Underdogs Prevail: Islanders Win In Overtime To Tie Stanley Cup Playoff Series With Bruins

Written By Dave Bontempo on June 1, 2021
NY Islanders

The New York Islanders are still the dogs in their second-round NHL Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Boston Bruins.

But this dog just emerged from the grooming salon, figuratively speaking, with Monday’s 4-3 overtime victory squaring the best-of-seven series.

The Islanders look a lot better than before Game 2 and now have a solid chance to win the series, owning home ice for three of the next four games.

Opportunities for New Jersey and New York online bettors who back them remain rich.

DraftKings Sportsbook still has the Islanders odds at +160 for the best-of-seven set, while Boston is -200.

The Islanders host Game 3 Thursday and Game 4 Saturday, before the series shifts back to Boston.

The rest of the series:

  • Game 5, Monday, June 7, at Boston
  • Game 6, Wednesday, June 9 at New York*
  • Game 7 Friday, June 11 at Boston*

*If necessary


Ways to bet the Islanders at NJ online sportsbooks

There are several ways to bet the Islanders.

Besides the series wager, they are a whopping +850 at DraftKings Sportsbook to prevail in five games.

New York is +500 to triumph in six and +550 to win in seven games. All the odds dropped sharply early Tuesday.

For Islanders backers, one stab at an exact series victory game total may be worth the chance. But it should only augment the series bet because that’s a good number.

On the Boston side, the moneyline has little value. Who wants -210? Bruins backers will have to drill down.

Boston to win in five games is +375

The Bruins to win in six is +320

Boston to prevail in seven is +335.

Both games in this series, Boston’s 5-2 opening triumph and the Islanders’ 4-3 win in Game 2, rewarded “over” bettors.

And the gamblers were, literally, “all over it” in Game 2. DraftKings reported 84% of the revenue supported the “over” 5 total.

The Islanders at +180 obtained 51% of the moneyline handle, a strong showing of faith for a team that had been drubbed in the opener,

Boston bettors couldn’t do much with a -215 moneyline, but still delivered 49% of the bets. Many shifted to the -1.5 line, where the Bruins took 65% of the action laying 1.5 goals, but the bettors lost all around.

Gamblers split on the two biggest props of the night. Both involved laying heavy juice as Boston’s Patrice Bergeron was -250 to exceed 2.5 shots on goal. Ouch. He notched two, including a goal.

David Pastrnak was -162 to exceed 3.5 shots. He delivered four and a winning prop.

Nonetheless, these were expensive choices.

A closer look at Islanders in 2021 Stanley Cup chase

There’s an unusual dynamic concerning the Islanders in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Bettors might attach it to their in-game strategy.

The Islanders have turned the tables in the extra session They are 3-0 in overtime, having captured both a three OT thriller and a double-overtime triumph against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Monday’s win over the Bruins kept them perfect in this department.

What a difference a year makes.

Remember last year’s second-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers? The Islanders lost all three overtime games. But they still won the series. It is one of the few times a team ever lost three extra-session games in a series they won.

The Isles also lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the eventual Stanley Cup champion, in overtime to end their season.

But this year they are prevailing via the law of averages, and the bounces.

The Islanders bordered on a big series hole Monday night.  They squandered a two-goal third-period against the Bruins, who took the momentum into overtime.

But Semyon Varlamov made a critical stop in close for the Islanders, and then the crazy play happened.

Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon sent a cross-ice pass from the left point to a player that wasn’t there to receive the puck. The pass bounced off Charlie Coyle’s skate and kicked out toward the Boston zone.

That’s where Casey Cizikas picked it up and snapped home a game-winner for the Islanders. That prevented a 2-0 series deficit.

Cizikas is one of the lowest-scoring members of the Islanders, but a bounce is a bounce.

Consider New York’s style of play

One thing bettors can always count on is the Islanders playing tough.

And they have no reason to feel outmanned by the Bruins. They were 5-2-1 against Boston during the regular season.

This is the first playoff meeting between the franchises since 1983 in the Stanley Cup semifinals.

The Islanders prevailed in six games and then swept the Edmonton Oilers to capture their fourth straight Stanley Cup.

BetMGM reflects support for the Islanders. They are a +135 underdog, prompting Islanders bettors to seek DraftKings odds.

But the book offers a couple of unique bets in the series:

  • Zero shutouts n the series is -165
  • One shutout is + 210
  • Two would be worth +10000

Here’s an interesting cross-reference to apply to your in-game handicapping.

Bet MGM has the over 5.5 games wager at -300. The under 6.5 is at -200. So basically, BetMGM is thinking the series will end in six games. See what you think.

Timing is critical to series betting

The Tampa Bay Lightning was -135 to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes in their series at William Hill.

Tampa Bay won the first game.  The odds became -300. For Carolina, the odds jumped to + 240.

Around the league, the Montreal Canadiens completed an unlikely comeback from a 3-1 series deficit, stopping the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 to win the series.

Bettors feasted on the “under” 5.5 at a 67% clip.

Go figure that the Canadiens now face the Winnipeg Jets, who performed an unlikely sweep against the heavily-favored Edmonton Oilers, winning the last two in overtime.

When the Canadiens visit the Jets to start the series tomorrow, it features two teams with the longest post-season combined win streak, seven.

Photo by AP/Winslow Townson
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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and others. He writes about all major sports in the booming legal New Jersey sports betting industry. Dave also hosts the Why Eagles Why podcast. Dave is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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