NHL Picks: Penguins vs. Islanders Game 4

PJ Laferla

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 1:42 PM GMT

Tuesday, May. 7, 2013 1:42 PM GMT

The Penguins look to earn the 3-1 series advantage when they take on the Islanders tonight. With the odds in their favor, should NHL bettors back a Pittsburgh win, or is the best value elsewhere?


The Penguins hold a 2-1 advantage in the best of seven, first round Eastern Conference series against the Islanders. Pittsburgh took Game 1 convincingly at home by a score of 5-0 and then again on the road in Game 3, though it took an overtime session to earn a 5-4 victory in that one.

For Game 4, online sportsbooks such as Bookmaker have listed the visiting Penguins as -160 favorites on the money line, while also posting a puck line of -1 ½ goals with a more attractive return of +190. Of course, Pittsburgh will need to win by a margin of at least 2 goals for bettors to cash in a winning ticket on the puck line.

NHL odds list the games total at 6 goals with a positive return of +115 on the over. The Islanders have eclipsed the total in seven of their last eleven games on their home ice (7-3-1).

[gameodds]7/228289/43/us[/gameodds]

Now, let take an in-depth look at both teams and decide where the value lies for our sports picks in this crucial Game 4 matchup.

Sidney Crosby missed more than a month of action due to a broken jaw towards the end of the regular season, but you would never know it from his stellar play in this first-round series. Crosby made his return in Game 2 and Game 3 notching two goals to go along with three assists; and if he and the Penguins win Game 4 in New York, the Islanders would be pushed to the brink of elimination.

Pittsburgh’s lead in the series can also be attributed to their amazing power play numbers (6 for 13) compared to New York’s weak output of 1 for 11 through the first three games.

The Penguins are 6-1 in their last seven meetings versus the Islanders in New York and a dominating 36-16 in their last 52 head to head matchups overall.

Meanwhile, the Islanders will attempt to win their first playoff game at home since the 2002 NHL campaign when they welcome in the Penguins tonight, with game time set for 7:00 pm ET. The Islanders are just 1-7 in their last 8 games played at home versus a team with a winning percentage above .600% on the highway.

However, if the Islanders want to achieve success tonight, they must stop the Penguins from jumping out to a quick start and also do a better job with its penalty kill unit.

Even though New York dropped Game 3 on their home ice, the Islanders have won five of their last seven played at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, but they are just 5-16 in their last 21 Conference Quarterfinals matchups.

Free NHL Pick:

Backing the Penguins -1 ½ on the puck line with the extremely generous return of +190 offers plenty of value for our NHL picks. I expect Pittsburgh to cruise to a victory and take a 3-1 commanding lead in the series.

Free Picks: Pittsburgh -1 ½ at Bookmaker

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