Sunday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: New York Islanders vs. Philadelphia Flyers Betting Preview
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Semyon Varlamov.
- The New York Islanders are favored in Sunday's NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
- Philadelphia is playing its first game without Claude Giroux, while New York is thriving of late.
- Carol Schram breaks down the matchup below and makes her betting pick.
Islanders vs. Flyers Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||2 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
It’s a Metropolitan Division matinee at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, when the Philadelphia Flyers host the New York Islanders for a 2 p.m. ET puck drop.
After a solid 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday, the Islanders will have their sights set on sweeping their four-game season series against Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the main focus for the Flyers is Monday’s trade deadline. Captain Claude Giroux has already been moved; more players could also be on their way out the door.
Here’s the latest on both squads, and your best bet for Sunday’s game.
Islanders Making Strong Final Run
In terms of making the playoffs, it’s too little too late for the New York Islanders. They’re 5-0-1 in their last six games and are now above .500 for the season. But the Islanders still sit a whopping 19 points behind the Washington Capitals, who currently hold down the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
At this point, the players in Lou Lamoriello’s crew are playing for jobs — trying to show why they deserve to stay on Long Island and hopefully be part of the organization’s future.
That has led to an uptick in scoring. Believe it or not, the Islanders are in the top 10 in NHL scoring since the beginning of March, averaging 3.60 goals per game. They’ve been led by their stalwarts — nine goals for Anders Lee, eight for Brock Nelson and six from Kyle Palmieri.
Oddly enough, though, even though they’re some goals and stringing together a few wins, the Islanders’ recent underlying numbers aren’t great. Over the last 10 games, they rank in the league’s bottom 10 in both Corsi For percentage and expected goals percentage at 5-on-5. Their success has been built from special teams, where the Islanders are top five on both the power play and the penalty kill.
Semyon Varlamov picked up the win against the Stars on Saturday, so look for Ilya Sorokin to get the start on Sunday. He’s at 6.7 goals saved above expected for the season and has been even better lately, riding a four-game personal winning streak where he has given up a total of just five goals.
Lamoriello keeps his business quiet. So there’s no hint of what, if anything, he has planned leading up to Monday’s trade deadline. At this time of year, it’s a good idea to check in on Twitter before placing any bets — to try to protect yourself from any major lineup changes that could impact a game’s outcome.
Flyers Play First Game Post-Giroux
The Flyers completed their big deal on Saturday afternoon, with captain Claude Giroux as the centerpiece of a trade with the Florida Panthers that brings back 23-year-old winger Owen Tippett and draft picks in return.
Don’t rule out the possibility that Tippett could make his way to Philly by Sunday from Charlotte. He had been held out of the AHL Checkers’ last two games in order to avoid any possible injuries before a trade was consummated.
Philadelphia general manager Chuck Fletcher could make more deals before Monday as well. Impending free agent defenseman Justin Braun will almost certainly get moved. Bigger, more surprising swaps also aren’t out of the question for a club that has performed well below expectations this season.
After pulling out a win for Giroux in his emotional 1,000th game on Thursday, the teammates who remained looked worn out when they dropped a 3-1 decision on the road to the Ottawa Senators on Friday.
Perhaps they’ll get a lift from being back on home ice on Sunday. And maybe having the Giroux deal finally done will be a weight off their shoulders.
But after losing to the Islanders twice in regulation and once in a shootout during a nine-day span in January, all the distractions around the team on deadline eve will make it very difficult for them to avoid a sweep in this year’s season series with the New York.
Islanders vs. Flyers Pick
Sunday’s game is a tough situation for the Flyers. The reality will be setting in that this is truly the end of an era, and they’ll be carrying on without their captain. That will be tough to get past, especially against an Islanders team that has finally found its groove after such a long and grueling season.
Backing the favored road dogs makes sense, but stick with the moneyline. Carter Hart has been playing well enough in the Philadelphia net lately that he could keep things close.
Pick: Islanders -140 (play down to -155)