Two teams desperate for a win will meet at Madison Square Garden for NHL action on Monday night. The St. Louis Blues, losers of three in a row and now five points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, are +140 underdogs against the skidding New York Rangers, who are 1-4-1 in their last six and haven’t won on home ice since Nov. 13.
Can bettors trust the Rangers enough to lay -170 on FanDuel Monday night?
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Rangers vs. Blues prediction (7:00 p.m. ET, MSG Network)
Through most of last season, the Rangers were a team that made a habit of overperforming. This season, the Blueshirts are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Without a goalie playing at a generational level, without an elite power play, and without several players putting up career numbers, the Rangers have crashed down towards mediocrity.
New York is 11-10-5 with an even goal differential at 5-on-5 this season, though its statistical portfolio suggests that things should be better. The Rangers rank fifth in shot share, eighth in expected goals rate, and 12th in high-danger chance rate this season.
But over their last 10 games, those numbers have started to dip, as well. The Rangers are 14th shot attempt rate, 21st in expected goals percentage and 23rd in high-danger chance share in that span.
And it’s not like the Rangers have played a difficult schedule in this stretch. Arizona, Chicago, Ottawa (twice), Seattle, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Edmonton, New Jersey and San Jose isn’t exactly a murderers’ row.
The Rangers will play another manageable opponent on Monday, as the Blues have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the league. St. Louis started the season 3-0, lost eight in a row, won seven straight and now comes to Manhattan with one win in its last six.
Betting on the NHL?
St. Louis’ 5-on-5 numbers don’t paint a much stronger picture, either. The Blues rank in the bottom 10 in the NHL in shot attempt rate, expected goals percentage, and high-danger chance share.
But the Blues are not a team that needs to tilt the ice to dominate. St. Louis has a deep group of scoring forwards that should — at least on paper — be clinical with the chances they create. That hasn’t been the case this season, but it does make the Blues a dangerous underdog.
Neither the Blues nor the Rangers are in good form right now, but only one of these teams is a -170 favorite on Monday night. This is a bet against the Rangers more than it is a bet on the Blues, but there’s no question who the value side is at MSG.
Blues vs. Rangers pick
Blues +140 (FanDuel)