Rangers vs Devils Odds, Picks, and Predictions Tonight: New Jersey One Step Ahead of New York

The Metropolitan Division is heating up as the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are fighting for home advantage in Round 1. Although the Rangers have been hot, our NHL betting picks are siding with the high-octane home squad.

Last Updated: Mar 30, 2023 9:49 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Timo Meier New Jersey Devils NHL
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There is a massive Metropolitan Division tilt set to take place on Thursday evening with the second-place New Jersey Devils hosting the third-place New York Rangers.

Two huge points hang in the balance in this contest, with home-ice in the first round of the playoffs on the line and both teams having the ability to catch the Carolina Hurricanes for the No. 1 seed.

Will New Jersey take care of business on home ice, or can New York pull off the upset in Newark? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for the Rangers vs Devils on Thursday, March 30.

Rangers vs Devils best odds

Rangers vs Devils picks and predictions

The New Jersey Devils are coming off an extremely disappointing 5-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Monday. However, that extra day of rest compared to the New York Rangers could be crucial in this tonight's tilt.

One of the best two-way teams in the league and a legit Stanley Cup contender, the Devils rank in the Top 7 in both expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) and expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5. Meanwhile, New York trails them in both of those categories by a wide-margin.

Once again, keeping the Rangers’ season together is goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who is the confirmed starter on Thursday. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner enters this contest in terrific form, and will undoubtedly be New Jersey’s biggest obstacle in achieving two points.

With that said, Shesterkin has struggled mightily against the powerhouse New Jersey offense. Over his last four starts against the Devils, he is 1-2-1 with a .880 SV% and 4.31 GAA.

Those numbers are far more of a proclamation of New Jersey’s offense than it is an indictment of Shesterkin. Across the ice, goaltender Vitek Vanecek is projected to start between the pipes for the Devils.

Through 47 appearances in the crease with his new club this season, Vanecek is 29-10-4 with a .909 SV% and 2.50 GAA. If New Jersey decides to look elsewhere for goaltending, Mackenzie Blackwood will get the nod. Blackwood has had a very meh season up to this point, posting a 9-5-2 record with a sad 3.04 GAA.

One of the Rangers’ key strengths offensively is special teams, ranking 10th in the league in PP%. However, this facet of the game should be neutralized against the Devils, who boast the seventh-best penalty kill unit in the league.

With that in mind, if New Jersey shuts down New York’s power play, it should be difficult for Shesterkin to bail this team out once again.

My best bet: Devils moneyline (-130 at BetRivers)

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Rangers vs Devils moneyline analysis

If he were to get the nod, Vanecek’s strong play in net is likely to continue against the Rangers, a team he typically fares well against. Over his last eight starts against New York, he is 6-1-1 with a .907 SV% and 2.61 GAA.

There is no doubt that the Rangers are playing some beautiful hockey lately, which is why they have won three straight games and nine of their last 11. However, this play is unsustainable.

This club still ranks just 22nd in the league in xGF/60 and 15th in xGA/60 at 5-on-5. Two aspects of the game continue to give them over-achieving results: goaltending and special teams.

Goaltending could certainly be the kryptonite in this matchup, but Shesterkin has struggled mightily against the Devils. Meanwhile, New York’s powerplay should be neutralized by an even better New Jersey penalty kill, which makes me like the home team in this matchup.

Rangers vs Devils Over/Under analysis

I would lean towards the Under in this contest, but do not feel confident one way or the other. New Jersey is an incredibly difficult team to take totals on because of its dominant two-way play.

One of the best offensive and defensive teams in the league, it is not shocking that the O/U in Devils games sits at almost exaclty .500 this season. Meanwhile, the Rangers are a solid Under team, going 38-33-3, which is a product of their excellent goaltending and an offense that does not generate an abundance of high-danger scoring chances at even-strength.

The main reason I don't want to pull the trigger on the Under is the Devils’ dynamite offense. Not only is this forward group one of the deepest in the league following the acquisition of winger Timo Meier from the San Jose Sharks, but they've historically had Shesterkin’s number.

Rangers vs Devils betting trend to know

The Devils are 8-1 in their last nine games against the Metropolitan Division. Find more NHL betting trends for Rangers vs Devils.

Rangers vs Devils game info

Location: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
Date: Thursday, March 30, 2023
Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET

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