NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Islanders vs. Golden Knights

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

China Wong/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Brock Nelson of the New York Islanders

  • The Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knight host the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
  • Vegas has a depleted roster, so this still could be a solid spot to back the underdog Isles.
  • Below, Nick Martin shares his betting angle for this late-night matchup.

Islanders vs. Golden Knights Odds

Islanders Odds+146
Golden Knights Odds-176
Over/Under6 (-102 / -120)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Islanders suffered an embarrassing 5-4 loss on Friday to the lowly Arizona Coyotes, but they have a shot at redemption on Saturday in this back-to-back spot vs. the Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights.

Vegas has been bitten badly by the injury bug yet again and will be skating in this contest as heavy favorites despite the losses of Alex Pietrangelo, Jack Eichel and Shea Theodore, among others.

Is now the time to target a Knights letdown?

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New York Islanders Come Back to Earth

New York's scorching hot start to the season seems to have gone by the wayside. It has now posted a 4-5-1 record over the past 10 games with a three-game slump.

The Islanders have still moved play in the right direction over 10 games and own a 51.90 xGF% despite putting together a string of poor results.

A loss in Arizona may set off some alarm bells, but Arizona is still an NHL roster that will win around 25 games this season.

The Islanders out-chanced the Coyotes heavily and led on expected goals, 5.18 to 2.91, in what was clearly still not a sharp performance at all. Everything Arizona touched turned to gold and hit the net, which is going to happen from time to time in the NHL.

Adam Pelech is a massive loss to the Islanders' blue-line and will remain sidelined for this contest, but New York should otherwise be skating with a full roster.

Semyon Varlamov will likely get the second leg of this back-to-back spot. Varlamov may not be Ilya Sorokin, but he's still been an excellent backup option as evidenced by a +4.5 goals saved above expected rating and .916 save %.

Vegas Golden Knights

Considering the talent out of the lineup, Vegas' wins in Winnipeg and Chicago were extremely impressive and proof that Knights could have the depth to win it all this spring.

Jack Eichel, Shea Theodore, Alex Pietrangelo and Zach Whitecloud all missed the contest in Chicago, but the Knights still gutted out another win. Paul Cotter was also filling in on the vacated spot on the top line, yet he was also injured in the game and will remain out tonight.

That is a stack of elite NHL talent missing, and moving forward those losses will likely start to be reflected in worse results from the Knights.

Over the past 10 games, Vegas has played to a strong but not spectacular xGF% of 51.95, even with many key bodies still playing in most of those contests.

Vegas has mysteriously gone 8-7-0 at home while being the league's best road side at 14-2-1. Realistically, that is not the kind of trend that means anything without some clear causation, but it will be a popular note on the Knights until the splits balance out.

Logan Thompson should make the start for the Knights in this contest, and the 25-year-old rookie is rightfully priced as the second favorite in the Calder Trophy race entering Saturday.

Thompson has played to a +3.6 goals saved above expected rating with a .918 save % throughout 21 games played.

Islanders vs. Golden Knights Pick

Vegas' injury list has unfortunately gotten to a concerning place once again, and this team is skating a much less talent than when it's at full strength.

Over a large sample of contests playing with its heavily depleted lineup, Vegas project to be closer to the Islanders than this number suggests, even factoring in that it is a back-to-back spot for New York and that Varlamov will likely play.

The Islanders' awful loss in Arizona last night will likely turn some people off of this pick, but realistically the NHL is one of the closest leagues in the world and there is a ton of randomness to pro hockey.

This recent run is still clearly a low-water mark on the Islanders' season, and Saturday night against a withered Vegas roster could be a good time to tap into that narrative.

I expect that Vegas will not carry gameplay heavily enough to warrant being such a heavy favorite; +146 is a great price to back the Islanders, and they are likely going to be find a way to hang around and make it close game.

It's possible that number will continue to move as people eye what they see as one of the best teams in the league versus a middling Eastern Conference side on a back to back, but if not, we are certainly happy to claim anything down to +140 on the Isles.

*Edit 3:14 pm EST: In fantastic news as a fan of the game, Alex Pietrangelo is going to skate in this contest. A return from Pietrangelo could potentially be a galvanizing factor in the Vegas locker room, and my conviction towards this position lessens with that in mind.

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