NHL Picks for Capitals vs. Rangers Series Closer

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 1:21 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 12, 2015 1:21 PM UTC

Our resident NHL handicapping professional discusses Game 7 between the Capitals and Rangers on Wednesday. Join us in reading his insightful betting preview article which culminates with a money line selection.

Rangers and Caps in “Win or Take All” Game 7
The Rangers and Capitals will meet in Game 7 of their playoff series on Wednesday at 7:35 PM ET, and the winner will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. According to the NHL betting odds at Bookmaker, the Rangers are a -165 money line favorite, and the posted total is 4.5. Each of the first six games in this series has been decided by one goal. The series has also gone 4-1-1 under the total.


Regrouping for Elimination Game
The Capitals blew a golden opportunity to put the Rangers away. After jumping out to a 3-1 series lead, they lost Game 5 at Madison Square Garden in overtime, and their furious rally fell short in a 4-3 home loss during Game 6. Washington can’t think about what could’ve been, but what they can control right now, and that’s winning a deciding Game 7 on the road. Braden Holtby had a rare off night in Sunday’s Game 6 loss, but he’s been terrific during these 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and a major reason Washington is one win away from reaching the conference finals. They can also build upon momentum established during the final twelve minutes of Sunday’s loss when they thoroughly dominated the Rangers. The Capitals held a decisive 45-28 shots on goal advantage in Game 6. They were 2-0 when facing elimination in their opening round series win over the Islanders.


Elimination Game Warriors
The New York Rangers have now gone 7-1 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the last two seasons when facing elimination. Their lone loss in that sequence was in Game 5 at Los Angeles during the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals. After a 7-11 start, the Rangers have gone 53-22 (.707) against the money line in their last seventy-five games this season. An important aspect of this game to keep an eye on pertains to the Rangers quick starts. They’ve outscored opponents during the first period of games this season by a cumulative 93-56 margin, and that includes 9-2 in the playoffs. Considering they’re at home, and how well Henrik Lundquist is playing in goal, getting the lead in Game 7 could be a huge determining factor. Speaking of Lundqvist, he was brilliant in Game 6, stopping 42 of 45 Washington shots on goal.


Final Analysis
I picked the Rangers to be the 2015 Stanley Cup winner at NHL betting odds of +550, and there’s no sense of deviating from that plan. This is one of the extremely rare times that I’ll lay heavy money line juice, but there’s an exception to every rule. I like the home team in Game 7 for one of my NHL picks.

The only thing I’ll suggest from a money management perspective is wagering what you would ordinarily play to win, to minimize the risk.  

Example: Instead of wagering $330 to win $200 on the Rangers, risk $200 to win $121.21.

NHL Picks: Rangers -165 on the money line over the Capitals at Bookmaker.

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