It may be too little, too late, but the New York Islanders are playing strong hockey heading into the season’s home stretch, but most likely will not make the playoffs.
The Islanders travel to face the New Jersey Devils, who are mired in next-to-last place in the Metropolitan Division and have dropped their last two, including a 7-6 overtime loss to the Florida Panthers, where they blew a four-goal lead.
Can the Islanders keep rolling, or will New Jersey be able to win at home? Find out in our free NHL betting picks and predictions for Islanders vs. Devils on Sunday, April 3.
Islanders vs Devils odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Islanders opened as an overwhelming -175 favorite, but with the uncertain status of goalie Ilya Sorokin, the line dropped as low as -149 at Caesars and DraftKings. The Devils opened at +145 and while some sportsbooks moved the line to +130, FanDuel is at +146. The total of 5.5 hasn’t budged, and both the over/under are at -110 at BetMGM.
Islanders vs Devils predictions
Predictions made on 4/3/2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Islanders vs Devils game info
• Location: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
• Date: Sunday, April 3, 2022
• Puck drop: 4:00 p.m. ET
• TV: TNT
Islanders vs Devils betting preview
Islanders: Scott Mayfield D (Out), Cal Clutterbuck F (Out), Ilya Sorokin G (Questionable), Andy Greene D (Questionable).
Devils: Pavel Zacha F (Questionable), Mackenzie Blackwood G (Out), Miles Wood F (Questionable), Jonathan Bernier G (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Islanders vs Devils head-to-head record
Islanders: 8-3 SU, 29 goals for.
Devils: 2-8 SU, 22 goals for.
Betting trend to know
In three of the Devils’ most recent losses, their opponents have scored four or more goals. Find more NHL betting trends for Islanders vs. Devils.
Islanders vs Devils picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Puck line analysis
The Devils are coming off one of their most deflating losses of the season, which is saying something for a team that has 38 defeats on the year. They were leading the best team in the Eastern Conference — the Florida Panthers — 6-2 going into the third period on Saturday, but blew the four-goal lead and lost in overtime, 7-6.
Now, the Devils must put that devastating defeat behind them and try and regroup to face the Islanders. They haven’t had much luck against New York, having lost 3-2 back in January as well as eight of the last 11 meetings with the Isles.
As the Devils proved Saturday, they can score goals. They are averaging 3.04 goals a game, 16th in the NHL. Jack Hughes leads the team in goals with 26 goals, while Jesper Bratt leads the club with 43 assists.
The only problem is New York has one of the best defenses in the league. The Islanders lead the NHL in save percentage at .923 and rank fifth in goals against per game average at 2.64.
There was a big concern when starting goalie Ilya Sorokin left after two periods against the Tampa Bay Lightning a week ago with an undisclosed injury, but backup netminder Semyon Varlamov has been just as good. He’s been in net for the last three victories and has allowed just five goals, even shutting out the Rangers on Friday night.
With the Devils reeling after Saturday’s loss, and the Islanders playing strong regardless of who is between the pipes, all signs point to this being another blowout loss for New Jersey.
Prediction: Islanders -1.5 (+160 at PointsBet)
It’s hard not to look at New Jersey’s last two results and not get excited about the Over. They lost 8-1 to the Boston Bruins last Thursday, and 7-6 on Saturday to the Panthers. In just their last five games, the Devils have given up 24 goals.
Their defense is awful, ranking 29th out of 32 teams in goals against at 3.68 per game and dead-last in team save percentage at .887.
Goaltending had been an issue even before Mackenzie Blackwood and Jonathan Bernier got hurt. They have since been using the trio of Nico Daws, Jon Gillies, and Andrew Hammond, all of whom have a GAA of over 3.0.
The Islanders offense should be able to find the net fairly easily. The team isn’t outstanding offensively, but they’re competent and have actually gone Over the total in 18 of 32 games away from home.
Either way, the Devils might make the Isles look like offensive powerhouses. The total is 5.5 tonight, a number New York could very well reach themselves.
Prediction: Over 5.5 (-110 at BetMGM)
Is New Jersey still shell-shocked from last night’s 7-6 loss? It’s quite possible and if so, you can expect that to carry over into the opening frame against the Islanders.
Given the state of this Devils team, the Islanders will aim to set the tone early in this game which should ultimately lead to finding the back of the net at least once in the first 20 minutes.
New York’s leading scorer, Brock Nelson, could be the player to do it. He is tied for seventh in the league with 12 first-period goals.
Expect the Isles to ride their late-season momentum and take advantage of a Devils team still dealing with the hangover of yesterday’s loss.
Pick: Islanders first period -0.5 (+155 at PointsBet)
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