Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:15 PM EST.
7:00 EST. OT included. Regular readers of this space know where we stand in regards to the Rangers. When they were winning a lot of games in the first three months of the season, we insisted it was all smoke and mirrors. The truth has caught up to the Rags that they are indeed as weak as the numbers suggested they were. With yesterday’s lifeless loss in Montreal and the trade of its leading goal scorer (Michael Grabner) to the Devils, the Rags stock has hit rock bottom and that means the price on them here is out of whack. These two played in Minnesota 10 days ago and the Wild jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead 10 minutes in but had to hang on for dear life in a 3-2 victory. We have to plug our noses here and hope for the best.
Last night we faded the Wild in New Jersey, citing that they were undeserving of being road chalk against a superior team. Well, Minnesota won 4-2 (they added an empty netter) but that was one of the more misleading scores of the season. The Devils outshot the Wild 40-25 while driving play for most of the game, especially in the first period but the Wild scored three times in less than seven minutes, including twice in 39 seconds to take the lead. It was a mismatch on this night but the Wild got extremely lucky. Like the Rangers earlier in the year, Minnesota is winning games frequently when they’re the second best team on the ice so often. On the road, Minnesota’s under the hood numbers are absolutely atrocious. On the road during 5v5 play, Minnesota ranks 25th in CA/60, 29th in CF/60, dead last or 31st in CF% and they’ve also taken the 10th most penalties in the league. Frankly, we couldn’t give a flying f**k that the Wild are a playoff team if the season were to end right now. What we know for sure is that they cannot be in the -160 range on the road, even against the Rags and that they’re good fortune is unsustainable over the long term.
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N.Y. RANGERS +144 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.88)