Two of the toughest defensive teams in the NHL face off against each other for the second night in a row on Friday, as the New York Islanders take on the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins cruised to a 4-1 win on Thursday and will look to close the gap on the Islanders in the East Division. Oddsmakers are expecting a close battle with NHL betting lines opening with Boston as a slim -115 home favorite.
Here are our best free Islanders vs. Bruins picks and predictions for Friday, April 16, with the puck dropping at 7 p.m. ET.
Islanders vs Bruins odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
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NHL sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
TwinSpires hung Boston as a -114 favorite and is up a few cents to -120 as of 4 p.m. ET. The Bruins are taking 69 percent of moneyline tickets and 78 percent of moneyline dollars. The total is stable at 5.5 and the price shaded slightly to the Under, with 55 percent of tickets/51 percent of cash on the Under.Check out the full line movement for this game
Islanders at Bruins betting preview
Islanders: Anders Lee LW (Out), Michael Dal Colle LW (Out), Johnny Boychuk D (Out).
Bruins: Matt Grzelcyk D (Questionable), Trent Frederic (Questionable), Jaroslav Halak G (Out), Kevan Miller D (Out), Brandon Carlo D (Out), John Moore D (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Islanders are 5-1 in the last six meetings between these Eastern Conference foes. Find more NHL betting trends for Islanders vs. Bruins.
The Bruins absolutely dominated possession last night, peppering New York goaltender Semyon Varlamov with 44 shots and beating him three times. They held the Isles without a single high-danger scoring chance while generating 13 of their own.
That said, those numbers are a stark outlier for an Islanders team that is second in the league with 12.3 high danger chances per 60 minutes and ranks third with 9.02 HDCA/60.
Playing on the tail-end of a back-to-back should also favor the Isles, who have a strong backup goalie in Ilya Sorokin, who is 11-3-1 with a 2.17 GAA and a save percentage of .915.
Boston's backup netminder Jaroslav Halak is currently on the COVID-19 protocol list, so they will likely turn to Jeremy Swayman tonight. The rookie has looked good in his first four career starts, posting a 2.22 GAA with a .926 save percentage but he's still just 22 years old and is very inexperienced.
Despite their poor play last night, there is a good reason the Islanders have the second-best record in the East Division. The Isles have the edge on the Bruins when it comes to both goals scored and goals allowed, and they won the first five meetings between these sides this season. Back New York to bounce back with a win.
PREDICTION: ML Islanders (+105)
The total for this game opened at the low number of 5.5 with that total juiced towards the Under, which makes plenty of sense. The Islanders rank a modest 16th in the league with 2.84 goals per game and the Bruins are three spots behind them with 2.73 GPG.
The Isles also surrender the third-fewest goals in the league at 2.35 GPG, while the Bruins are eighth with 2.56 GPG allowed. And despite both teams likely resting their No. 1 netminders tonight, they still have competent goalies between the pipes and strong defensive play in front of them.
These teams have also been easy money for Under bettors this year. Boston has gone 15-6-2 to the Under in its previous 23 games while the Islanders are 16-4-1 to the Under on the road this season. Don't overthink this one and take the Under.
PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (-135)
Islanders vs Bruins betting card
- ML Islanders (+105)
- Under 5.5 (-135)
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