Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST.
7:35 PM EST. OT included. The Flyers aren’t turning any heads these days but they have quietly reeled off four wins in a row, which includes a 5-3 victory over the Devils after their five-day mandatory break. In fact, Philly has won five of six with only loss over that span coming against the warm Penguins. It’s also worth noting that the Flyers snipers are on fire with four goals or more in all of those aforementioned victories and five goals or more in four of those six victories. Finally, Philadelphia’s defense has tightened too, as they have allowed between 27 and 31 shots on net in seven straight games since December 28 and rank third overall since that time in 5v5 Corsi Against. The Flyers are playing well, they’re winning and they’re scoring goals.
By contrast, the Rangers are not playing well and haven’t been all season, which has been well documented in this space all season long. When the Rags win, it’s usually luck based because it’s a rare day when they outplay or out-possess the opposition. The Rangers last win came in Arizona, where they were badly outplayed and outshot in 39-25. This market has been deluded by Rangers misleading record all season long but we have not and will continue to fade them when they’re favored.
This is a team that rarely plays a full 60 minutes and is lacking in focus and intensity, is riddled with defensive-zone deficiencies, and has been kept afloat in shallow waters only by consistently spectacular goaltending of Hart Trophy contender Henrik Lundqvist and understudy Ondrej Pavelec, who have combined for a .936 save percentage and 2.17 GAA in 34 games since the calendar turned to November.
The Rangers have allowed the second most shot attempts in the NHL while recording the sixth fewest attempts, have surrendered the second-most shots on goal, have the fourth-worst shots for/against percentage and are trending downward, yielding a fraction less than 37 shots per over the last 18 contests in which they have allowed 35 or more 11 times (40 or more six times). The Rangers fourth line has been their best line for weeks and their coach keeps giving bigger minutes to guys playing a lot worse. Now take the Rags best defensemen, Ryan McDonagh out of the picture and this team is even more vulnerable. We’ll go on record saying that the Rangers are the NHL’s worst team, which makes them the best team to constantly fade. There is money to be made fading these dregs until the market catches up to how bad they truly are.
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Philadelphia +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)