suggests regression should come, and I'm sure it will to an extent. To the eye, though, it's clear this group is supporting its goaltenders more than the Devils have. The Isles also possess far better options between the pipes, which is the clear reason for their superior results compared to the Devils, which is something I expect to continue.

Ilya Sorokin remains day-to-day, and it's unclear if he will return here. Semyon Varlamov has been strong in his absence of late, so I'm not making my pick for this game dependent on either starting.

Varlamov owns a +1.1 GSAx rating with a .918 save percentage in 43 games, while Sorokin has played to a +9.0 GSAx with a .927 save percentage.

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Islanders vs. Devils Pick

Regardless of how the Devils play, pucks simply seem to find their way into New Jersey's goal at a wildly high rate. It'll be hard to outscore another shaky goaltending performance here against an Islanders team that's showing more of the defensive prowess its reputation entails.

The Islanders have played on par with the playoff team's in the Eastern Conference for a relatively large sample size now. They enter this one in the midst of some more strong form.

New Jersey will be urgent to bounce back after Saturday's embarrassing defeat, but I think too many things need to go right for New Jersey to win this contest that we have not seen happen lately.

At +100, I'm willing to make a play on the Islanders to win this game in regulation and would play it down to a number of -115.

Pick: Islanders — Regulation Win (+100)

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