There are just two games on the NHL betting board on Monday, including an Eastern Conference matchup between the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning. The Bolts have won back-to-back Stanley Cups and eliminated the Islanders in seven games during the Conference Finals in June.
Tampa Bay opened as a -135 home favorite for this contest with the Over/Under at 5.5 and juiced towards the Under.
Here are our best free Islanders vs. Lightning picks and predictions for Monday, November 15, with the puck dropping at 7 p.m. ET.
Islanders vs Lightning odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Islanders vs Lightning predictions
- Prediction: Lightning outright (-135)
- Prediction: Under 5.5 (-140)
- Best bet: Lightning outright (-135)
Predictions made on 11/14/2021 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Islanders vs Lightning game info
• Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
• Date: Monday, November 15, 2021
• Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
• TV: Rogers Sportsnet, Bally Sports Sun, MSG+
Islanders vs Lightning betting preview
Lightning: Nikita Kucherov RW (Out), Erik Cernak D (Out), Gemel Smith C (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Islanders vs Lightning head-to-head record since 2021
Islanders: 3-4, 11 goals for.
Lightning: 4-3, 20 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Islanders are 0-6 in their last six games against teams with a winning record. Find more NHL betting trends for Islanders vs. Lightning.
Islanders vs Lightning picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
Moneyline/Puck line analysis
The Lightning began this season with some ugly losses but have since begun playing like the Cup contenders they are. They've won five of their last seven, including a 3-2 overtime win against the Panthers on Saturday. The Bolts have outscored their opponents 23-13 during that span, and both of those losses came in overtime.
Tampa Bay doesn't have the forward depth it did last season but still ranks seventh in the league in expected goals per 60 minutes in 5v5 hockey. The Lightning are also very tough to score on with Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes. Last year's Conn Smythe winner has been a Vezina Trophy finalist in four straight seasons and is 6-2-3 with a 2.31 GAA and a save percentage of .921 this season.
The Islanders have played well this season, especially when you consider that they've been on the road the entire time as they wait for UBS Arena to open. The Isles will play their home opener on Saturday and it's fair to wonder if this lengthy road spell has drained them as they come off back-to-back losses to the Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils.
The Islanders finally got No. 1 netminder Semyon Varlamov last week against the Wild. Although he picked up the loss, having Semyon back in the fold is a massive boost after he went 19-11-4 with a 2.04 GAA and a save percentage of .929 last season.
That said, the Isles have really struggled to generate offense and rank just 28th in the league in scoring with 2.45 goals per game. The Islanders don't have a single win in their last six games against teams with a winning record and their struggling offense will find it tough to beat Vasilevskiy at home.
Prediction: Lightning outright (-135)
The Isles might have lost 5-2 when Varlamov made his season debut but he turned aside 34 of 37 shots before the Wild iced that contest with a pair of empty netters. Varlamov was one of the best goalies in the league last year, and that combined with maddening inconsistency on the offensive end of the ice led to plenty of Unders for New York.
The Islanders rank 31st in the league in net power-play percentage, and will likely have a tough time getting the puck past a Tampa Bay club that ranks ninth in the league on the penalty kill and has a stud like Vasilevskiy in nets. Vasilevskiy hasn't allowed more than two goals in any of his last six starts and boasts a save percentage of .944 during that span.
Going back to last season, the Under is 33-15-3 in the Isles last 51 games on the road. Meanwhile, the Under has also cashed in four of Tampa Bay's last five games overall.
Prediction: Under 5.5 (-140)
Traveling for so long really seems to be wearing down the Islanders and getting blanked 4-0 by the Devils in their last game, just a few days after hitting in the wall during the third period against the Wild, is not a good sign.
The Lightning tend to play very well at home, going 54-23 in their last 77 games at Amalie Arena, and Vasilevskiy is often at his best in front of the home fans.
With the Isles going just 2-6 in their last eight trips to Tampa Bay, it seems likely that home-ice advantage could be a deciding factor again. Grab this line at -135 before public money comes in on the defending champs.
Pick: Lightning outright (-135)
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