September 25, 2022

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Best bet for Game 7 today

The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes will play in a do-or-die Game 7 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC on Monday night.

The Hurricanes are -140 favorites to win the contest, which gives them an implied win probability of 56.2% when you remove the juice. The Rangers are currently listed as +120 underdogs, meaning bookmakers are giving them a 43.8% chance of advancing to the Eastern Conference Final.

Should the Rangers close at +120, it is evidence that the market has growing confidence in the Blueshirts, as they’ve closed +145, +140 and +130 in the previous three games in Raleigh.



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Rangers vs. Hurricanes Game 7 odds

Odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook

Spread: NYR +1.5 (-210) vs. CAR -1.5 (+175)

Moneyline: NYR (+120) vs. CAR (-140)

Total: Over 5.5 (+120) | Under 5.5 (-140)

Rangers vs. Hurricanes Game 7 prediction

Oddsmakers have also adjusted the Over/Under, which closed at 5.5 for every game of the series, down to 5 for Monday night’s do-or-die contest. The under has cashed in five of the six games in this best-of-7. 

Carolina is now 7-0 at home and 0-6 on the road this postseason. With their win on Saturday night, the Rangers have moved to 4-0 in elimination games. And while those stats make for decent fodder and easy column inches, bettors should go a little deeper to try and make sense of what is going on in this bizarre series.

New York Rangers Carolina Hurricanes Game 7
Carolina Hurricanes
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

One trend that does seem worth acting on is that the Hurricanes have played a much tighter, more disciplined style of hockey at home, where they can get the matchups they want with the benefit of having the last change. That means that Rod Brind’Amour can do his best to match up Jordan Staal’s line against Mika Zibanejad’s line. Zibanejad has been the best forward in this series, but Staal is the best shutdown center on either team and has played a big role in keeping Zibanejad and Chris Kreider quiet at PNC Arena. 

But it isn’t just Staal that seems to lock in defensively for the Canes at home. Carolina’s structured play at home has paid off to the tune of a 3-0 record and a 7-2 aggregate scoreline, but what’s more striking is how different the games in North Carolina have played out compared to how they’ve unfolded at Madison Square Garden.

In Carolina’s three home games, the two teams have combined for a total of nine goals (including an empty-netter), 12.25 expected goals and 54 high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5. At MSG the teams put up 16 goals, 15.03 expected goals, and 75 high-danger chances at 5-on-5 in just as many contests. 

While these home/road splits and the fact that the under is 38-24-9 (61% win rate) in Game 7s since 2005 point to a play on the total, the under is just too expensive to have any value, even in this game environment. 

Instead, bettors who are expecting a tight, low-event game can find value on the three-way moneyline. Whether in hockey or soccer, when bettors bet the draw, it’s usually because they think the two sides are evenly matched.

New York Rangers Carolina Hurricanes Game 7
New York Rangers
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While that doesn’t hurt, the key to finding value on a bet on a game to be tied after regulation is targeting games that project to be low-event. In a back-and-forth contest, there’s a greater chance for one team to run away and grab a big lead. If things are tight, the draw is going to be in play from start to finish.

Best bet: 60-minute moneyline: Draw (+300) — FanDuel