Ice Hockey

Betting tips: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers 11/22

Pittsburgh enters the Metropolitan Division matchup as a favorite despite what the odds say.

Penguins flying under the radar

The Penguins ended their four-game week on Sunday with a shutout win of 3-0 against Vegas. The first fifth of the regular season is finished, and Pittsburgh is currently fifth in the Metropolitan Division. Just barely over .500 hockey is a mediocre result for this team. Beneath the surface, however, some team statistics predict upcoming success.

Pittsburgh has amassed nearly 54 percent of expected goals, both 5v5 and in all situations. The PP unit has struggled with just a 15.2 percent success rate. When you look at some of the names on this roster, it would be a surprise to see them fall below league average over a larger sample.

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The core players have performed at a high level, as they always do in Pittsburgh. The only top six forward still without a goal is Rickard Rakell. Playing alongside Evgeni Malkin, Rakell must start contributing soon. Otherwise, head coach Mike Sullivan will start looking for other options to man the right wing on the second line.

Lafreniere finding his game

Despite their defeat on Monday, the New York Rangers are comfortably sitting at the top of the division. The Rangers have emerged in the last couple of seasons as a solid playoff team. Artemi Panarin has once again been the guy to lean on with his 26 points, good for 8th in the league.

However, I’m most impressed by the development curve of their number one draft pick from a few years ago, Alexis Lafreniere. The French-Canadian winger has found his place alongside Panarin and Vincent Trocheck. Looks like this transition has opened a whole new level of potential. On top of his seven goals and eleven points, Lafreniere has also been one of the team’s best in shots and xG stats.

The Rangers have played most of November with a weaker line-up than usual. They’re still missing one of the best D-men in the league in Adam Fox as well as two-way forward Filip Chytil. The injuries haven’t slowed down the Rangers’ winning ways. Still, particularly Fox’s absence has a major impact on their chances of winning.

Penguins have a clear advantage

Unibet has opened the odds for this match as even money. In my ranking, the teams are roughly on the same level. The Penguins get an extra advantage from the lineups, and naturally we also must consider home ice advantage. All this equals to home wins being far more likely than current odds suggest.

The best pick is a home win in regulation at +145. This would be a break even selection at +120, so we have quite a tasty wager to begin our Thanksgiving festivities. I recommend betting Penguins in regulation for half of whatever is your max bet.

Tip: Pittsburgh Penguins in regulation @ +145
Units: 5/10

The match will start on 11/22/2023 at 7:00 PM EST.
The odds are from the time of publication of the article and are subject to change.

Esa Kostet
X: @konekostet

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Register and Bet $25 on any match (min odds +100). Win or lose, you’ll get $100 in bonus bets!

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