Rangers Poised to Start the Year off Right in Winter Classic

sportspicks and picks

Swinging Johnson

Monday, January 1, 2018 3:11 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 3:11 PM GMT

It's not every day that you see a hockey game played inside a baseball field but that's exactly what's happening today as the Winter Classic takes place at Citi Field, home of baseball's New York Mets. Let's check out the NHL odds and get on the right side of this Sabres/Rangers tilt.

Free NHL Pick: Rangers -155
Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Rangers

* New York is 20-18 (+0.00 Units) overall this season.

* New York is 6-3 (+3.3 Units) when playing with two day's rest.

* New York is 10-7 (+1.9 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record.

* Buffalo is 2-6 (-4.6 Units) after scoring four goals or more in their previous game.

* Buffalo is 2-11 (-9.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record.

* Buffalo is 10-28 (-17.6 Units) overall this season.

This is the first meeting between these two New York clubs this season and both teams have had a few days to rest before commencing the 2018 portion of the regular season schedule. The Sabres have won just three of their last 10 games but one of those victories occurred in their last outing on Friday night when Rasmus Ristolainen's snap shot beat New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider at 2:37 into overtime and gave the Sabres a 4-3 victory over the Devils.

The Rangers are in the middle of the Metropolitan division as the season approaches its midpoint and have dropped three of its last four contests, all decided by one goal. Friday night the Rangers skated into Detroit, installed as a pick'em by the NHL odds makers, and skated out with another loss in a 3-2 setback. New York ranks 7th in goals-against average (2.7 GPG) and 8th in offensive production, averaging 3.1 goals per game. Their penalty killing unit has been a bright spot this season, shutting out opponents 84.1 percent of the time which ranks them 3rd in the league.

This meeting clearly favors the Rangers who own sizeable advantages in virtually every aspect of the game. Buffalo is dead last in goals scored and 28th of 31 in goals against. In addition, Rangers All-Star netminder Henrik Lundqvist is 3-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA and .933 save percentage in open-air environments and needs only one more victory to tie legendary goalie, and former Chicago Blackhawk, Tony Esposito for eighth place on the NHL's all-time wins list at 423. The numbers are decidedly in the Rangers' favor this afternoon and we will have no problem laying the lumber in our NHL picks to start the New Year off right.

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