NHL Betting Guide: Friday 6/25/21
This is it. Game 7 for a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals. The New York Islanders mounted a comeback in Game 6 before winning in overtime and forcing a Game 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. That set the table for tonight's decisive contest at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
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Islanders moneyline (+144): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Barry Trotz has had the Islanders well prepared to quell a dangerous Lightning attack, and the 8-0 shellacking in Game 5 notwithstanding, mission accomplished. The Islanders have limited the Lightning to eight or fewer high-danger chances in the other five games and 23 or fewer scoring opportunities in four of five.
Tampa has managed to find ways to score despite the Islanders' defensive structure, inflating their PDO to 1.045 beyond a sustainable level. The Lightning are scoring on 11.3% of their shots, which is above their 10.6% metric set during the regular season. Andrei Vasilevskiy has been a stalwart, stopping 93.3% of shots this postseason, above his regular-season average of 92.5% and playoff average of 92.2%. In short, the Lightning remain at risk of regression.
Vasilevskyi is starting show cracks in his armor, stopping 90.0% of shots or fewer in two of his last three. That has contributed to a 1.032 PDO this series, which is a lower than the Bolts' playoff average and an indicator for what to expect.
Offensively, the Islanders have been effective in this series, out-shooting the Lightning at five-on-five in four of six and out-chancing them in high-danger chances in three of six. In total, the Islanders have posted an expected goals-for percentage above 50.0% in five of the six games, holding a series advantage of 51.2%. The scores in this series don't necessarily reflect that, but the Islanders have been the better team through most of this series.
The betting market once again favors the Lightning, which is contraindicated in our projections and analysis. The Lightning have a 58.4% chance of winning tonight, which is less than the 63.3% implied probability of their -172 price on the moneyline. That leaves an edge in backing the Islander, rated as a one-star play.