Islanders at Flyers Picks and NHL Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 3/28/2013
One team is deep in the playoff hunt but can’t afford to lose. The other one is pretty much just playing out the string unless miracles start to happen very soon. Given these teams and what they have done in recent years, it isn’t that surprising that that is the storyline. What is shocking, though, is it is New York that is in the hunt and the Flyers that have wasted their season.
The Islanders sit in ninth in the East, but they are just two points behind the Rangers and four behind New Jersey. They are very much alive, in other words. Philadelphia, on the other hand, has just 28 points — five fewer than the Isles — and are ahead of only Florida in the East and Colorado in the West. For a team just three seasons removed from a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, that is a disastrous turn of events.
Islanders at Flyers Betting storylines
The Islanders like playing on the road. Their 9-4-1 record is more than solid and considerably better than their 6-11-2 mark at home. In fact, they have the biggest disparity between road and home wins of any team in the league. It’s that play on the road that has them where they are in the standings and which gives them a good shot here. It’s not really that surprising that home ice isn’t much of an advantage these days. Their barn is the worst in the league, and the crowd support has long been lousy and is now especially bad since they have announced their impending move to Brooklyn. They have less of a home-ice advantage than any other team in the league. They probably relish leaving that arena.
The Flyers, meanwhile, just aren’t playing very well anywhere. They have lost three games in a row and seven of their last nine games. They haven’t missed the playoffs since 2007 — coincidentally the last year the Isles made the postseason — but that streak is in serious danger. Their biggest problem is the third period — they are just 1-11 this year when they head into the third period trailing, and they have been dramatically outscored in the third period. That’s a problem in and of itself. However, more significantly, it’s a sign of a team that just isn’t that tough or determined.
While heart is an issue for this Philly squad, injuries have been a serious handicap as well. The team has been without Chris Pronger all year. Now Daniel Briere and Andrej Meszaros are out with long-term injuries suffered this week. I’m pretty sure that this team had already quit, but if they hadn’t then they will now after those setbacks.
While a lot of things are not in Philadelphia’s favor here, the one advantage they have is their total ownership of the Islanders over recent years. In their first meeting this year the Flyers won a laugher — 7-0 on Feb. 18. That was in Long Island, too. Overall the Islanders have just four wins in the last 33 meetings between the squads. Ouch.
With Briere gone, a tremendous amount of offensive pressure will rest on the shoulders of Claude Giroux. He has enjoyed real success against the Islanders — 21 points in his last 15 games against the team. He has 30 points in 32 games, and four in his last three, so he is in solid form. It will be easier for the Islanders to deal with him now that he doesn’t have as much help to share the burden, but they will have to do their best against him.
Islanders at Flyers NHL Odds and Betting Trends
The Islanders have won their last six games against teams with losing records. The Flyers have lost their last five home games against teams with a road record of at least .600. The road team has won six of the last seven meetings between the teams.
Islanders at Flyers Picks and Betting Predictions
There is value in the road team here. The Islanders are playing well and are confident. They are motivated and have something to play for in the first time in eons. Philadelphia will be reeling after the two big losses to injuries, and they are just frustrated by the way the season has gone. The Islanders will come out tough and are a good bet to get the win at this price.
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