NHL Picks: Visiting Bruins To Take the Win Against NY Rangers

Jason Lake

Monday, January 11, 2016 1:38 PM GMT

Who's better: the Boston Bruins, or the New York Rangers? The advanced stats prefer the Bruins, so maybe you should feel the same way when you make your NHL picks.

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NHL Pick: Bruins +130
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

 

Hey, puckheads, good to see you again. So the last time we were shooting the shinny, we told you how the Vancouver Canucks and Carolina Hurricanes were pretty much the same in quality, but Carolina was the only one beating the NHL odds when it came to the puck line. The Hurricanes (+1.5, –300) cashed in for us by losing 3-2 to Vancouver. Easy game.

We've got another pair of equally-matched teams lined up for Monday. The Boston Bruins will visit the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden for a 7:00 p.m. Eastern start – you can follow along on either NESN or MSG if you still have cable. There's not much to choose from between these two Original Six teams; unfortunately, that extends to their performance against the puck line, as well. Harrumph.

 

Hello, Bentley
Any way you slice it, you're looking at two of the better teams in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers are two points ahead in the standings, but the Bruins have a game in hand, and they have the higher goal differential at plus-15, three more goals than the Rangers. That's hardly anything halfway into the regular season.

As for our NHL picks, both teams have squeezed out a small profit on the puck line. Boston is slightly ahead in this aspect, too, pulling in 1.90 betting units on a record of 19-21 ATS. But the Blueshirts aren't just in the same neighborhood at 20-21 ATS and +1.56 units – they're in the same building, living on the same floor. It's one of those George Jefferson-Harry Bentley things. What, too old? How about Seinfeld-Newman?

 

Garden of Bleedin'
The Bruins may be very slightly ahead in goal differential, but the stat gurus at Hockey-Reference think a bit more highly of the B's. They've got Boston pegged at +0.43 on their Simple Rating System, with New York trailing at +0.29 SRS. That's a difference of... let's see, carry the one... 0.14 goals per game. In the “real” world, the difference has been just 0.03 goals per game. Say hello to your profit margin.

There isn't much else to work with here. Both teams are expected to use their starting goalies: Tuukka Rask (.915 save percentage) for Boston and Henrik Lundqvist (.918 SV%) for New York. The Bruins are only 2-5-1 in their last eight games, but the Rangers are 3-5-1 in their last nine. If you're okay with trends, Boston is on a 7-1 roll in this series dating back to the 2013 playoffs, but we're primarily interested in their November 27 game at the other Garden, where the B's (–106) won 4-3 with Rask and Lundqvist facing one another. Put us down for another one of those, and may the cylinder be with you.