The New York Islanders (27-11-4) begin a road back-to-back against the Boston Bruins (22-12-6) Thursday with a 7 p.m. ET puck drop at TD Garden. Below, we analyze the Islanders-Bruins odds and lines, with NHL picks and predictions.
The Islanders, second in the East Division, have won five of their last six games. They responded from a 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers Friday with a 3-2 overtime win Sunday. The Isles outscored the opposition 19-14 over the six-game run.
The Bruins are fourth in the East and loosely hold the division’s final playoff seed. They needed a shootout to beat the lowly Buffalo Sabres 3-2 Tuesday. The win came on the heels of an 8-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.
New York leads the head-to-head season series 5-0 with the most recent victory coming by a 4-3 count in overtime March 25. The Isles have outscored the Bruins 18-8 in the series.
Islanders at Bruins: Odds, spread and lines
Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 9:26 a.m. ET.
- Money line: Islanders -105 (bet $105 to win $100) | Bruins -115 (bet $115 to win $100)
- Against the spread/ATS: Islanders +1.5 (-275) | Bruins -1.5 (+210)
- Over/Under: 5.5 (O: +120 | U: -145)
Islanders at Bruins: Projected starting goalies
Semyon Varlamov (16-8-3, .922 SV%, 2.21 GAA) at Tuukka Rask (8-4-2, .907 SV%, 2.40 GAA)
Varlamov was in net for the loss to the Rangers and allowed 3 goals on 35 shots. It followed his fourth shutout of the season which came in a 29-save effort against the Capitals. He earned all five victories against Boston and sports a .949 save percentage and 1.57 goals against average in the series.
Rask (upper body) is once again questionable to make his first start since March 25. The former Vezina Trophy winner was having a down year by his standards but the B’s desperately need him back to retain their playoff spot. He is 0-2-0 against the Isles but with 60 saves on 65 shots.
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Islanders at Bruins: Odds, lines, predictions and picks
Islanders 3, Bruins 1
Money line (ML)
The ISLANDERS (-105) are undeserving underdogs based on their 5-0 lead in the season series and Varlamov’s elite play. If Rask suits up, he’ll be rusty, and if he doesn’t, the Isles will have an even easier time finding the back of the net.
Boston has been outscored 80-72 while going 12-11-4 since Feb. 13. The Bruins won back-to-back games just twice in that stretch and were wholly unimpressive in squeaking past the Sabres.
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Against the spread (ATS)
Boston took New York beyond 60 minutes in each of its last two head-to-head losses. It is 0-5 in the season series, was favored each time and lost by 2 or more goals twice.
Take the ISLANDERS -1.5 (+240) on the alternate puck line for the best value in this game, even though just one of their past seven wins was by a margin of 2 or more goals.
UNDER 5.5 (-145) is the play while following suit of our picks of the Islanders. The season series is 3-2 against the O/U but Boston hasn’t scored more than 3 goals in any game.
The Islanders are carrying the goal-scoring weight in the series but have been held to 3 or fewer goals in each of their last five games coming into this back-to-back.
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