Pick 'Under' in Islanders vs. Flyers as the Isles Battles for Eastern Conference Seeding Spot

David Lawrence

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 10:52 AM GMT

Tuesday, Apr. 7, 2015 10:52 AM GMT

The New York Islanders appear to be through their slump and they are fighting for seeding in the Eastern Conference. On Tuesday, they’ll face the Philadelphia Flyers, who have been a tough team to beat at home. Even so, the Flyers are a home dog on the NHL betting lines.

The New York Islanders Can Win Because…
They’ve been playing better of late, and that's probably why they're posted as favorites on the NHL betting odds. While the Isles were slumping in the middle of March, they’ve won two of three and have been very competitive. They beat the Detroit Red Wings at home, then lost in a shootout to the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets, then they shut out the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

The Isles have owned the division this season, winning 20 of 27 games. They’ve won four straight meetings against them and the games have been mostly one-sided. They’ve outscored the Flyers 15-9 in those contests. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak has won three straight against the Flyers, posting a 1.90 GAA in the process.

The Flyers are a pretty bad team and most of their damage done recently has been against the Penguins – a rival they dominate inside and out. Don’t put too much weight in that. The Isles should get the job done here.

 

The Philadelphia Flyers Can Win Because…
They’re a tough team to beat at home. While the Flyers have been an unmitigated disaster on the road, their record at home indicates that they were a very competent team at home. They are 22-9-7 in front of their home audience and while they score 2.92 goals per game at home, they also just 2.26 per contest.

One of the most overlooked facts about the Flyers is the performance of goaltender Steve Mason. Entering Tuesday’s action, Mason is fourth in the NHL in goals-against average at just 2.16 and his save percentage is third at .929. And as good as he’s been, he’s been even stronger at home too. He’s 15-5-5 with a 1.89 GAA and .941 save percentage.

The Isles have won two of three but on a greater scale, they have just three wins in their last 11 games. The Flyers should be able to take advantage here.

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Outlook
In terms of the side here, it’s unclear if the Isles are out of their slump. If they aren’t, then this is way too big of a line to be laying – especially on the road in Philadelphia where the Flyers have played well this season. However, the Flyers have lost six of nine and two of their wins in that span came against Pittsburgh, so it’s not as if they’ve been that competent of late. The side here is really a coin flip.

That means the better play here might be going under the number. Halak has played really well against the Flyers this season and with Mason being hot right now, under seems to make sense. Each of the last five Flyers games have seen five goals or less and Tuesday should be the sixth. Go under with your NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Under at The Greek

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