Islanders vs. Flyers Game 6 Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Thursday, Sept. 3)
Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Alain Vigneault
Game 6: Islanders vs. Flyers Odds
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|Flyers Odds||+114 [BET NOW]|
|Islanders Odds||-132 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||5 (-122/+102) [BET NOW]|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
For the first time in these playoffs the New York Islanders are wobbling a little. The Isles aren’t in danger, yet, but their last two performances have been a step back from the way they were playing for the first month of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Isles still managed to win one of those games and send the other to overtime, so they’re still doing a lot of things right.
Barry Trotz called Game 4, a 3-2 win for his team, the worst game the Islanders played in The Bubble. The Islanders responded with a better showing in Game 5, but they lost in overtime, 4-3, after coming back from 3-1 down with less than five minutes to go in the third period.
Those types of comebacks have become commonplace for Trotz’s Islanders and it is the second time in this series that the Isles have erased a multi-goal deficit in the third period to force overtime. The Islanders are a relentless team that doesn’t get thrown off its game. It’s hard enough to get a lead against the Isles. It’s even harder to put them away.
Is Philadelphia’s Best Good Enough?
A 3-2 series lead for the Islanders is probably a fair assessment of how this series has played out. Despite being outshot by a considerable margin, the Islanders have generated more quality scoring chances and have the edge in the expected goals battle through five games.
|High-danger scoring chances||65||47|
Expected goals (also known as xG) is a predictive statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as shooting luck or outstanding goaltending.
Simply put, an expected goals rate (xGF%) above 50% is considered good because it means a team is creating the majority of the scoring chances. Anything below 50% is usually a sign that a team is struggling to control play.
xG numbers cited from Evolving Hockey.
Even though the Flyers are playing better, the Islanders are still the more dangerous team in terms of shot quality. Philadelphia attempted 20 more shots in Game 5 but the expected goals were practically even (2.2 to 2.16 in favor of the Isles), and New York created six more high-danger scoring chances.
In other words, Philadelphia may be playing its best hockey of the series but the Islanders are still the better team.
Keep Your Eye on the Lineups
Injuries will play a factor in Game 6, as both teams have listed their No. 1 center as questionable. Philadelphia’s Sean Couturier left the game late in the second period after banging knees with the Islanders’ Mat Barzal. A period later it was Barzal who had to head down the tunnel after he got a stick to the eye. Neither player returned.
Trotz and, weirdly, Alain Vigneault both noted that Barzal is trending in the right direction for Game 6. Couturier’s situation is less clear.
Losing Couturier would be a big deal for the Flyers. Not only is he their best player, but he’s one of the best two-way centers in the NHL. If he’s out and Barzal is in, expect the odds to move toward the Isles.
Speaking of the odds, they seemed to have settled. The Islanders have closed at -121 and -122 for the past two games and are sitting at -121 for Game 6 as of 1 a.m. ET.
Odds via DraftKings
The Couturier/Barzal news looms large, but even so I’m going to continue to trust the Islanders at these odds. Considering how tight these odds are — New York’s implied win probability is 52.9% — I would rather back the more reliable team.
The Islanders may have taken a couple of punches over the past two games, but their hallmark defense is still holding up.
You’re buying a little high on the Isles compared to where they were priced at the beginning of this series, but it’s not like you’re laying serious wood with Trotz & Co. in Game 6.
At the time of writing the Islanders are as low as -115 (bet365, PointsBet) and as high as -130 (FanDuel). I’d say -130 is certainly too high, but if you can get a piece of the Isles at -120 or better, I’d take it.