NHL Betting Guide: Thursday 6/17/21

Nick Leddy has points in three of his last four games. Will he help the Islanders take a 2-1 series lead on home ice against the Lightning?

Both semifinal series are tied at one game apiece, with both series shifting to new locales. The New York Islanders host the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 on Thursday night, with eyes on shifting the series further in their direction after they stole home-ice advantage by splitting the first two games in Tampa.

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New York Islanders vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Islanders moneyline (+124): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Islanders +1.5 (-240): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Under 5.5 (-154): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

Tampa leveled the series against the Isles after a convincing 4-2 victory in Game 2, which was their ninth win in 13 playoff games. The problem has been that they continue to overachieve relative to their metrics, putting them on a collision course with correction as their metrics come back down towards average.

The Lightning have posted an expected goals-for percentage below 50.0% at five-on-five in 8 of 13 games and below 50.0% in 9 of 13 games across all strengths. They continue to win despite getting outplayed, which has resulted in an unsustainable 1.043 PDO, the highest among playoff teams. Basically, the Bolts can't continue to get outplayed and win games, further inflating their PDO. The Lightning are due for correction, and that should come on the road, where they continue to get outplayed.

The Lightning have failed to out-possess their opponents in any road playoff game, out-chanced them in high-danger chances twice, and out-shot them just once. Consequently, they have been outplayed in every road game, resulting in an expected goals-for percentage of 43.5% across all strengths as the visitors this postseason. Similar to their overall metrics, their production does not align with outcomes, and they have five more wins on the road than they should.

It's also worth considering how effective the Islanders have been, not only in this series but across the postseason. New York has outplayed the Lightning across at five-on-five in both games this series. The backbone of their success has been their defensive play. The Islanders have limited the Lightning to 15 high-danger chances, 52 scoring opportunities, and 43 shots through the first two games at five-on-five. That is a continuation of their impressive defensive play throughout the playoffs.

New York has limited their opponents to nine or fewer high-danger chances at five-on-five in 10 of 14 games this postseason. Shots have also decreased over their recent sample, with opponents attempting 23 or fewer at five-on-five in four of their last five games. The Islanders will continue to lean on that defensive structure, particularly against the Lightning.

By doing so, we should anticipate a low-scoring game, and that aligns with our projections, rating the under 5.5 as a one-star play. There's also an edge in backing the Islanders on the moneyline and puckline in tonight's contest. The Islanders have a 51.0% chance of winning tonight, which is well above their implied probability in the betting market. We rate the moneyline and puckline wagers as two-star plays.