The Philadelphia Flyers are the slight online betting favorites against the New York Rangers per the BetUS online sportsbook odds. This Monday evening game is the third meeting between both East Division teams and so far each team has one win a piece though Philly has collected a point in both meetings.
As do the NHL betting odds, I am siding with the underdog Rangers here. They have enough firepower to keep up with the Flyers and are just a bit better on the defensive end.
Flyers vs Rangers Betting Preview
Flyers: A Tale of Two Teams
Philadelphia is an anomaly in the standings. For the first half of their season, they were getting thoroughly outplayed on 5-on-5 (mostly by the Bruins) yet they were winning games. For their first 11 games, they had a Corsi for percent (CF%) of 45.1 but they were 8-3-2 and a +5.
Now in their second-half, they’ve improved on their 5-on-5 and have a 55 CF% but have dropped to 5-6-1 with a -5 goal differential. This would be confounding, but is also another testament to why CF% rarely determines outcomes.
Upon closer inspection, the Flyers had a 106.8 PDO before their quarantine break. That dropped to 96.4 with the 12 games after. Their goals for and against average seemingly flipped too. They were averaging 3.54 before their break and allowing 3.08. That changed to scoring just three and allowing 3.42 after.
The Flyers aren’t as incendiary as they were and G Carter Hart has been bad with a 1-4-1 record and 86.8 save percent. The higher CF% but worse performance tells me Philly is playing a more controlled pace at the expense of that fearlessness that made them one of the league’s most dangerous teams.
Rangers: Putting it Together
New York is finally waking up. The snakebitten Rangers had all kinds of issues finding the back of the net in their earlier games. They’re still in the lower-half of the league in scoring (2.73 goals per game), but they’re now averaging 3.22 in their last nine and that includes two explosions against Boston.
It’s about time. This is the same team that finished fifth in scoring last season with 3.33 goals per game. C Mike Zibanejad regressed in an extreme way as he’s scored just 11 points in 26 games. RW Kaapo Kakko has four points. Rookie sensation LW Alexis Lafreniere has seven.
Picking up the slack are the likes of LW Pavel Buchnevich and LW Artemi Panarin. Buchnevich leads the team with 22 points while Panarin is still scoring at better than a point per game pace with 19 and 15. He’s back from his self-imposed exile.
While the Rangers’ offense has been hot-and-cold, their defense has remained steady. Only the Islanders and Bruins have allowed fewer goals per game in the division. If they can get more consistent offense, this team could still contend.
This should be a fun one to bet. Both teams have a penchant for producing scintillating scoring opportunities. Philadelphia scores at a higher percent leading the league in practically every shooting accuracy metric. But that’s gotten a bit colder lately.
The Rangers actually averaged a higher shooting percent (SH%) than the Flyers in the last nine games. Both have almost the same amount of high danger goals scored. But the difference is on defense and in net.
New York plays better defensively and has a better safety net in goal. Even their weakest goalie, Alexander Georgiev played decently against the Flyers in their last meeting. This is a prime spot for the Rangers to shine.