Senators at Rangers Betting Odds, Pick: Are These Teams That Far Apart?
Adam Hunger, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Artemi Panarin
Ottawa Senators at New York Rangers Odds
- Senators odds: +160
- Rangers odds: -190
- Over/Under: 6.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
The Ottawa Senators’ reputation as a terrible hockey team is pretty well known. Ottawa finished in dead last in 2018-19 and came into this season with the lowest season point total in the NHL. The Sens haven’t done much to flip the narrative, going 3-8-1 to start the season. Their .292 win percentage is the lowest in the NHL.
But just how much worse are the Senators than the New York Rangers? They are definitely the inferior team, but should the Rangers be this big a favorite over any team in the NHL? Especially considering the teams will be on equal rest and the Rangers could be without Mika Zibanejad, their No. 1 center.
New York may have the better record and comes into this game on a two-game winning streak, but the Senators have the better underlying metrics. Ottawa boasts a 47.8 expected goals (xG%) rate at 5-on-5 while the Rangers are carrying a league-worst 42.2 xG% into Monday night.
The Rangers have been the worst defensive team in the league through the first month of the season, allowing 2.85 expected goals and 13.82 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at 5-on-5. The Blueshirts have been bailed out by some hot shooting.
The Rangers boast the fifth-best shooting percentage at 5-on-5 in the NHL. Regression is coming for David Quinn’s team, which is averaging 2.82 goals per 60 despite generating 2.08 expected goals for per 60.
The Rangers should have the edge in the goaltending department on Monday night, as Alexandar Georgiev is slated to start and the 23-year-old has been terrific this season, with a .933 save percentage and a +4.4 Goals Saved Above Average in six games this season.
Great goaltending and hot shooting can go a long way to cover up a team’s blemishes, but the problem is those things tend to ebb and flow. A team’s xG% and ability to create more quality scoring chances than they allow, however, tends to give us a better idea of just how well they are playing. And those numbers suggest that these two teams may not be as far apart as the market is suggesting.
These odds imply that the Rangers win this game 63% of the time, which I find to be a tad outrageous. I’m not here to argue that the Senators are likely to win this game, the odds already tell us that they lose it more often than they win it, but I do think there’s an argument to be made that Ottawa wins it more than 37% of time.
The Rangers are the more talented team, but the underlying metrics reveal that these two teams aren’t that far apart and I think the Senators make a fine bet at +150 or above.