Man, this Pittsburgh Penguins team has some moxie. There’s a lot of credit to be thrown their way as they have found cracks in the seemingly impenetrable New York Islanders defense-first system and exploited it frequently. The NHL betting crowd has noticed.
Below, take a look at Game 4 of this first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup from a betting perspective in our Islanders vs. Penguins betting preview with odds, picks, and predictions.
How else do you explain a 5-4 win on the road in one of the toughest environments and arenas in sports where the Penguins:
- Scored first
- Led after the first period
- Blew a two-goal lead and then retook the lead after it was tied
- Blew the lead again, and again, then retook the lead after it was tied
- Lost the lead a third time and then still had enough fortitude to score one more time and win the game outright
Know how many times all that happened against the Islanders this year?
In fact, only one game made it through the first three bullets – a 6-3 loss to Washington in April that had the Caps up 2-0 early, 2-1 after one period, and the Islanders tied it early in the second before the Caps pulled away again and never looked back.
So there’s a lot to be said about this Penguins team after being able to push through all of that, especially in a playoff game.
The Islanders, though, are a resilient bunch and aren’t just going to roll over. There’s still a lot of hockey to be played, and Game 4 of this series, easily the best series going in the playoffs so far, promises to pack the same punch.
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Islanders vs. Penguins Betting Pick (May 22, 2021)
How good has Jeff Carter been for the Penguins? It’s almost immeasurable, but there’s no doubt he’s had the greatest impact of any traded player at the deadline on his new team.
Carter had nine goals in just 14 regular season games for the Penguins and has continued to light the lamp in the playoffs.
He has three goals and an assist for four points in three postseason games thus far, including the game-winner in Game 2.
Carter finding the fountain of youth has been an unexpectedly pleasant surprise for the Penguins, but it’s one that has them thinking they can go far this postseason.
The one part of the Islanders’ game plan that has been successful so far is to hitting Pittsburgh. The notion is that physical play in a long series will eventually wear down the Penguins. So far the Islanders have outhit the Pens by a 164-113 margin through three games. Expect more of that in Game 4.
Also, it should be noted that if the Islanders lose Game 4, tonight is potentially the last game ever to be played in the old barn that is Nassau Coliseum.
As such, even at half capacity, expect the place to be loud and raucous as the Islanders want to give their old home a guarantee of at least one more game, which would be Game 6 of this series, a game that would be guaranteed with an Islanders win tonight.
Islanders vs. Penguins Game 4 Odds
Here are the Islanders vs. Penguins Game 4 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Penguins||+1.5 (-286)||-105||O 5.5 (+115)|
|Islanders||-1.5 (+230)||-110||U 5.5 (-139)|
Penguins Bets We Like With a Pittsburgh Win
Evgeni Malkin OVER 0.5 goals (+260, FanDuel), or OVER 0.5 assists (+116, FanDuel)
Malkin made his series debut in Game 3 and had an immediate impact, picking up a pair of assists. He looked healthy, strong and able to compete at this elevated level of the game.
But oddsmakers are a little confused on how to bet Malkin, and you can take advantage.
He’s a heavy favorite to get at least one point in this game (-215 DraftKings; -160, Fan Duel), but you can get value betting it to be specifically an assist or specifically a goal.
If he’s likely to get one point, based on the odds, then if you bet both, you hedge your bets, and if it turns out to be the goal, you still come out ahead.
Oh, and if he happens to get a goal and an assist, well, hopefully your buying more than just a chicken dinner.
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Islanders Bets We Like With a New York Win
Islanders – 1.5 AND UNDER 6.5 goals (+360, DraftKings)
We gave you this bet in Game 3, and it didn’t come to fruition. We apologize. We’re not perfect. So, why are we going with it again, one game later?
Value. We always look for value. And in this evenly matched series, it’s hard to find value when all the odds are pretty much akin to a pick ’em.
The premise here today is this is a must-win game for the Islanders. They can’t get down 3-1 in this series and expect to come back and beat Pittsburgh. As such, we expect New York’s best defensive game of the series – more akin to Game 2 than any other, but maybe even tighter.
Meanwhile, a one-goal game can always turn into a two-goal game with that empty net wild card. Same with a two-goal game becoming a three-goal game. So, you can try to play that to your advantage.
As such, take the longer odds on the Islanders to cover the 1.5 and push up the puck line by one goal just to be safe. This outcome can give you a really nice payout.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Islanders to LEAD after the first period (+182, FanDuel)
Another repeat pick of a lost betting prop from Game 3, but maybe we were just a game too early with it? We expected a better start from the Islanders on home ice and didn’t see it. They skated their butts off after the first period, but it wasn’t a good first 20 minutes for New York.
After the game, and all day yesterday after practice, it was all they could talk about. Faster and better starts. It’s something they are focused on. They’re going to try and jump on Pittsburgh and then shut it down. This is a better game for this outcome, and good value for you, the bettor.
Islanders vs. Penguins Prediction
We really think this series is going seven games. If that’s the case, the Islanders need to win this one, and we’ll see what they can muster as far as emotion, energy and a controlled system in the potential swan song for the Coliseum.
Call it Islanders 4, Penguins 2, setting up an epic Game 5 on Monday night.
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