NHL Thursday Pick: Superb Underdog Betting Value On Rangers Over Jets

Antti Raanta celebrating in the field

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, December 8, 2016 7:29 PM GMT

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 7:29 PM GMT

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to make money Thursday night by betting on hockey. SBR NHL analyst Ross Benjamin provides us with some insights into the New York Rangers at Winnipeg Jets matchup.

New York Rangers At Winnipeg Jets

The Rangers and Jets collide in Winnipeg on Thursday, and there’s a slated opening face-off time of 8:05 p.m. ET. This will be the second and final game between these teams this season. The Rangers came away with 5-2 win over Winnipeg at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 6.

Winnipeg is a moneyline favorite of -116 per NHL betting odds at BetOnline, and there’s a posted total of 5.5. If you’re looking for one of the best sportsbooks to wager with, then be sure to check out BetOnline.

 

Why The Moneyline Movement?

If you’re wondering why the Rangers opened as a moneyline favorite of -125 in this game and now are small underdogs, I can provide a few reasonable explanations. First, New York will rest red-hot No. 1 goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Second, Thursday will be the Rangers' 3rd road game in 4 nights and that type of grueling stretch always weighs heavily with avid NHL bettors. Third, Winnipeg has played much better of late by winning 4 of its last 6. Finally, the Jets will welcome back center Mark Scheifele will return from a lower-body injury. He had missed the past 3 games but still leads the team with 26 points.

 

Starting Goaltenders

The Rangers could do a lot worse than Antii Raanta as their backup goaltender. When given his limited opportunities this season, Raanta has been performed superbly. Raanta has appeared in 8 games, 7 starts, and compiled a stellar .931 save percentage. Raanta has been exceptional in his 3 starts on the road, going 3-0 with an excellent .953 save percentage.

Although it’s yet to be confirmed, Connor Hellebuyck is expected to be between the pipes for Winnipeg. Hellebuyck hasn’t been especially sharp over his last 4 starts, evidenced by a subpar .891 save percentage during those outings. It must be noted that Hellebuyck started in Winnipeg’s loss at Madison Square Garden in early November and was pulled from the game after allowing 4 goals on just 16 shots. It wouldn’t shock me if Winnipeg opted to start Michael Hutchinson in goal here. He has made just 3 starts over the past 5 weeks.

 

Final Analysis & Pick

The Rangers are coming off a 4-2 loss in Brooklyn on Tuesday. However, the Blueshirts have lost 2 games in a row just once all season. As a matter of fact, the Rangers are an extremely profitable 8-1 this season following a loss in their previous game and that includes winning 4 straight after a defeat. With all things being carefully considered, I’ll take the road underdog in this game for one of my NHL picks.

NHL Free Pick: Rangers +105Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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