Bruins vs. Islanders Prediction: Target the NHL’s highest-paid player

The New York Islanders look like they’ve come into their own this season. The Isles are a team you want to back as a huge underdog, but avoid them when they’re the favorite.

The Islanders are 7-6 as underdogs and 10-6 as favorites this season, according to the Action Network database. Even though the Isles have a better win rate as favorites, they won’t benefit when they chalk up the 2022-23 season.

If you bet $100 on 16 games with the Isles closing as favorites, you’re down $47 (-2.9% ROI). But if you bet $100 on the Islanders and they lose, you’re up $361, which equates to a 27.8% ROI.

Taking it a step further, the Isles of Lane Lambert appear to be a larger pooch. An impressive 4-1 in a year when the Islanders close at +135 or better would have returned a $100 bettor $537, enough for a 107.4% ROI.

Can the Islanders continue this hot streak as underdogs this season? The game begins tonight on ESPN+ at 7:00 PM ET.

Matthew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders
Matthew Barzal #13 of the New York Islanders
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Islanders vs. Bruins prediction

It’s all due to small sample sizes, but it makes sense that the Islanders are dangerously poor. The Isles have the best goaltending tandem in the NHL, which automatically raises their floor, and they are a deep team with no real weaknesses. They don’t have the talent to consistently dominate – so they’ll be struggling as favorites – but they’re a cohesive unit that can rely on their goalkeeper to keep them going in games against strong opposition.

That’s exactly what the Islanders will need Tuesday night against the league-leading Boston Bruins, who are 14-0-1.

Everything about the Bruins this season is elite. They lead the NHL with a +48 goals differential, are tied for first in goals per game and also have the best goals against average in the league. Boston’s power play ranks third, which pales in comparison to its No. 1 overall penalty kill, and the team’s .927 save percentage is also tops in the National Hockey League.

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Matt Grzelcyk #48 of the Boston Bruins takes a shot
Matt Grzelcyk #48 of the Boston Bruins takes a shot
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And these are just surface-level statistics. Things look just as impressive for the Bruins, who rank third in expected field goal percentage, second in high-threat probability and fifth in shooting percentage.

In other words, the Bruins are the best team in the NHL this season. So it’s no surprise they’re heavy favorites against the Islanders, who are 17-12 on the season and have the ninth-best goal differential in the league.

And it’s worth noting that while the Isles have relied heavily on their goaltending at times this season, it’s what makes them such a dangerous underdog.

It hasn’t been a fun time playing against Boston this season, but it’s all about the price in betting, and that number is too high on a deep team with an elite goaltender.

Islanders and Bruins pick

Islanders +176 (FanDuel)


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