Devils vs Rangers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Best Bet on Game 7

Devils vs Rangers Odds, Pick, Prediction: Best Bet on Game 7 article feature image

Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Artemi Panarin.

  • The New Jersey Devils host the New York Rangers for Game 7 of their NHL playoff series on Monday night.
  • The Devils are slight favorites on the moneyline over the rival Rangers.
  • NHL expert Ryan Dadoun previews Rangers vs. Devils Game 7, and provides a player prop betting pick below.

Devils vs Rangers Odds

Devils Odds-110
Rangers Odds-110
Over/Under5.5 (+112 / -138)
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils concluded the 2022-23 campaign with just a five-point gap between them in the standings. Three of their four regular-season contests were decided by a mere goal, so it's appropriate that their first-round NHL playoff series has gone to seven games.

Now, we make a Devils vs. Rangers pick for Game 7.

The story of how each team has gotten to three wins in this series is similar, too, but there is a key difference worth examining. Check that out below in my Devils vs. Rangers Game 7 preview, which includes a betting pick.

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New Jersey Devils

Like the Rangers, a lot of New Jersey's success in this series can be put on the shoulders of a goaltender, but that similarity comes with a major caveat. Akira Schmid carried the Devils to three straight victories from Games 3-5 by saving 80-of-82 shots, but he struggled on Saturday, allowing five goals on 29 shots.

His rough night is perfectly understandable. After all, while Shesterkin is an established elite goaltender, Schmid entered the series with just 24 contests worth of NHL experience. The 22-year-old was thrown into the starter role because Vitek Vanecek surrendered nine goals on 52 shots over the first two contests of this series and Mackenzie Blackwood had a rough regular season.

Schmid might bounce back and be the hero of Game 7, but his relative lack of experience makes him a far riskier bet than Shesterkin. How will Schmid handle the pressure of a winner-takes-all contest at the highest possible stage?

It would help if the Devils gave him more support, but as already noted, their offensive struggles are more to Shesterkin's credit. That said, two players to keep an eye on are Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier. They had 31 and 32 goals, respectively, in the regular season, but neither has found the back of the net in this series.

Similar to the idea of Panarin stepping up in Game 7, a big goal from Bratt or Hischier would be a storybook finish for New Jersey.

New York Rangers

The Rangers owe a lot to Igor Shesterkin. Not only does he have a 1.79 GAA and a .939 save percentage through six playoff appearances, but he hasn't taken a single game off. He's allowed more than two goals just once in this series, and even in that contest, the 27-year-old stopped an impressive 39-of-42 shots.

To give more context to what he's meant to the Rangers, we can look at the Devils' expected goals for, which stands at 19.52 (per MoneyPuck) and contrast that with New Jersey's actual goals of 13 (including two empty-netters). That suggests Shesterkin's presence has prevented about six goals compared to the average, which is better than any other goaltender in the first round when measured by that metric.

Given how close the series has been, it's not a stretch to believe the Rangers wouldn't have made it to Game 7 without Shesterkin, but that's not the same as suggesting he's singlehandedly gotten them this far. Chris Kreider (six goals, nine points) and offensive defenseman Adam Fox (eight assists) have also come up big.

Vladimir Tarasenko and Mika Zibanejad have left plenty to be desired, but each of them managed a goal and an assist in Game 6, so they should have some confidence going into Monday's contest.

The big X-factor is still Artemi Panarin, who has just two assists in six playoff outings. Even if the Rangers get past the Devils with an ineffective Panarin, sooner or later they'll need their star forward to get going if they want to have a deep playoff run.

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Rangers vs. Devils Pick

Oddsmakers have the Devils as slight favorites, which surprises me because I see the Rangers as having a slight edge. A strong case can be made for either team capturing this contest, but with Schmid being a bigger X-Factor than Shesterkin, I think New York has a mildly better chance of advancing to the second round.

Rather than bet on who is going to win, I'd recommend Panarin recording at least three shots on goal (excluding any potential overtime). Panarin managed three shots in Game 6, and now with the weight of the series and a goal drought on his shoulders, I expect him to at least match that output in Game 7.

The reason I'm recommending him over Bratt or Hischier, who are also eager to snap goal slumps, is because the potential payout for Panarin is significantly higher.

Pick: Artemi Panarin (60 Min) to Record 3+ Shots on Goal -104 | play down to -115 — FanDuel

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