Rangers at Devils Betting Odds, Preview: How to Bet Jack Hughes vs. Kappo Kakko
Eric Hartline, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jack Hughes
- The Devils are slight favorites at home against the Rangers on Wednesday night.
- Below you'll find a full breakdown of the matchup, as well as which betting pick.
New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils Betting Odds
- Rangers odds: +100
- Devils odds: -120
- Over/Under: 6.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: NBCSN
There are no “Game of the Year” lines in the NHL like there are in the NFL or college football, but if there were I wonder how bookmakers would have opened the first showdown between 2019 No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes and No. 2 pick Kappo Kakko.
We can’t be sure of what the line would have been, but I can say with some confidence it wouldn’t have been priced how it is right now.
Both the Rangers and Devils entered the season with considerable hype thanks to flashy offseasons, but New Jersey had the higher season win total and the shorter Stanley Cup odds.
Plenty of cold water has been thrown on the Devils’ hype train since the season started. New Jersey has sputtered to an 0-4-2 start and head coach John Hynes — a preseason favorite for Coach of the Year — is on the hot seat and it’s only been two weeks.
The Devils have already blown a pair of three-goal leads, they average the fewest shot attempts at 5-on-5 in the league and their goaltending has been abysmal. MacKenzie Blackwood and Cory Schneider have combined for an .878 5-on-5 save percentage, the second-worst mark in the league.
The good news for the Devils is that the goaltending should regress towards league average, as New Jersey hasn’t been all that bad defensively. Any sort of improvement from the netminders would go a long way to getting the Devs back on track.
Bizarrely, this is just the Rangers’ fourth game of the season. They won a pair of games, took a week off, lost to the Oilers on Saturday and then were off again for another four days before Thursday night’s encounter with the Devils.
Despite a 2-1 start, things don’t look all that shiny under the hood for the Rangers. The Blueshirts were expected to struggle defensively coming into the season and, in the admittedly small sample size, they’ve fulfilled that prophecy. No team in the NHL has allowed more expected goals against per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 than the Rangers have.
The Rangers do have a lot of individual talent at the top of their lineup and that helps to cover up some of their defensive deficiencies, but giving up this many scoring chances is not going to be successful in the long run.
New Jersey has struggled to create much offense in the early going, but this matchup should give its offense the chance to get on the same page. Even if Nico Hischier misses out through injury, Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri and Hughes should get their opportunities against this leaky defense.
The odds above suggest New Jersey wins this game 52.2% of the time. That means that, if you adjust for home-ice advantage, these odds would essentially flip, making the Rangers the favorite on neutral ice.
The Devils may not be as good as the market made them out to be this summer, but I think they are still the slightly better team on Thursday night. New Jersey’s slow start has caused the market to overreact a little bit and that has put them in range — even without Hischier — for a bet.
At the time of writing there are opportunities to get the Devils at around even money, so be sure to hunt for the best number.