Islanders vs Rangers NHL Odds, Picks and Predictions April 29

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Updated: April 29, 2021

Igor Shesterkin and the New York Rangers are outside of the playoff picture but a strong finish, starting with a home-and-home vs. the Islanders, could squeeze them into the postseason.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

It’s desperation time for the New York Rangers, who are on the outside of the playoff picture right now but still have a pulse, provided they finish the season strong.

Their final push to get into the postseason starts tonight with the first half of a home-and-home against the crosstown rival Islanders, who are also one of the teams the Blueshirts are chasing.

The Rangers opened as slim NHL betting home favorites—can they take care of business at Madison Square Garden? Find out our thoughts in our Islanders vs. Rangers free NHL picks and predictions for Thursday, April 29, with puck drop set for 7:00 p.m. ET.

Islanders vs Rangers odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

The line opened at Rangers -120/Islanders +100, with the total at 5.5. Early action favored the home Blueshirts, moving the line to -120/+110, while the Over/Under held firm but is shaded to the Under. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Islanders at Rangers betting preview

Injuries

Islanders: Semyon Varlamov G (Questionable), Anders Lee F (Out).
Rangers: Jacob Trouba D (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Islanders are 1-5 in their last six games as a road underdog. Find more NHL betting trends for Islanders vs. Rangers.

Moneyline pick

Many expected the NHL’s East Division to be the most grueling in the league, and as we hit the final week-and-a-half of the season, that has held true—to the dismay of the Rangers.

The Blueshirts currently have 58 points, which would put them in a playoff spot in every other division but has them sitting in fifth in their current home. New York is currently four points behind Boston but the Bruins have two games in hand and a soft schedule, making the more realistic possibility being catching the slumping Islanders.

The Isles are five points ahead of NYR with one game in hand but they come into tonight’s matchup having lost three straight and five of their last seven. For NYI, it’s the offense that has betrayed them as they’ve scored more than one goal just twice in this stretch.

The Islanders’ possession metrics have been ugly recently, with eight straight games of a sub-50 percent Corsi For percentage and seven of their last eight games having a sub-50 percent Fenwick For percentage, plus they’ve allowed the fourth-most high-danger chances against per 60 minutes in the NHL over the last 2.5 weeks.

The Rangers have not been playing analytically friendly hockey either, despite winning three straight and seven of nine. The Rags have generally been out-possessed over this stretch, and currently have the 10th-most HDCA/60 during that time span.

But unlike the Islanders, whose key forwards have been ice cold, what’s been saving the Rangers is the dynamic play from superstars Mika Zibanejad (points in 10 of his last 11 games) and Artemi Panarin (points in 7 of last 9), and a superior power play.

Over the last two weeks, the Blueshirts are second in scoring chances per 60 minutes with the extra man and are cashing in on the man advantage at a 34.8 percent clip. The Isles, by contrast, are converting at 15 percent efficiency and generating far fewer scoring chances on the power play, which gives the Rangers a leg up in a matchup where goals could be hard to find.

The Isles have taken the last two games in the head-to-head, including a 6-1 shellacking last week, but that seems to be an outlier for their recent play. The Isles are 1-5 in their last six road games, while the Rangers are 9-2 in their last 11 at MSG, so we’re going to lean with the desperate home side tonight. 

PREDICTION: Rangers (-130)

Covers NHL betting analysis

Over/Under pick

It’s hard to believe that a game with Zibanejad, Panarin, Adam Fox and Mathew Barzal (among other players) would feature a total of 5.5. But, that’s a reflection of how both much these teams have struggled offensively at even-strength and how well the goaltending has been.

We mentioned above that these clubs have been giving up plenty of high-danger chances recently, but Rangers phenom Igor Shesterkin has posted a .912 save percentage or better in six of the last eight games, while Semyon Varlamov (expected to start tonight) has a .957 SV% over his last five games and rookie Ilya Sorokin has sported a .923 SV% or better in 10 of his last 13 outings.

Combine that with both teams sitting in the Bottom 8 of 5-v-5 scoring chances for per 60 minutes over the last two weeks, and it’s easy to see how very few goals could hit the board.

Add in the final layer of animosity between these teams, and the expected playoff-like atmosphere tonight, and we’re betting on the Under hitting for the sixth time in the last seven head-to-head meetings.

PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (-125)

Islanders vs Rangers betting card

  • Rangers (-130)
  • Under 5.5 (-125)

Picks made on 4/29/2021 at 12:42 p.m. ET

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