Nashville Predators vs. New York Islanders Odds, Prediction, Preview: Can Isles Get Back on Track?

Nashville Predators vs. New York Islanders Odds, Prediction, Preview: Can Isles Get Back on Track? article feature image
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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Mathew Barzal.

  • The Predators vs. Islanders betting line has mostly remained the same across the market on Thursday -115, with a few books going to Isles -120 and one to -110.
  • The Isles have been ravaged by COVID absences and spent the first six weeks of the season on the road. Can they get back on track against the middling Preds?
  • Grant White breaks down Islander vs. Predators below.

Predators vs. Islanders Odds

Predators Odds -105
Islanders Odds -115
Over/Under 5.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After spending nearly six weeks on the road, the New York Islanders finally returned home to christen their new arena toward the end of November, doing so with a lineup ravaged by COVID-19. That has resulted in six straight losses on home ice, with New York recording just one win in its last 11 games.

However, we’re starting to see improved efforts from the Isles, putting them in a good spot against the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

Could this be the night that it all comes together for the Isles?

Preds Need to Solve Road Woes

The Predators kicked off a road trip of four games in six nights with a win over the Red Wings on Tuesday night, their first road win since a 4-3 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 11. In those five road games, Nashville has struggled to limit their opponents’ chances, allowing opposition to attempt 33 or more scoring chances and 34 or more shots in three of those five, which resulted in allowing 20 goals in five games.

Those metrics are part of a more significant trend that shows how much Juuse Saros has struggled on the road this season. The Finnish netminder is stopping just 89.9% away from Nashville, compared to 93.3% at home. That has resulted in a big swing in his goals-against average, going from 1.92 at home to 3.26 on the road.

The Preds have recognized these struggles and avoided starting Saros in their last two road games. It’s also a bit of an indictment of Saros’ road metrics that they are starting him on the first night of a back-to-back set.

There are a few more concerning indicators in Nashville’s road metrics. Possession has been below-average as the visitors this season, as the Predators have out-possessed their opponents at 5-on-5 in just three road games, posting the 19th-ranked Corsi rating.

Goalscoring has also taken a hit on the road, with the Preds recording more than two 5-on-5 goals in four of 12 road games, failing to score more than three in any contest.

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Isles Showing Signs of Life

The Islanders returned from their COVID-19 hiatus and resumed their poor efforts.

New York played six games between Nov. 16-Dec. 2, outplaying opponents at 5-on-5 just once. However, we’re starting to see better performances from the Isles over this recent stretch.

The Islanders have posted an expected goals for percentage over 50.0% in three straight games. They’ve returned to the defensive brand of hockey that helped them be so successful over the past few seasons. New York has limited opponents to six or fewer high-danger chances and 22 or scoring chances over this three-game stretch.

More importantly, the Islanders have out-chanced opponents in high-danger chances in all three games and scoring chances in two of three. We’re starting to see the fruits of those efforts, with the Islanders limiting each of their past two opponents to one 5-on-5 goal.

New York’s offense is also trending in the right direction. The Isles scored four goals at 5-on-5 against the Senators last time out, their first multi-goal 5-on-5 outing since Nov. 7. Look for sustained output as the Islanders’ 27th-ranked shooting percentage works its way toward average.

Islanders vs. Predators Pick

The Islanders are in a favorable spot against the Preds on Thursday night. New York’s offense is coming alive and should continue their upward trend against a Preds team that struggles on the road.

We’re betting the Islanders get off the schneid tonight as short -115 favorites.

Pick: Islanders -115

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