On Thursday night, the Philadelphia Flyers will be on the road taking on the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum for the first of a three-game set.
Let’s get into our Flyers-Islanders betting pick with player prop predictions, odds and analysis for this March 18, 2021 matchup.
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Flyers vs. Islanders Betting Pick (March 18, 2021)
The Philadelphia Flyers entered Wednesday night’s game against the New York Rangers riding high after securing a 5-4 OT win on Monday night. That victory snapped a two-game skid and appeared to set things moving in the right direction. Then Wednesday night happened.
The Orange & Black were embarrassed on national TV in one of the most lopsided games in the last decade, dropping a 9-0 result to the same Rangers squad. Backup netminder Brian Elliott was given the starting nod in the game and was pulled after allowing five goals, though it’s hard to fault Elliott alone for any of those five goals. Carter Hart was thrusted into action and his team’s lackluster effort was largely responsible for the four goals he allowed.
If Alain Vigneault’s team had set out to rebuild the confidence of their once-solid goalie tandem, Wednesday night’s game was a masterclass in everything not to do. The 9-0 drubbing dropped the Flyers to 14-10-3 on the season and by virtue of a Bruins loss, the gap between fourth and fifth place remains three points. This three-game series against the Islanders will be critical to the Flyers’ season for myriad reasons.
The Isles are 11 points ahead in the standings, but the Flyers have three games in hand. That said, Philadelphia likely needs to win at least two of these three games to stop the bleeding and close the gap between themselves and the top teams in the East Division.
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The Islanders are 9-1-0 over their last 10 games, but that lone loss came in their most recent game on the road against the Washington Capitals. That sting was compounded when it was announced that captain Anders Lee will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Lee is easily one of the most important layers for New York and has spent his entire NHL career with the Islanders. Losing him could either send the team on a downward spiral or galvanize the team as they look to move forward without him.
After eliminating the Flyers in Game 7 of last season’s bubble playoffs, the Flyers appeared to make it their mission to topple the Islanders as often as possible. As was the case last postseason, the Flyers seemingly can’t lose to the Isles in overtime, winning both matchups this season in overtime by 3-2 and 4-3 scorelines.
Flyers vs. Islanders Odds
Here’s the line for the Flyers and Islanders at DraftKings Sportsbook PA:
- Spread: Flyers +1.5 (-205), Islanders -1.5 (+170)
- Moneyline: Flyers +133, Islanders -155
- Over/Under: O 5.5 -107, U 5.5 -114
Bets We Like With an Islanders Win
Money Puck gives the Islanders a 64% chance of winning this game. Meanwhile, New York’s implied win probability based on the moneyline is a bit lower at 56%.
Islanders Win and Over 5.5 Goals (+205, DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Islanders are coming off a 3-1 road loss against the Washington Capitals, which broke a nine-game winning streak. They’ve been the better and more consistent team this season and especially as of late. Although they dropped two overtime results to this Flyers team earlier in the season, both of those results came on the road.
The Flyers, meanwhile, got stomped on the road 9-0 by the New York Rangers and -had it not been for Jake Voracek’s unbelievable OT winner- were close to being 0-3-1 in their last four games. They’re 3-6-0 in their last nine games and their goaltending situation is an absolute mess at the moment. The only thing that should prevent bettors from parlaying an Islanders win with over 6.5 or over 7.5 goals comes down to New York’s lower tallies as of late. New York has scored just seven goals in their last three games. While one could expect a higher output against the Flyers, we’d caution anyone from getting too carried away.
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Bets We Like With a Flyers Win
Flyers Win and Over 4.5 Goals (+200, BetMGM)
Most sportsbooks have established the total goals market in this game at 5.5, but we’d recommend hedging a bit getting a final total goals outcome of five back in play by dropping the total to over 4.5. The Flyers are coming off one of the most embarrassing losses in franchise history at the hands of the New York Rangers, which compounded an already tenuous goaltending and defending situation. In fact, the Flyers have seen some ridiculous totals as of late:
- 3/2/21 @ PIT: 5-2
- 3/4/21 @ PIT: 4-3
- 3/6/21 @ PIT: 4-3
- 3/7/21 v. WSH: 3-1
- 3/9/21 v. BUF: 5-4 (SO)
- 3/11/21 v. WSH: 5-3
- 3/13/21 v. WSH: 5-4
- 3/15/21 @ NYR: 5-4 (OT)
- 3/16/21 @ NYR: 9-0
The final score has gone hit nine total goals in three straight and four of their last five. The Flyers’ success against the Isles this season combined with Anders Lee’s absence could be enough to pull out a win, but anyone expecting the Flyers to shut out the Islanders or hold them to a single goal is kidding themselves. If you’re planning on a Flyers moneyline bet, get +200 odds by adding in the over 4.5 goals market.
Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Each Team to Score 1+ Third Period Goal (+135, BetMGM)
The Flyers and Islanders have shown a propensity for scoring goals in the game’s final frame over the last week or so of play. The Islanders have scored at least one goal in three of their last four games, including one goal in a loss to the Capitals, two in a win over the Devils on March 13, and one in a loss to the Devils on March 11.
The Flyers have scored at least one goal in four of their last five games with Tuesday’s loss at Madison Square Garden bucking the trend. Philadelphia’s third period goalscoring has gone as follows:
- 3/15/21 @ NYR: 1 goal
- 3/13/21 v. WSH: 2 goals
- 3/11/21 v. WSH: 2 goals
- 3/9/21 v. BUF: 1 goal
Interestingly enough, the goals Flyers’ third period tallies against Buffalo and the Rangers on Monday night forced overtime in their respective games.
Mathew Barzal Over 2.5 Shots on Goal (+130, BetMGM)
The loss of Anders Lee couldn’t have come at a worse time for a New York Islanders team that had been on quite a roll. The team’s depth, which guided them through last postseason, will be leaned upon if the Isles are to contend for a Stanley Cup going forward.
If there’s one player whose production will be expected to increase in Lee’s absence, it’s Mathew Barzal. The issue for interested bettors is the fact that Barzal has one assist in his last four games and just six points in the month of March. One thing that Lee’s absence should force is a higher number of shots being taken by Barzal.
In two prior meetings this season against the Flyers, Barzal racked up four shots in each contest. Going back to last postseason, Barzal recorded at least four shots on goals against the Orange & Black in three of the final four games of their series.
If you think Barzal will have an aggressive game offensively but don’t want to tie your wager to point production, this one is worth a look.
Flyers vs. Islanders Prediction
Pick: The Flyers desperately need a win, but they’re taking on a team that’s been nearly unbeatable for two weeks. Home ice advantage combined with Philadelphia’s issues in their own zone should play out as expected. Take the Islanders and Over 5.5 Goals.