NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Islanders vs. Ducks

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Islanders vs. Ducks article feature image

Via Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Semyon Varlamov #40 of the New York Islanders makes a save against the Boston Bruins during the third period at TD Garden on February 18, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts.

  • The Islanders are road favorites on Wednesday night against the Ducks.
  • With the Islanders playing their backup goalie and Mathew Barzal dealing with a lower body injury, is there value on the Ducks?
  • Ryan Dadoun breaks down the matchup and shares his betting preview and prediction below.

Islanders vs. Ducks Odds

Islanders Odds-200
Ducks Odds+164
Over/Under5.5 (-122/+100)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Ducks don't have much left to play for, but they'll have an opportunity to play spoiler when they face the Islanders, who need every point they can get in their battle for a Wild Card berth. Anaheim will have some extra motivation after New York handed the Ducks a humiliating 7-1 loss on Oct. 15.

Even still, can the Ducks hope to overcome the odds though to best the Islanders? Find a betting preview and prediction for Islanders vs. Ducks below.

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Islanders Need Varlamov to Step Up

One immediate factor working against the Islanders is that they'll be in the second half of a back-to-back when they face Anaheim on Wednesday. Ilya Sorokin is expected to start Tuesday against Los Angeles, so the Ducks figure to be spared from having to deal with the Islanders' top goaltender, who has a 23-18-6 record, 2.35 GAA and .925 save percentage in 49 games in 2022-23.

Sorokin has a solid understudy in Semyon Varlamov, but he still hasn't been nearly as good with his 11-8-2 record, 2.79 GAA and .910 save percentage in 21 contests this season. Varlamov has also struggled recently, posting a 1-2-1 record, 3.69 GAA and .861 save percentage in his last four outings.

The Islanders forwards might be tired too, and New York hasn't exactly been good offensively this season, even under ideal conditions. Going into Tuesday's action, the Islanders rank 23rd in the league with 2.88 goals per game. To make matters worse, Mathew Barzal, who has 14 goals and 51 points in 58 contests this season, is still dealing with a lower-body injury.

The Islanders really need Bo Horvat, who is on a five-game goal-scoring drought and has recorded just an assist in that span, to get going. With Barzal out and Horvat cold, the Islanders are severely lacking in high-end threats.

Ducks Offense Showing Signs of Life

However, opponents don't need a group of elite forwards to score on Anaheim. Starting Ducks goaltender John Gibson is having a miserable season with a 14-24-8 record, 3.85 GAA and .903 save percentage in 46 contests. To be fair to Gibson, it hasn't been entirely his fault. Anaheim has an Expected Goals Allowed of 261.6 this season, per Moneypuck, which is the highest in the league.

In other words, the Ducks' defenders have made life hard for Gibson.

Either way, the result is the Ducks are the ideal team for struggling scorers to oppose. Even if the Islanders fail to get by the Ducks' leaky defense, they still might win. That's because Anaheim also has one of the worst offenses in the league, scoring just 2.52 goals per game.

Going into Tuesday's matchups, there are 52 players who have scored at least 60 points this season. None of them play for Anaheim. Trevor Zegras, the Ducks' top forward, has 21 goals and 56 points in 67 contests. He's the only player on the Ducks who has reached the 20-goal milestone. To give that some context, there are 91 players with at least 20 markers, which translates to an average of nearly three scorers with a minimum of 20 goals per team.

The Ducks do have some hot players though. Cam Fowler is on a roll with three goals and 15 points over his last 12 contests, Zegras has two markers and six points over his past six games, and Mason McTavish has contributed three goals and eight points over his last seven outings. Thanks in part to their efforts, the Ducks have averaged 3.00 goals per game over their last nine contests.

So perhaps the Islanders won't be facing quite as weak an offense from Anaheim as teams typically get.

Islanders vs. Ducks Pick

Even with the Islanders playing on no rest and the game being in Anaheim, oddsmakers are listing New York as heavy favorites on the moneyline. That's not too surprising given how poor the Ducks have been this season and how important every game is to the Islanders at this stage of the campaign.

Despite those factors working against the Islanders, combined with the absence of Barzal, I don't love the Islanders' chances of blowing out Anaheim like they did back in October. With this potentially being a pretty low-scoring game based on these two squads' offenses, I'm not even sure New York can surpass the puck line spread of 1.5 goals in favor of Anaheim.

Taking the Islanders on the moneyline or the Ducks on the puck line doesn't offer a particularly appealing potential payout though, so I can't recommend either of those options unless you're seeking a particularly safe bet.

Instead, I like the Islanders on the 3 Way. What that means is you'd win so long as the Islanders claim victory without needing overtime. The potential payout is significantly higher than the moneyline, making it worth the increased risk in my mind.

Pick: New York Islanders 3 Way Moneyline (-125 | Play Down to -140)

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