NHL Odds, Picks: Rangers vs. Devils Game 2 Prediction
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Jesper Bratt #63 of the New Jersey Devils
- The Rangers vs. Devils series enters Game 2 as the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue on Thursday night.
- New Jersey looks to even up the series before the teams head to Manhattan.
- Read below as hockey betting expert Grant White offers up two plays on tonight's contest, including a +350 bet.
Rangers vs. Devils Game 2 Odds
|Over/Under||5.5 (-120 / -102)|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The New York Rangers have been an unstoppable juggernaut since the NHL Trade Deadline. The team acquired two of the most sought-after players in Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko, giving them a virtually unmatchable scoring depth.
Over that stretch, the Rangers have wins in 15 of their 21 contests, accumulating a .714 points percentage.
However, their skilled players are masking some analytic shortcomings that put them at a disadvantage in Game 2 of their Metropolitan Division series against the New Jersey Devils.
New York Rangers
Including Game 1 of the postseason, New York has played 21 games since March 3. Over that stretch, the Broadway Blueshirts have been outplayed in 14, setting up the Rangersm on a collision course with regression.
Cumulatively, the Rangers have posted a 46.2% expected goals-for rating since trading for Kane and Tarasenko. The team is hemorrhaging chances against, allowing an average of 11.6 high-danger opportunities per game. Scoring chances are just as abundant, with opponents attempting 26.4 over the 21-game sample.
Igor Shesterkin has responded well to the increased pressure, but he’s reached a turning point in his metrics. The Russian netminder has a 94.7% save percentage over his last 11 starts, well above his career benchmark of 92.4% and even further from his season average of 91.6%.
Likewise, New York’s shooting percentage has surged despite decreased production. The Rangers are scoring on 11.9% of shots to end the season, above their season-long mark of 10.6%. They achieved this despite attempting 10.3 high-danger opportunities per game while getting out-chanced in 14 of 21.
New Jersey Devils
Analytically, the Devils are positioned on the opposite end of the spectrum. New Jersey emerged as an elite team, posting some of the best metrics in the NHL. Moreover, they’ve reserved their best performances for the end of the year, turning things up for the start of the postseason.
New Jersey thoroughly dismantled the Rangers in the series opener. The Devils posted a 60.0% game score in Game 1, out-chancing the visitors in scoring and high-danger chances. Additionally, they tilted the ice in their favor with a 65.2% Corsi rating.
That’s analogous to what we saw from them to end the regular season, with New Jersey eclipsing the 60.0% expected goals-for rating in eight of their last 11, with a 58.3% rating. However, the outcomes don’t reflect the Devils’ efforts. New Jersey has seven wins over the 12-game sample, despite outplaying their opponents in all but two of those contests.
They should have some puck luck over their coming games as actual values catch up with expected values.
Rangers vs. Devils Pick
The Devils can ill afford to go down 2-0 in their first-round series against their division rivals, particularly with the series shifting back to Manhattan for Games 3 and 4. New Jersey has posted elite game scores to end the season and is due for a few more wins. Conversely, the Rangers continue to get outplayed while relying on their top performers to offset their analytics deficiencies.
We’re betting the Devils walk away victorious in Thursday night’s affair and get things all level heading back to Madison Square Garden. However, it may take longer than 60 minutes to determine the winner. As such, we’re backing New Jersey on the moneyline while also making a play on a 60-minute tie.
Pick: Devils (-130 at Caesars), 60-minute tie (+350 at FanDuel)
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