Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:25 AM EST.
OT included. 7:30 PM EST. There are plenty of remarkable things about this game but specifically about these two teams that are worth discussing here so let’s start with the ESPN Power Rankings last week that had the Rangers as the 11th best team in the NHL and the Penguins the 16th best. We cannot overstate how fu**ed up that is. Just like the market and many other media outlets, the results influence opinions but if the Rangers are the 11th best team in the NHL Tie Domi was better than Wayne Gretzky. That’s how ridiculous those ESPN power rankings are. Truth be told, and we’ve been saying it all year, that the Rangers are absolutely one of the worst five teams in the league that has a cupboard full of lucky victories. In fact, New York’s last three wins have all come in OT against Washington, Buffalo and Arizona. The last time the Rags won a game that didn’t go into OT was 10 games ago when they were dominated by the Ducks (outshot 40-30 and out-Corsied 60-45) but won 4-1. That’s pretty much the story of the Rangers season. Rarely do the Rangers outplay anyone. Rarely do they win any battles other than the blocked shots battle because they’re always in their own end blocking shots. In 5v5 Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi For or Corsi Against, the Rangers are among the worst teams in the league and behind teams like Vancouver, Buffalo, Detroit and Arizona in many categories. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about these dregs is that they are tied with Pittsburgh in total points with 49. That can’t be and won’t be after this one.
We’ve heard it all year how the Penguins are burned out and not playing at a high level and to that we say, “Hogwash”. The Penguins were not playing at a high level for the first couple of months of the season, which was expected after back-to-back championships but they have picked it up exponentially since December 1. Since then, the Pens rank 3rd in 5v5 Score and Venue Adjusted Corsi For % (Rangers rank dead last - 31st). In 5v5 Corsi Against per 60 minutes, the Penguins rank 5th since December 1 while the Rangers once again rank dead last. The Penguins haven’t been dominating in the win column for one reason and one reason only and that’s because of nothing but bad luck, which is revealed in their PDO (Save % + Shooting %). Since December 1, the Pens PDO is the lowest in the league, ranking 31st, meaning the Pens have been the unluckiest team in the NHL over the past six weeks. The Pens are still a juggernaut while the Rags are a joke and this mismatch figures to reveal both. You could play the Pens - ½ -103 here if you like in regulation and we’re suggesting that’s a great value bet too but we’re spotting 1½-pucks and taking back a much bigger price because we know what a mismatch it is.
Open an account today at Pinnacle Sports and take advantage of their -104 style pricing on sides and totals, which is 60% better than other sportsbooks.
PITTSBURGH -1½ +169 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.38)