NHL Picks: Rangers vs. Blue Jackets

David Lawrence

Thursday, November 7, 2013 12:35 PM GMT

The Columbus Blue Jackets host the New York Rangers tonight at the Nationwide Arena. Find out which team we've decided to place our money on.

The bad news for the New York Rangers is that they had a really rough start to the season. The good news is they’re in the weakest division in the NHL. That means that a recent hot stretch has pulled them within two points of a playoff spot. On Thursday, they’ll try to keep it rolling against a Columbus team that’s lost nine of their first 14 games to start the season.

The New York Rangers can win because…

They’ve turned their season around. They’ve won four of their last five, which includes a win over the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins last night. The Rangers have gotten back to basics, which is defense and goaltending. They’ve allowed just four goals in their last four games and they’re a tough team to beat when they keep their contests low-scoring.

It’s hard to add the Blue Jackets to your sports picks these days because they’ve lost four straight and simply aren’t scoring. That’s going to be a problem against the Rangers.

The Columbus Blues Jackets can win because…

Their losing streak is a bit overrated. Sure, losing four in a row is never good but look at who they’ve played: Anaheim, Pittsburgh (twice) and Ottawa. It’s not as if they’ve lost four straight to the Buffalo Sabres.

The Rangers are a mixed bag and bettors rarely know what they are going to get. They are capable of beating Pittsburgh, as they did last night, but they’re also capable of losing on the road to Philadelphia and New Jersey as they did earlier in the year. Before you back the Rangers on the NHL odds, keep that in mind.

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Outlook & Pick

It’s tough to bet the Blue Jackets these days. They’ve lost four in a row and have scored just six goals in those games. Even more discouraging is the fact that three of those losses were at home.

The Rangers are still a dicey bet these days – especially on the road – but getting plus-money makes it worth it. I’ll take them as a dog and add them to my NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Rangers +126 at Pinnacle