Other than a few teams who are a cut above the rest and a handful who are well off the pace and out of the playoff conversation, the rest of the NHL teams are very close to one another. This level of parity is great for hockey fans, although it does make wagering on games a little tougher as you never really know who is going to win on any given night. The upshot of this parity is that we have divisional and Wild Card races brewing that are going to go all the way down to the wire. There really are only a handful of teams who are totally out of it, although with the regular season beginning to wind down, that number will grow if some teams cannot get things turned around quickly. The New York Rangers are one of the teams in serious trouble in the playoff race, but they are showing signs of getting something going coming down the stretch. They can help their cause on Friday night when they hit the road to face the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina is favored by 1 ½ at home, with the goal total set at 6 ½.
When: Friday, February 21 at 7 PM EST
Where: PNC Arena, Charlotte
NHL Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on the New York Rangers
With a record of 31-24-4, good for 66 points, the New York Rangers have some work to do in the final weeks of the season if they are to make it into the playoffs. As it stands now, they are 6 points behind the final Wild Card team in the Eastern Conference, which just so happens to be the Carolina Panthers. A win here for the Rangers and they are suddenly right back in the thick of it. The Rangers are certainly showing signs of being up for the fight, going 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. They are also now 4 games above .500 on the road, going 15-11-2 away from home. They have been a pretty good bet against the spread in road games this season, going 19-9 ATS in those outings.
Why bet on the Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes were one of the surprise teams of the playoffs last season, once again proving that it doesn’t really matter how you get in, it’s what you do once you are there that counts. The Hurricanes are once again in a battle for a playoff spot, sitting in the final Wild Card berth with a season record of 34-21-4, good for 72 points. They could vault the slumping Columbus Blue Jackets with a win here and also get within a point of the #3 spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Hurricanes are a very solid 19-9-2 at home this season, but one of those losses came to the Rangers. They have actually lost all 3 regular season meetings with the Rangers this season, so no easy task here.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Rangers have had the Hurricanes number for a while now, winning 8 of the last 10 meetings with them. With that in mind, it might not be a bad idea to play the Rangers as the underdog here, at least against the spread if not straight up.
New York Rangers 4 Carolina Hurricanes 3