Bet Flames vs. Rangers to go Under

Ross Benjamin

Sunday, December 15, 2013 7:39 PM GMT

The Rangers host the Flames at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The NHL odds are out; check out where we believe the best value lies.

According to NHL betting odds the Rangers are a -180 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.0. These two teams haven’t seen any of their last 4 meetings go over the total.

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Haunted House for Rangers

The Rangers have inexplicably lost their last 5, and 8 of their last 9 home games. This will be the 5th of a 9-game in 17-day home stand that’s off to a horrible 0-4 start. In their most recent loss they fell 4-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. “The Blue Shirts” dug a deep hole early in the loss to Columbus, falling behind 3-0 in the first 11:10 of the first period. They were able to close the gap to 3-2 with just 8:53 to go in the 3rd period on a goal by Dan Girardi. However, Columbus scored with just 1:32 to play for the final margin of victory. The loss dropped the Rangers to 5-10 on the money line at home this season.

Inside the Rangers Numbers

  • The Rangers are 29th in the NHL averaging a paltry 2.2 goals per game.
  • The Rangers are the 6th best in the NHL with their penalty killing at 86.0%.
  • The Rangers are 0-6 in their last 6 home games versus an opponent with a losing record.
  • The Rangers have gone 18 of their last 25-games when playing on a Sunday.
  • The Rangers have stayed under the total in just 1 of their last 6-games at home.
  • The Rangers have gone under the total in just 11 of their last 42-games versus Western Conference opponents.

The Flame is Burning

Calgary comes off a momentum building 2-1 overtime win at Buffalo on Saturday afternoon. Matt Stajan scored just 0:42 into overtime for the game winner. The win was the 5th in 7-games for the Flames. Calgary has allowed just 10-goals combined during that 7-game span, and they went under the total in all 7 of those contests. The win over Buffalo improved the Flames money line road record to a respectable 7-9 on the season. Today’s game will be their 3rd in 4, and the 4th in 6-days for Calgary. They’re currently 6th in the 7-team Pacific Division, and 13th overall in the Western Conference. They trail both Phoenix and Minnesota by 11-points for the 8th in final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Inside the Flames Numbers

  • The Flames are 28th in the NHL allowing 3.2 goals per game.
  • The Flames are dead last in the NHL on faceoffs winning just 45.5% of their draws.
  • The Flames are just 22-45 in their last 67-games when playing with no rest.
  • The Flames are 2-6 in their last 8 when playing their 3rd game in 4-days.
  • The Flames are 6-14 in their last 20 when playing their 4th game in 6-days.
  • The Flames are 4-1 in their last 5 versus an opponent with a losing record.
  • The Flames have gone over the total in 12 of their last 17-games versus an opponent from the Eastern Conference.

Final Analysis

The Flames have really tightened the screws defensively over the last couple of weeks. The Rangers continue to have problems generating any kind of offense. The strong goaltending of both Henrik Lundquist and backup Cameron Talbot has covered up some of the Rangers offensive deficiencies. I have the smallest of leans toward a low scoring game in this one for our NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Flames/Rangers to go under the total of 5.0