NHL Hockey Odds, Boston Bruins at New York Rangers Picks

Bruins at Rangers Picks

Bruins at Rangers Picks

By Adam Markowitz

It will be a battle of Original Six teams on Wednesday night when the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers clash in historic Madison Square Garden. If the postseason started right now, both teams would miss the playoffs, but Boston has played three less games than New York. The last time these two sides met, the Rangers scored a 2-1 victory in MSG but that was last season. This is the first of three meetings this year.

Boston Bruins at New York Rangers
Date and Time: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
NHL Opening Odds at BookMaker.eu: Check Back Later
Bruins at Rangers TV Coverage: NBCSN

The Bruins must be wondering when their luck will change. Boston has ended regulation tied in three of its last six games, but ended up losing every game in either overtime or a shootout. The team still got a point from the game, yet missing out on two is huge. These things typically even out over the course of the season and the Bruins have to be wondering when that will change.

New York has thrived in the extra period. The Rangers are near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, but have won three in a row to make up some ground on the other teams. The last two were big overtime wins that came during a Sunshine State road trip. New York was an underdog to both Tampa Bay and Florida but pulled four points out of that swing and that has to have this team feeling good.

Player to Watch

Henrik Lundqvist is no longer a premier goaltender. His numbers have fallen off considerable in each of the last two seasons and it’s time to start considering him on the downslope of his career. Lundqvist was one of the best netminders the NHL had to offer for about a decade. He was phenomenal earlier this decade, not finishing with a save percentage below .920 in any season. However, last season, saw his save percentage fall to .910 and it is even worse thus far.

Through 12 starts, Lundqvist has a .902 save percentage and is averaging over three goals a game for the first time ever. Some of this is the result of defensive woes, but Lundqvist has been allowing some bad goals too. His agility is not what it used to be and that’s not good news for the Rangers.

Matchup to Watch

Boston has been fantastic on special teams this season, using that to gain an advantage on opponents. The Bruins are fourth in the NHL in power play percentage, converting on 27.9 percent of their opportunities. Rather than one person dominating the scoring on the man advantage, everyone is getting involved too. Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak have five points each, but David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron are right behind them with four points.

Additionally, this team has been solid on the penalty kill. The Bruins have killed off 87 percent of their opponents’ power plays this season thanks to some great forechecking from their forwards. All too often, the defensemen are given the credit or the blame for a team’s penalty kill, but Boston’s front line has really helped matters in this area.

Conversely, the Rangers have a middle of the pack penalty kill and an above average power play.

Bruins at Rangers Free Picks

Both teams have a game on Monday night prior to this one. The Bruins will be hosting a Minnesota Wild team that is not off to the blazing start it was last year, while the Rangers will be hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets. There isn’t a lot of distance between these two cities, so fatigue and travel won’t be factors.

I really like Boston in this spot. Lundqvist has not looked sharp this year, but you will still be able to get Boston as an underdog because the game is in MSG. Look for the Bruins to notch a comfortable victory on enemy ice.

Bruins at Rangers Pick: Jump on the Bruins as an underdog in New York
Bruins at Rangers Score Prediction: Bruins 4 – Rangers 1

NCAAF Week 7 Betting Picks, Villanova vs James Madison Predictions

Villanova at James Madison ATS Picks

Villanova at James Madison ATS Picks

By Adam Markowitz

For the eighth time in College GameDay’s history, the best pregame show in college football is heading to an FCS game. The James Madison Dukes have not dropped a single FCS game since Mike Houston took over the coaching duties for the team last year. James Madison knocked off all the big boys on its way to its second national title in 2016, and has looked untouchable so far this year too. The Villanova Wildcats have the unenviable task of being their opponent this weekend.

Villanova Wildcats at James Madison Dukes
Date and Time: Saturday, October 14, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Bridgeforth Stadium, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Week 7 College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu: James Madison -15.5 O/U 43.5
Villanova at James Madison TV Coverage: CSLC, MASN

The Dukes are 5-0 and have beat everyone on their schedule by at least double digits. James Madison cruised to a 20-point victory over FBS East Carolina in its opener, and has only been tested once, two weeks ago in a road trip to Delaware. Quarterback Bryan Schor did not have his best performance and that kept the Blue Hens close.

Mark Ferrante is picking up right where Andy Taylor left off with Villanova. The Wildcats have one of the best defenses in the country once again this season, and have only allowed 28 points over their last four games. This defense was the reason that Villanova almost knocked off Temple earlier in the season, and if the Wildcats are going to keep this one close it will be because of the defense.

Player to Watch

For Villanova, all eyes will be on the player taking snaps under center, redshirt freshman Jack Schetelich. Schetelich was thrust into the spotlight after star quarterback Zach Bednarczyk went down with an injury against Towson. Although the Wildcats have kept winning without Bednarczyk, it hasn’t been because of Schetelich.

Schetelich has been a liability since taking over the job. Ferrante does not trust him to throw the ball much, because when he does disaster strikes far too often. On the year, Schetelich is 8-25 for 120 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions, and has been sacked six times. It’s hard to put too much blame on a young kid for being put into a situation like this, and it’s a testament to Villanova that it has kept winning with that production.

Matchup to Watch

One of the big things to watch in this game is whether or not James Madison can run the ball on Villanova’s defense. The Dukes are averaging six yards a carry this year and boast one of the most efficient ground games at the FCS level.

However, the ground game has lost some steam without Cardon Johnson. Johnson lit up East Carolina for 265 yards on the ground in the Dukes’ season opener, and the run game hasn’t been as productive without him in the lineup. Trai Sharp and Marcus Marshall have done a decent job, but aren’t as explosive as Johnson.

They will be facing their toughest test so far this season. Villanova has the second-best run defense in the country, allowing just 1.8 yards per carry. The big boys up front have done a great job all year, and have kept this team’s postseason hopes alive.

Villanova at James Madison Free Picks

It’s hard to run on Villanova, but you can throw the ball on this secondary. The unit took a massive hit when it lost Rob Rolle for the season with a torn ACL, and has been vulnerable to good quarterbacks. Lehigh and Temple both found success throwing on this defense and James Madison should be able to do the same thing with Bryan Schor.

Villanova’s defense has thrived on turnovers too. The Wildcats knocked off Maine by forcing six turnovers in a 31-0 rout. James Madison is very good at keeping possession of the football and it’s hard to imagine the Wildcats doing the same against this defense.

This is going to be a long day for Schetelich. James Madison had a bye week last week, and has had ample time to prepare for Villanova. The Wildcats will be lucky to score more than twice against this Dukes defense, and this should be a blowout win for James Madison.

Villanova at James Madison ATS Pick: James Madison -15.5
Villanova at James Madison Score Prediction: James Madison 38 – Villanova 10