Our NHL consultant will cover the opening game of the playoff series between the Rangers and Penguins. Join us to read this insightful betting preview article which concludes with a selection on the total.
Rematch of 2014 Eastern Semifinal Series
The Rangers and Penguins will open their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal best of seven series on Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York. The opening puck drop is slated for 7:05 PM ET. According to the NHL odds at 5Dimes, the Rangers are a -170 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. These Metropolitan Division rivals have met four times during the regular season, and the Rangers won three of the four. This will be a rematch of the 2014 Eastern Conference Semifinals in which the Rangers overcame a three game to one deficit, and went on to win the series.
Inexplicably Anemic Offensively
The Pittsburgh Penguins are one of the more offensively talented teams in the NHL on paper. Unfortunately that hasn’t translated to production on the ice, and especially during the home stretch of the regular season. The Penguins scored two goals or less in twelve of their final eighteen games, and scored more than three goals on just one occasion during that time. Needless to say, they struggled to win, going 4-11 against the money line in their last fifteen games. As a matter of fact, if it not for a win over the lowly Buffalo Sabres in their final regular season game, the Penguins would’ve been in jeopardy of missing the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Pittsburgh has gone over the total in just 37.8% of their eighty-two games this season. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has a history of erratic play at playoff time, but he’s coming off a season in which he had a career best ten shutouts.
No Excuse for Rangers in this Series
The New York Rangers enter this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series exuding confidence, and justifiably so. They ended the regular season by winning six of the last seven, and also went a torrid 46-18 against the money line in their final sixty-four games. The Rangers allowed just 2.3 goals per game this season, and that ranked third in the entire NHL. They also possess one of the top goaltenders in the world with Henrik Lundquist.
NHL Totals Betting Angle
The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off a 2-0 shutout win in their regular season finale. The last time the Penguins faced the Rangers was back on January 18th at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, and they lost 5-2 as a money line home favorite of -135. Those two results qualifies this exact situation for a very profitable betting system on the total, and that just further convinced me to use this game for one of my NHL picks on Thursday.
Any road team (Pittsburgh) that’s playing with same season revenge stemming from a money line home favorite loss, and they’re also coming off a shutout win in their previous game, has resulted in that road team going under the total in thirty of those thirty-nine games (76.9%) since 1996.
NHL Pick: Play on the Penguins and Rangers to go under the total of 5.0 at 5Dimes