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New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Odds & Pick: Total Still Not Low Enough

New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Odds & Pick: Total Still Not Low Enough article feature image
Credit:

Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Igor Shesterkin.

  • The Hurricanes are a -150 favorite for a pivotal Game 5 against the Rangers on Thursday night in Raleigh.
  • Carolina has still not lost at home or won in the road in this postseason -- 6-0 and 0-5. Will that trend continue?
  • Nick Martin breaks down Game 5 of Rangers-Canes and gives his favorite bet below.

Rangers at Hurricanes Odds

Rangers Odds +125
Hurricanes Odds -155
Over/Under 5.5 (+115 / -140)
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Carolina will return home after more thoroughly disappointing road results, as the Rangers tied up the series with back-to-back wins at Madison Square Garden entering a hugely important Game 5 in Raleigh.

The Hurricanes have now gone 0-5 on the road during the postseason but have thrived to a 6-0 record at home. Will Carolina remain unbeaten at home on Thursday night?

New York Getting Elite Play From Shesterkin

The home teams have gone 4-0 so far this series. We saw a really solid effort in Game 1 from New York on the road, and I do believe the overall gap in play from Carolina at home vs. on the road is widely exaggerated by the current splits in terms of its record.

The Rangers have played to a 49.61 expected goals share throughout the opening four contests of this series, which in my opinion is much more positive than it sounds, considering New York’s main strength in goaltender Igor Shesterkin.

Head coach Gerard Gallant’s team seems to have an understanding of how far Shesterkin can take it if it prevents defensive breakdowns that lead to the highest quality of scoring chances for Carolina.

I was of the belief we might see New York entirely outplayed at 5-on-5 in this series, and that simply has not been the case throughout four games. Even with Artemi Panarin not playing his best hockey, the Rangers have hung in with the Hurricanes stride for stride thanks to contributions from up and down the lineup.

I don’t expect New York to control play in this game, but I expect it to stay competitive given the importance.

Shesterkin has followed up his brilliant regular season with a strong playoff run. Even early in the Penguins series, I really believed that Shesterkin’s poor results were almost entirely due to the nature of chances Pittsburgh was regularly being offered. Reviewing each of the goals, his form was far less bad than many perceived.

Shesterkin has now played to a +8.0 Goals Saved Above Expected rating (GSAx) with a .925 save percentage in 11 games this postseason.

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Carolina’s Offense Struggling vs. Shesterkin

For me, this series has been far more of a disappointment for a Carolina team that seemed well-positioned to use its spectacular core to go on a deep playoff run.

Carolina’s offense looked stale at times in the back half of the regular season, and the Hurricanes have now scored just 1.5 goals per game in this series. The Hurricanes have generated a reasonable output of 3.23 expected goals per game, but we have regularly seen this team widely underachieve what has been expected of them under coach Rod Brind’Amour.

Shesterkin is obviously the main part of the story for why Carolina’s offense is struggling, but it is worth noting that the Hurricanes may have been more than just unlucky against an elite goaltender so far.

The fact that Carolina’s traditionally spectacular defensive play looks true to form is a big reason as to why it may feel far from panicked, but I still have to imagine most Canes fans and players would have imagined they could be controlling somewhat more of the overall play. Carolina has allowed just 31 high-danger chances against at 5-on-5 so far in the series while generating 43 themselves.

Excluding empty netters, Carolina has allowed just 1.75 goals per game in this series, and the tight-checking, low scoring game-play is far from surprising considering each of these teams regular-season strengths. That’s particularly true since New York was significantly better defensively over the final two months.

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Rangers vs. Hurricanes Pick

We haven’t seen the kind of notable home-and-road splits that the Hurricanes have tallied this postseason in ages. At some point, I feel Carolina’s trend of winning all of its home games while playing so much worse on the road is due to change.

This series is quickly falling into the kind where each game is often going to come down to a bounce or two here and there. Even factoring in how much better Carolina has been at home during this postseason, I still do not see value on the Canes at -160 considering the expected game-play, and definitely lean towards the Rangers moneyline as a side.

A take that I do feel much more confident in is that this should be another low-scoring, tight-checking affair that offers little in the way of complete defensive breakdowns.

We know Carolina will be ready to go at home and is excellent defensively. On the other side, I don’t expect New York to manage a high number of high-danger looks against Antti Raanta.

The Rangers have actually played very respectable defense in front of Shesterkin throughout this series, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the goaltender thrive again in Game 5.

It’s hard for me to see either side managing much offense again in this contest, and I believe we have the 58% chance needed to make a bet on the under 5.5 a profitable wager long-term.

Pick: Under 5.5 -140 (Play 5.5 to -145)

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