NHL Picks: Boston Bruins at NY Islanders

New York clawed its way to a 5-4 shootout win Friday in Ottawa but they’ll face another tough test Saturday when the Islanders play host to the Boston Bruins.


Boston registered a shootout win of its own Thursday night, shrugging off a brief two-game losing streak by beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on a winner from Jarome Iginla. The Bruins have had their past four-straight games decided by a one-goal margin (2-2) and they’ve faced some elite competition including the Sharks and Penguins who lead their respective divisions. New York is looking like team with upside potential this season but come from behind effort in Ottawa, border crossings and a back-to-back situation make this a difficult spot for the Isles.


Online sportsbooks opened betting for this contest Friday night with the Bruins favored at -140 and the total is set at 5.5 Under (-125). Boston went 4-0 as a road favorite through October, outscoring the competition 16-5 including a pair of Saturday wins over the Jackets (3-1) and Lightning (5-0).


[quote_text color=”#000000″ text_color=”#ffffff”]Since 2010 the Bruins are 41-21 (66-percent) when laying between -115 and -165 as road favorites[/quote_text]


Goaltenders are not confirmed but we like the chances of Kevin Poulin going for New York and that adds definite support for the road squad. Evgeni Nabokov (5-3-3) faced 31 shots Friday and with the amount of work he’s already put in this season it could be a good spot for to get some work for their backup. At the Bruins end, Tuukka Rask (7-4) was only tested 23 times vs. the Ducks and he’s playing with rest. Boston’s next game isn’t until Tuesday (vs. Stars) and we like the odds of seeing Rask start for this conference game.


It’s a steep price but Boston’s been playing close games. One strategy for minimizing cost is to split a unit between the Bruins (-145) moneyline and regulation (-.5, +117). However you choose to play it, look for Boston to scoop these two points vs. a worn out Isles team who are in the letdown spot.

Pick: Take the Bruins


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