NHL Best Bets: Islanders-Rangers Game Picks

One of the best rivalries in the NHL will go down tonight when the New York Islanders visit the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

New York Islanders (+158) vs. New York Rangers (-192) Total: 6 (O -110, U -110)

The New York Islanders have gotten off to a solid start to the regular season after missing the playoffs last season. The Isles are coming off an overtime victory last night over the Calgary Flames, improving their record to 8-5. The Rangers sit just behind them in the standings at 6-4-3. The Rangers played in the Eastern Conference Finals last season and are looking to continue their path toward being a consistent contender in the NHL. Meanwhile, the Islanders have a new head coach in Lane Lambert, and the transition to him as bench boss has been relatively seamless.

The Rangers have struggled to score and sit 27th in the NHL, while the Islanders are in tenth. The Islanders had been known as a defensive team under their previous coach, which likely clouds the judgment about how they operate. Both teams have been solid in terms of goals allowed per game, with the Islanders having the fifth fewest goals allowed per game, while the Rangers aren’t far behind them in twelfth. 

Looking at the projected goalies, the Islanders are on the second leg of a back-to-back and expected to start Semyon Varlamov, while the Rangers will likely send out Igor Shesterkin. The Isles netminder has a 2-2 record with a .909 save percentage, while the reigning Vezina trophy winner is sitting at 6-1-2 with a .916 save percentage. The Rangers goalie should have the edge, but Varlamov has shown that he can steal games and is part of one of the best tandems in the NHL. 

There’s not much value in the Rangers’ moneyline at -176, but with how well the Islanders have been playing, it’s hard to look away from their moneyline price of +158. 

Best Bet: Islanders moneyline (+158) 

These bitter rivals already met earlier this season, which was a low-scoring affair and an Islanders 3-0 shutout win. As mentioned above, these teams have done a solid job of keeping pucks out of their nets, and that trend should continue. Both goalies should keep their teams in the game, and it’s doubtful they will decide to trade chances. With that, look to the under six at -102.

Best Bet: Under six (-102)

Despite the Islanders having offensive success early, one of their top players has yet to light the lamp. Mathew Barzal has been putting up nice point totals with eleven assists but zero goals. He’s not known as a goal scorer and has always been considered more of a playmaker, but he still has a finishing touch. The Isles forward is listed at +310 to score tonight, and this is the type of price you should keep an eye on until he manages to break out.

Best Prop: Mathew Barzal to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+310)