Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:00 PM EST odds are subject to change.
N.Y. Rangers -½ +155 over Boston
7:07 PM EST. Regulation only. The Bruins are 35-5-4, which is absolutely insane for a team that is not vastly superior to the other upper-echelon teams in the NHL. Boston has just gotten every bounce all year and it’s only a matter of time before they run into a fork in the road. In one goal games or two goal games in which an empty net goal was included, Boston’s record is 20-6, which is an absolutely jaw-dropping record but it’s not sustainable.
In the world of hockey analytics, the dominant theory has been that a team's record in one-goal games is almost entirely unpredictable. This was first established by Gabriel Desjardins of Hockey Prospectus after the 2008-09 season. He ran a regression analysis on every team's data from 1979-80 through 2003-04 and found that the season-to-season correlation of a team's record in one-goal games was an almost nonexistent 0.05. Essentially, the ability to win close games comes and goes, which leads to the belief that random, lucky bounces have more to do with it than skill. After all, if some teams have actual talent in this department, then why does it suddenly disappear? It’s because it is luck-driven. Now the Bruins will now play their fifth game since last Thursday. It’ll also be their third game in four nights and the tail end of a back-to-back after beating the Islanders last night.
New York has an inferior record to Boston but they are not an inferior team. The Rags are as elite as the Bruins. New York has it all from speed, to great talent up front to strong goaltending and to some elite talent on defense. They can surely skate with and outscore the Bruins on any day and maybe even when they are not at their best. The Rangers have been off since Monday. They are well-rested and jacked up to face a team that shouldn’t be doing what it is doing. Most significant is that Boston has been and will continue to be overpriced because of their outstanding record so we’ll keep a close eye on it and fade the B’s when it’s warranted like it is here. Great value on New York to win in regulation here.
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N.Y. Rangers -½ +155 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.10)