NHL Best Bets: Islanders vs. Penguins Game Picks


Mar 9, 2023

Two Metropolitan Division rivals fighting for a playoff spot in the East will collide tonight, with the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the New York Islanders.

All Odds Courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

New York Islanders (+126) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (-152) Total: 5.5 (O-132, U+108) 

The Islanders currently sit one point ahead of the Penguins in an extremely jumbled Eastern Conference, and this matchup should be highlighted as extremely important to both sides. This will be the fourth and final meeting between these clubs, which has already seen the Islanders pick up three victories by scores of 5-1, 5-4, and 4-2. Pittsburgh is listed as the home favorite in this matchup tonight on the moneyline at -152, while the Islanders are priced at +126. 

The visitors have been playing slightly better hockey entering this contest, and that’s noteworthy with the success they’ve already registered in this season series. New York has won two straight games and posted a 6-2-2 record over their past ten games. On the other hand, the Penguins are sitting at 5-5 over that same sample size. 

Looking toward the projected goalie matchup tonight, the Islanders are expected to continue riding Ilya Sorokin, while the Pens should do the same with Tristan Jarry. The Islanders’ netminder has been a significant factor in the team’s success, posting a 22-18-6 record, paired with a .926 save percentage. Jarry has also been strong, owning a 19-7-5 record, along with a .914 save percentage. It might not be a big advantage, but Sorokin should have the edge. 

With the dominance the Islanders have shown us in this season series, it’s tough not to look at their side of the equation tonight. They come in playing better hockey as a whole, and their moneyline price of +126 is super appealing, meaning that’s the direction we’re going to side with tonight in this critical tilt. 

Best Bet: Islanders moneyline (+126) 

We have some data to go off of here, considering we’ve seen these teams combine for six, nine, and six goals in three matchups. That checks out with the total set for tonight at 5.5, with the over juiced up at -132, while the under is at +108. Over the Islanders’ past five games, they’ve seen six or more goals scored in none of those contests, while the Penguins have seen that transpire in three. With the trends this season series has shown us, we have a lot of confidence in looking at the over 5.5 in this matchup, even if the price tag isn’t super appealing. 

Best Bet: Over 5.5 (-132) 

The Islanders don’t exactly score at a high clip, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some value that we can find from goal scorers on their roster. One player that’s had a nice season is Anders Lee, who’s tallied 24 goals, the second-highest mark on the team. This is a matchup that Lee is highly familiar with and one he has contributed in before. A big part of the Islanders’ success of late has come from an offense-by-committee approach, and Lee is a big part of that, meaning there’s direct value in backing the big forward to light the lamp tonight at +220. 

Best Prop: Anders Lee to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+220)

Thumbnail photo via Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

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