NHL Predictions: Ducks at Rangers Odds and Picks
by George Monroy - 11/4/2013
Playing inside a home arena can do wonders for a team’s record and overall state of mind—just ask the New York Rangers. The team, who just finished up nine-game road trip to start the season, has won three straight games and completely turned around their season since being allowed to return back to Madison Square Garden. New York did not play their first home game of the year until Oct. 28 against the Montreal Canadiens and were near the bottom of the Metropolitan division with six points during that span. However, four wins during their last five matchups has nearly erased the rough start to the year and given the Rangers a much-needed burst of energy for the second month of the season
The Anaheim Ducks may not have any sympathy for long road trips as they are currently going through a brutal set of eight straight games away from the Honda Center. The team has performed at a high level while being out on the road and managed to win four of their last five matchups—earning nine of a possible 14 points during that span. Anaheim is set to play its final game of that road trip tonight against the Rangers. Let’s take an in-depth look at the matchup involving the two teams with some predictions and analysis.
Ducks at Rangers Betting Story Lines
The Rangers have turned a corner since their disappointing and disastrous start to the season. Not only did the team have to deal with an extended road trip to start the year, but they were also working on integrating a new coach to an already established core group of players. However, once the road trip ended and New York had double-digit games under its belt, things start to click on both offense and defense. Over the last three games the Rangers have outscored opponents 10-3 and helped goaltender Henrik Lundqvist earn his second shutout of the year last Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres. The team is even coming off of its biggest win of the season, a 5-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
The Rangers outshot the Hurricanes by 10 attempts, while Lundqvist saved 27 shots. Center Derek Stepan netted a hat trick by scoring his first three goals of the season, and he helped energize the team on offense. Head coach Alain Vigneault praised his top line after the game and mention that they “responded well” after a slow start to both the game and entire season. Playing at home can be a subtle shift, but the Rangers are simply taking better shots, being more aggressive and have a renewed energy on defense.
The Ducks have gone through their eight-game road trip about as well as any team could hope for. Anaheim managed four victories over the first seven games and even earned a point in a close overtime loss to the Boston Bruins last week. The one area where the Ducks have struggled during their road trip has been on power plays. The team is currently in a 1-for-26 slump and believes that loll cost them an even more impressive road trip. Overall, the Ducks are surprisingly ranked last in power-play percentage at 6.9.
Anaheim is still undefeated at home and will begin a three-game homestand on Wednesday. The team last played the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday and looked impressive during a 6-3 victory. The Ducks were lead by their captain, Ryan Getzlaf, who scored a goal and added two assists after the team fell behind 1-0 midway through the second period. One area of concern for Anaheim is their energy levels and defensive effort. The Ducks allowed a low-scoring Sabres offense to score three goals in two periods worth of action and simply looked tired toward the end of the game.
Ducks at Rangers NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Anaheim opened as a -125 road monyeline favorite over the +105 underdog Rangers, according to BookMaker. Nearly 80 percent of the action has come in on the Ducks to earn a road victory. The total was set at five goals, with the “over” being favored at -130. However, 55 percent of the action has come in on the “under” at +110. Anaheim is 6-0 during their last six matchups against teams with a losing record. The team has also gone under in three of their last four Monday games. New York’s under is 6-1-1 during their last eight overall games. The Ducks are 4-1 during their last five overall games and have the same record over their last five matchups versus Eastern Conference teams. The Rangers are 1-4 against Western Conference teams during their last five games. Head to head, the home team has won the last six meetings, and the under is 5-1-1 during the last seven games in New York.
NHL Predictions: Ducks at Rangers Betting Picks
Both teams are playing decently well and are coming into the matchup with dominant victories in their last outings. In general, the Ducks are the superior team at this stage of the season and should win this game the majority of the time. However, there are two things at work here. The Rangers have just gotten a taste of winning and are still trying to make up for their early-season disappointments. The Ducks, on the other hand, are exhausted and proud of themselves for making it through their road trip still near the top of the Western Conference. Anaheim has looked impressive, but there is chance that the team comes into the matchup simply thinking about heading home after it is over. New York is a small underdog, and taking them on the moneyline feels like the best play to make in this situation.
Record: 15-6; Profit: +$1100
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