The Detroit Red Wings can win because…
The Rangers are very unreliable at home. Sure, the Rangers have played well over the last couple of weeks but they have the occasional head-scratcher, such as a 4-3 home loss to Columbus and Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to Tampa Bay. People who were investing in the Rangers on the NHL odds in those games lost quite a bit of juice.
Detroit has been a lousy team since the start of December but the good news is they’ve been better on the road than at home. They’ve won four of their last seven away games, which includes wins in Los Angeles and Dallas. On the year, they are 14-6-3 on the road, so they are more than capable of pulling the surprise here.
The New York Rangers can win because…
They’re playing their best hockey of the season. Their loss on Tuesday aside, the Rangers have won eight of their last 12 games. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is finally performing at the level we expect from him, giving up just 10 goals in his last five outings.
The Red Wings are likely to be without a couple of key contributors on Thursday as Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Alfredsson are both doubtful to play. That’ll make the Rangers task that much easier.
Outlook & Pick
Taking the Rangers with your sports picks is a bit dicey as sportsbooks are asking you to lay about -150. They can definitely cash that in but some recent home losses deter me from taking that.
Instead, I’ll go with the under with my NHL picks. Lundqvist is playing great while the Red Wings will be without a couple of key scorers. On top of that, they’ve only scored 11 goals in their last five games.
Pick: Under 5 at Pinnacle