Free NHL Picks: Islanders vs. Flyers

David Schwab

Thursday, April 25, 2013 2:55 PM GMT

Thursday, Apr. 25, 2013 2:55 PM GMT

The New York Islanders will close out the regular season on the road starting with a trip to the Wells Fargo Center this Thursday night to face the Philadelphia Flyers. This Atlantic Division matchup is slated to get underway at 4 p.m. (PT) and the game will be available on NHL Center Ice.


Take a look at our Morning NHL Betting Odds Report

Islanders Overview

New York clinched its first playoff berth since 2007 with a 4-3 shootout victory over Carolina this past Tuesday night as a 137 road favorite. They are now 7-0-3 in their last 10 games and holding down sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings with 54 points. The total went OVER the 5.5-goal line against the Hurricanes and it has now gone OVER in their last four games.

Picked to finish last in their division, the Islanders have proved the NHL odds makers wrong behind an offense that is averaging 2.9 goals a game. John Tavares leads the team in both goals (27) and total points (46) with four other players tallying at least 10 goals this season. Evgeni Nabokov has appeared in goal in 40 of the team’s 46 games and comes into this matchup with a 2.54 goals-against-average and a save percentage of .909. 

Flyers Overview 

Picked as one of the top three favorites to win the East this year, it has been a disappointing run for what has been a perennial playoff contender. The Flyers are left to ride out the string with an overall record of 21-22-3. The only motivation left is to try and end the year over .500. They have taken a couple of steps in the right direction towards that goal with back-to-back victories over Carolina and Boston in which they have doubled things up on the scoreboard by a combined score of 10-5. Philadelphia remains a tough out on its home ice with an overall record of 14-7-2. 

Scoring has not been the issue for the Flyers this season with 2.8 goals a game, but keeping their opponents from doing the same has. Philadelphia is ranked 25th in the NHL in goals allowed with a GAA of 3.0. The only bright spot has been an effective 85.4 percent kill rate against the power play. While this team’s overall defense has been porous, much of the blame for this performance has fallen on the shoulders of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who has compiled a 2.84 GAA in 39 games this season. A late-season trade for Steve Mason has brought some hope for the future. In six previous outings he has posted a GAA of 2.07 along with a .936 save percentage. Look for Mason to get the call on Thursday night after starting three of the last four games. 

Islanders vs. Flyers Betting Lines and Trends 

BetOnline has opened New York as a 100 road underdog on the money line with the Flyers listed as 110 home favorites. The total line for this divisional clash has been set at 6. 

The Islanders are 8-3 in their last 11 games on the road and 12-2 in their last 14 games against a team with a losing record. The total has stayed UNDER in their last four Atlantic Division games. 

The Flyers are 6-0 in their last six games against a team with a winning record but just 5-16 in their last 21 division games. The total has gone OVER in nine of their last 13 games against the division. 

Head-to-head in this matchup, the road team is 7-2 in the last nine meetings and the total has gone OVER in five of the last seven games played in Philadelphia. New York is just 3-14 in its last 17 trips to Philly and 14-37 in the last 51 meetings overall, but it holds a 2-1 edge in this season’s series.

[gameodds]7/225590/43/us[/gameodds] 

Islanders vs. Flyers Free NHL Pick

The Islanders can still move up to the fifth spot in the East, but might want to stay right where they are to try and draw a first-round matchup against Washington as opposed to facing Montreal or Boston. That is not to say they will tank this game since Ottawa and the Rangers are just two points back in the standings, but against the suddenly inspired Flyers, it is enough of an edge to tip the free NHL pick in this one in Philadelphia’s favor. 

Flyers 4  Islanders 3 (lines provided by BetOnline) 

Year-to-Date NHL Record: 28-16-2

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