Player accessories have value in Islanders vs. Lightning Game 7
After rallying to erase a two-goal deficit, the New York Islanders avoided elimination on Wednesday with a 3-2 overtime victory. The teams will decide the series on Friday night in Tampa, Fla., And the Lightning could do without their best forward, Nikita Kucherov, after suffering what appeared to be an upper-body injury after receiving a countercheck from Scott. Mayfield who went without appeal by the officials.
Kucherov’s absence would be a huge loss for the Lightning, but they are a deep team capable of winning an important game without the services of their main points producer.
DraftKings lists the Lightning as the -175 Moneyline favorite on Friday, but it’s hard to justify placing the favorite at a price that isn’t that far from the closing price of Game 5, which was around -185. Kucherov has scored 27 points in 17 playoff games and punters need to be careful here. If he plays he’ll play injured, but the Lightning would be worth a bet on the moneyline at -175 or better (they’re -165 at BetMGM in New Jersey). However, if he is not able to adapt, bettors should know that there is not really a good deal to be made here unless they see a substantial change in the odds of the game. .
By my estimation, the Lightning should win the game about 65% of the time with Kucherov in the lineup, which equates to a fair silver odds of -185. Without it, their odds drop to around 61% or -155. It also means that there won’t be a time when I would be backing the Islanders here because at best their odds of winning are around 39% or +155 and DraftKings currently lists them at +148 on the money line. (it’s +135 at BetMGM). Bettors should be happy with the way they’ve rated the major markets, and that doesn’t bode well for bettors. So, how do you approach this game?
Look for cases where bettors have not adjusted properly if Kucherov is not in the lineup. Player accessories would be a good place to start. Anthony Cirelli did a good job replacing Kucherov on the first line, scoring a goal and an assist on Wednesday. While the first (a goal) might not be a good bet to recur in Game 7, the last (an assist) is something a little more achievable with Brayden Point, who scored goals in nine consecutive games, on his line.
Yanni Gourde is another player who would benefit from moving up in the lineup and there is a way for punters to take advantage of it. Gourde will go up if Kucherov is not in the lineup and he will be flanked by Steven Stamkos and Alex Killorn.
Before Game 6, punters could put BetMGM’s -161 on Gourde to exceed 1.5 shots on goal, a feat he has accomplished in 12 of 17 playoff games this season. He averaged two shots on goal per game in the playoffs, but hit the target 2.5 times per game in that series.
There is no smoke or mirrors here. If bettors can find similar odds before Game 7, this is a great bet. If Kucherov isn’t playing and a bettor can place close to -161 on Gourde to go over 1.5 shots on goal, they can rest assured that the bettors haven’t made the proper adjustments.