NHL Picks: Rangers vs. Flyers

PJ Laferla

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 2:14 PM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2013 2:14 PM GMT

Bitter rivals collide on the ice tonight when the New York Rangers pay a visit to the City of Brotherly Love to meet up with the Philadelphia Flyers in a matchup of two teams that have failed to live up to expectation thus far in the season.

Which direction should we go with our NHL picks in this contest, as we hunt for prime value?

[gameodds]7/222835/43/us[/gameodds]

The puck in this one is scheduled to drop at 7:30 PM EST from the Wells Fargo Center in South Philly and can be seen live on television, with broadcast coverage provided by NBC Sports.

Several of the largest online sportsbooks have pegged the home team as -120 money line favorite on the NHL odds boards. The home team has taken 13 of the last 19 games in this head to head matchup.

The total is coming in a 5 goals, with a steep -130 price tag on the over. The irony here is that 8 of the last 10 meetings between these teams in Philadelphia have stayed under the posted total.

The Rangers own one of the worst offenses in the NHL, scoring an average of just 2.4 goals per contest. However, their defense is among the best in the business, allowing opponents to score an average of just 2.5 goals per game.

New York is only 2-5 in their last seven games overall and 1-4 in their last five games on the highway when facing a team with a winning percentage above .600 on their home ice. The Rangers are under in 50 of their last 92 games played on the road (50-22-22), including 7-2-1 in their last ten versus Atlantic Division adversaries.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia has dropped two straight and continue to mount a disappointing season. The Flyers feature a defense that is among the worst in the NHL, as they are surrendering about 3 goals per contest. Their offense is a bit better, but it still ranks in the bottom half of the league, as they are scoring an average of 2.6 goals per game.

Philadelphia is just 2-6 in their last 8 games overall and 1-4 in their last five versus teams in their own division. However, they have won four of the last five on their home ice. The Flyers have eclipsed the total in six of eight versus teams in the Atlantic Division and seven of ten when playing on one days rest in between games.

The Pick

Both teams are struggling, but the advantage has to go to Philadelphia in this one, as the Rangers have accumulated just five wins on the road all season.

Backing the Flyers at -120 in this one holds more value than taking the Rangers at even money. Making a play on Philadelphia should cash in for NHL bettors, as I expect them to come away with a victory.

NHL Pick: Flyers -120 at Bookmaker
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