Free NHL Picks: Rangers at Blue Jackets Odds
by George Monroy - 11/6/2013
The New York Rangers have made a drastic improvement on defense over the last few games and are finally starting to give the type of effort that Coach Alain Vigneault had envisioned when he took over the team during the offseason. The next step for the Rangers is to put together a solid winning streak and begin to move up the standings, where they currently sit near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. The team’s performance against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, even though it came with a loss, was a real eye-opener on how well the team can dominate the puck during three periods of regulation. If New York can put forth that same type of defensive effort every night, they will set themselves up as a playoff threat in the East.
Columbus is currently in the middle of their second four-game losing streak of the season, and they have not been competitive in nearly a week. The team has been outscored 11-3 over their last three games, and they were shut out against the Pittsburgh Penguins over the weekend. The Conference realignment has been tough on the Blue Jackets, who are already near the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Columbus will be in desperate need of a win on Thursday when they host the Rangers inside Nationwide Arena. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup with predictions and analysis.
Rangers at Blue Jackets Betting Story Lines
On Monday, the Rangers lost a close matchup to the Anaheim Ducks that was perhaps one of their most impressive performances of the season. New York gave up two early goals behind some sloppy play in the first period, but they were able to turn their night around and hold Anaheim to only 12 shot attempts during the first two periods of action. The Rangers won 39 face-offs, had six takeaways and took 33 shot attempts. The only thing the team was missing was actual goals. Outside of those first two scores, the Rangers were more aggressive and dominant than the Ducks, who are known for that same style of play on the ice. New York may not have won that game, but being able to hang tough with one of the best teams in the Western Conference has to be a confidence boost for the team.
The Blue Jackets have two more games left in their four-game homestand and would love to end this stretch with a 2-2 record. The team is set to play eight of their last 11 games of the month on the road and may find victories hard to come by during that section of their schedule. If the team does not rack up points now, they might end up with an insurmountable hole by the time December rolls around. Columbus’ goaltender, Curtis McElhinney, has given up five goals in only 49 shot attempts over the last two games, and he was particularly bad against the Senators, where he gave up three goals on 23 shot attempts. The Blue Jackets will have four players miss Thursday’s game due to injury—three of which will miss action for an extended period of time.
Rangers at Blue Jackets NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Columbus opened as a slight -136 moneyline favorite over the +124 underdog Rangers, according to BetOnline. The total opened at five goals, with the “over” being favored at -121. The Blue Jackets are receiving +210 odds on the puckline for giving up the 1.5 goals, while the Rangers are receiving -250 puckline odds for taking the 1.5 goals. New York has a 5-1 record on the second night of a back-to-back and is 4-1 against Eastern Conference teams this season. Columbus has a 1-4 record when playing on one day of rest and is 0-4 during their last five overall games. Heat-to-head, the home team is 8-2 during the last 10 meetings, while the Rangers are 1-5 during the last six matchups in Columbus. The “under” is also 4-1 over the last five games between the two teams.
Free NHL Picks: Rangers at Blue Jackets Betting Predictions
The Rangers are a team that feels they are much better than their record currently indicates, and they will be playing with confidence against the Blue Jackets on Thursday. At this point in the year, New York is accustomed to playing on the road and should be able to pull off a win against a struggling and confused Columbus team. The Rangers are the better team in this matchup, and they are very aware that they need to turn their season around quickly if they still plan on making the playoffs. Take the Rangers and the positive moneyline payout.
Record: 16; Profit: +$1118
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