NHL Picks: Rangers Have The Advantage Against Red Wings

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, April 9, 2016 11:28 AM GMT

Saturday, Apr. 9, 2016 11:28 AM GMT

The Red Wings hope to secure one of two remaining Eastern Conf playoff spots while the Rangers are jockeying for a better postseason seed. Let's review the NHL odds and grab the sharp side here.

Detroit Red Wings (41-40 SU, -6.0 units)
The Red Wings are locked in a three-way death struggle for one of two Eastern Conference playoff spots with Boston and Philadelphia. Detroit would like to capture the third spot in the Atlantic rather than the lone wild card berth available but winning will take care of everything. Though the Wings are tied with the Bruins going into the final game of the regular season, they hold the advantage in non-shootout wins (39 to 38) which means if they win in regulation or overtime this afternoon then a postseason berth is guaranteed.

Thursday night Detroit did not look like a team walking the line between the edge of glory and the brink of defeat when they came out flat and were dominated by the Bruins in Boston by the score of 5-2. The Red Wings were outshot 34-15 with veteran Jimmy Howard going the distance between the pipes for Detroit. A win over the B's would have avoided all the drama this weekend but with Philadelphia now only a point behind with two games to play this weekend and Boston preparing to face Ottawa, anything can happen.

 

New York Rangers (45-36 SU, +0.9 units)
Though this afternoon's game may be enormous for the Detroit Red Wings it is almost as big for the New York Rangers. Indeed a win here could be the difference between a wild card entry and a third place finish in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers are tied with the Islanders for third place but the Isles have two games remaining while the Blueshirts will close out their regular season this afternoon. There are a lot of moving parts in this weekend's Eastern Conference action but this face-off at Madison Square will be among the most crucial.

New York, like Detroit, could have made their lives much easier had they shown up to play on Thursday night but alas the foes they faced had every bit as much motivation to win with Boston topping Detroit and the Islanders capturing a 4-1 win over the Rangers. Had you read my analysis of the Islanders/Rangers matchup and included the Isles in your NHL picks you would have had yourself a +130 road dog to add to your bankroll. I pointed out that Henrik Lundqvist has been worked like a rented mule once again this season and has seen more rubber recently than Goodyear. I suspected he might be in for a letdown and sure enough, he got the hook after the second period where he allowed three goals on 16 shots.

 

Betting Analysis
These clubs have met twice this season and the home team has come away with victories in each of those contests. On February 21st the Rangers copped a 1-0 overtime victory at Madison Square Garden but the Wings returned the favor in their next meeting at the Joe Louis Arena on March 12th where the Rangers fell 3-2 in an overtime defeat.

As we review the NHL odds we see that as of this early Saturday morning writing there is no line being hung on this one but we do see that Jimmy Howard of Detroit and Antti Raanta of New York are the confirmed starting goalies. I liked the Rangers before but like them even better now that Lundqvist is getting a rare game off. He is gassed and they desperately need him to be ready for the postseason. Here are some stats to chew on:

* The Rangers have won four straight over the Red Wings in games played in New York.

* The Rangers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games following a loss of three or more goals.

* The Rangers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against Atlantic Division opponents.

* The Red Wings are 5-22 in their last 27 games on the road.

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Free NHL Pick: New York Rangers +185
Best Line Offered: at The Greek

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