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Flyers vs. Rangers odds, predictions: Expect Philadelphia to keep it close at the Garden

Back the surprising Flyers on the puck line in New York

Philadelphia Flyers teammates Owen Tippett (left), Kevin Hayes (center) and Joel Farabee (right) celebrate Farabee's goal against the Florida Panthers on Thursday. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Philadelphia Flyers teammates Owen Tippett (left), Kevin Hayes (center) and Joel Farabee (right) celebrate Farabee's goal against the Florida Panthers on Thursday. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)Read moreTim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers (somehow) keep winning, keep delivering juicy profits for bettors and keep getting zero respect from oddsmakers. Such is the case again Tuesday, when the Flyers head to Manhattan to face the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Even though Philadelphia (5-2-1, 11 points) has a slightly better record than the Rangers (5-3-2, 12 points) — and even though the Rangers are coming off a three-games-in-five-nights road swing — New York is more than a 2-to-1 favorite to snap its three-game home losing skid.

Is there betting value on the Flyers, who have won two of three road games and remain the NHL’s most profitable team for bettors? No doubt. Are we taking advantage of that value? Indeed … well, sort of.

Here’s how we’re wagering on Flyers vs. Rangers on Tuesday.

Note: Odds updated as of 11:15 a.m. ET on Nov. 1.

Flyers vs. Rangers Prediction

  1. Flyers +1.5 goals (at BetMGM)

Flyers vs. Rangers Prediction: Analysis

Since a 3-0 start, Philadelphia has alternated wins and losses in five straight games, most recently falling to Carolina 4-3 in overtime at home Saturday. It was the first time in six starts that No. 1 goaltender Carter Hart came out on the losing end and just the second time this season he allowed more than two goals.

In fact, Hart has let seven goals slip past him in his last two contests, matching the total he surrendered in his first four outings. Still, he ranks 11th in the NHL in goals allowed (2.31 per game) and seventh in save percentage (.938).

The good news for Hart in this one: He’s facing a Rangers offense that has yet to get going, at least with any consistency.

New York is 22nd in the league in goals (3.10 per game) and has tallied two or fewer in half of its 10 games, potting more than three goals just three times. And in its last three home efforts — losses to the Avalanche (shootout), Blue Jackets and Sharks (shootout) — New York has put the puck in the net just five times.

» READ MORE: Ivan Provorov is off to a strong start under John Tortorella, with crashing the Norris Trophy conversation ‘the goal’

Like his counterpart in net, Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin only has one overtime loss on his ledger. And like Hart, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner has put up strong numbers, although he ranks behind Hart in goals-against (2.55, 18th) and save percentage (.913, tied for 22nd).

New York did win the final two games on its just-concluded road trip, dumping Dallas 6-3 on Saturday and Arizona 3-2 in overtime on Sunday to halt a four-game slide. But this is a tough situation for the Rangers (third game in four nights, all in a different city). And the reality is the Rangers don’t do anything appreciably better than Philadelphia, be it scoring goals, allowing goals or special teams.

Last year, when the Flyers were one of the NHL’s worst teams and New York made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, the visitor took all three head-to-head meetings. The Rangers won twice in Philly (3-2 and 4-0), while the Flyers prevailed 4-3 in a shootout at the Garden.

There’s obviously a long way to go in this marathon of a regular season. But at the moment, it’s clear Philadelphia is far exceeding expectations. And the Flyers are doing it without two of their main offensive threats: Right winger Cam Atkinson (upper body) and center Sean Couturier (back surgery) haven’t been on the ice and won’t be for a while.

Also, left winger James van Riemsdyk (two goals, three assists this season) is on the shelf after having surgery last week on his broken left finger.

So how are the Flyers managing to hold their own? Because of Hart. And with two days off since the Carolina loss, we expect him to return to form Tuesday in what projects as a low-scoring game.

» READ MORE: October has been a ‘roller coaster’ for John Tortorella and the Flyers

No, we’re not quite willing to call for an outright Flyers victory. But they should be competitive enough to keep this a one-goal contest — which, by the way, has been the margin of victory in five of Philly’s last seven.

Play the Flyers on the puck line (+1.5 goals) at BetMGM.

Flyers vs. Rangers Odds (via BetMGM):

  1. Moneyline: Flyers (+195) @ Rangers (-250)

  2. Puck line: Flyers +1.5 goals (-130) @ Rangers -1.5 goals (+105)

  3. Total: 6 goals (Over +100/Under -120)

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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