The Rangers are a large favorite Thursday against the Devils, so let’s see if we can craft some NHL predictions and prop bets around something other than the moneyline.
NHL predictions and prop bets
NHL odds: New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers, Thursday at 7 p.m. ET (MSG, ESPN+, NHL Center Ice)
The over has been one of the surest bets in hockey of late. With the over set at 6.5 (+100), we’ll make that the first of our NHL predictions Thursday. Both the Rangers and Devils rank in the bottom 10 in goals allowed. The Devils rank 30th (3.43) in goals against per game, with the Rangers sitting at 25th (3.31).
Future Hall of Fame goaltender Henrik Lundqvist gets the start in net Thursday for the Rangers. Although the defense isn’t providing him with much help, the 37-year-old owns a career-worst 3.10 goals against average.
Mackenzie Blackwood is expected to be between the pipes Thursday for the Devils. However, after undergoing three hours of dental work Wednesday, there’s a chance his start could be in jeopardy. Backup Louis Domingue sports an ugly 4.15 GAA in five starts this season.
Rangers forward Artemi Panarin ended a two-game pointless drought in a big way Tuesday, netting a goal and two assists Tuesday against the Avalanche. While he is yet to score in two games this season against the Devils, let’s go with Panarin over 0.5 goals (+172) against a shaky Devils defense.
Panarin leads the Rangers in goals (23), assists (35), and points (58), but there’s not much value in other prop bets related to him.
Defenseman Anthony DeAngelo is third on the Rangers in assists (23) and is coming off a two-assist night Tuesday. DeAngelo over 0.5 assists (+152) will be another of our NHL predictions Thursday.
Jesper Fast collected three assists Tuesday, ending a three-game points drought. Let’s see if Fast can put an end to his six-game goalless streak Thursday vs. the Devils with Fast over 0.5 goals (+460) as a longshot prop bet.
The Devils have been dreadful on offense, especially since winger Taylor Hall was traded to Arizona. Hall still leads the Devils in assists (19), even though he hasn’t played a game for New Jersey since Dec. 10.
Forward Kyle Palmieri leads the Devils in goals with 16. He recorded a goal and an assist in the Devils’ loss to the Islanders Tuesday. We’ll take small wagers on Palmieri over 0.5 goals (+194) and Palmieri over 0.5 assists (+210) given the favorable odds.
As for the game itself, at Rangers -170, there’s not a whole lot of value. Your best bet might be to build game and player prop bets as part of your Thursday NHL predictions instead of betting on the moneyline. With 15 wins on the season, 30th out of 31 NHL teams, there’s not a lot of belief the Devils can win this one outright.