The Pittsburgh Penguins continue their four-game homestand on Friday night as they welcome the New York Rangers into town for the start of a two-game series in this Eastern Division battle.
Let’s take a look at this showdown in our Rangers vs. Penguins betting preview with odds, picks and predictions.
Rangers vs. Penguins Betting Preview
These two teams are quite familiar with one another, as they were division foes in the recent Metropolitan setup. Pittsburgh has won 15 of its last 22 meetings against the Rangers, which includes their 2016 playoff series, in which the Penguins would win en route to a Stanley Cup.
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A lot of the same key pieces from that Pens’ cup run are still around like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin & Kris Letang, but this club doesn’t even look like a definite playoff contender so far at 2-2 because of a below average defensive unit and questionable goaltending.
On the opposite bench, the Rangers have a bunch of talent on offense but they have been streaky thus far in their first three contests, getting shutout in the season opener. They followed that clunked by scoring five goals in a win over the Islanders before dipping back to just three goals in a loss to the Devils.
Rangers vs. Penguins Odds
Here are the lines for Rangers vs. Penguins at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Rangers (+1.5 -215); Penguins (-1.5 -175)
Moneyline: Rangers (+120); Penguins (-139)
Over/Under: Over 6.5 (-113)/Under 6.5 (-108)
Bets We Like With a Rangers Win
Rangers Team Total (OVER 3 -103, DraftKings)
As I mentioned previously, this Rangers team has an abundance of talent that can score up front, with Artemi Panarin, Alexis Lafreniere, Chris Kreider and Mika Zibinajad. Against this Penguins defense that is missing two key players in Marcus Pettersson and Juuso Riikola, this is a solid spot for New York to get things rolling on offense once again.
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Bets We Like With an Penguins Win
John Marino to Score a Goal Anytime (+450 DraftKings)
The 23-year old Harvard graduate hasn’t broken through on the scoresheet so far in four games played, but on the second defensive unit with Cody Ceci, I expect this pair to get a firm bulk of ice time. If this becomes the anticipated track meet that many expect to see tonight, then look for some of these defensemen to potentially jump into the rush and get some scoring chances.
At a hefty plus price, I’ll take a shot with Marino to get a goal here.
Bets We Like Independent of the Outcome
First Period OVER 2 Goals (+120, DraftKings)
These two teams both feature the type of offense that can score quickly and often during a contest.
Pittsburgh is 4-0 on first period over plays so far, with each game seeing at least three goals in the opening 20 minutes. The Rangers are just 1-2, but with games against the Islanders and the Devils, their offensive pace was disrupted by these defensively-oriented clubs. With the first period over on a 9-3 run in the last 12 meetings between one another, look for some scoring in the opening frame of this contest.
Rangers vs. Penguins Prediction
New York has the offensive pressure to rattle this shaky Pittsburgh core, and with more issues on defense for the Pens, I expect the Rangers to take full advantage and win this contest 5-3 on the road.
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