NHL Picks: Islanders vs. Rangers

David Lawrence

Thursday, February 7, 2013 12:59 PM GMT

The battle of New York is set for Thursday night as the New York Islanders and New York Rangers meet up at Madison Square Garden. Do we take a New York side or bet the Total for our NHL Picks here?

http://www.sportsbookreview.com/video/nhl-picks-new-york-islanders-vs-new-york-rangers-v-12904/

NHL Betting: Islanders vs. Rangers Picks

While rivalries are always highly anticipated, few fans or NHL odds makers figured that the Islanders would be entering this contest with the better record.

Record: 33-38 (-417)

The New York Islanders can win because…

They’re the better team so far. While the Rangers have been very up-and-down, the Islanders are in fact one point better than them this season. If the playoffs were to start today, the Isles would be in and the Rangers would be out.

The Isles have played pretty well on the road as they are 3-1-1 away from home. The Rangers could help them boost that record as they simply aren’t scoring enough goals these days. The Rangers have lost all four games when they’ve scored two or fewer this season so if the Isles can get a good effort from Evgeni Nabokov, they should get the win here.

The New York Rangers can win because…

The Isles are still not particularly good. Are they improved? A little bit. Are they better than the Rangers? Not at all.

The Isles have lost four of six and that stellar start by Nabokov is starting to look like a distant memory. While he’s playing well, the defense in front of him is hanging him out to try. The Isles have allowed 28 goals in their last eight games, which means the Rangers should be able to do enough on offense to win this game.

[gameodds]7/218226/43/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Pick

It’s tempting to take the Isles but the Rangers have won seven straight home meetings in this series. However, we’re not going to lay -180 with a Rangers team that has been pretty sloppy this year for our NHL Picks.

Instead, take the under in this spot. It seems to be the play that makes the most sense.

Free Hockey Pick: Under 5.5 at Bovada

Don't forget to check out The Other Dave's Pick on the Red Wings and Blues!