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NHL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi provides his prediction for Friday night's matchup between the Rangers and Devils.

New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils Prediction: Look for Value on the Under

Thursday's NHL slate was a complete doozy, with two massive underdogs (Montreal and Arizona) defeating two of the league's best teams (Calgary and Colorado). The Hurricanes couldn't get it done for us either, so let's turn to Friday's set of games. There are seven of them on the docket; here's my best bet of the day

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New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils Prediction

The New York Rangers (34-15-5) are one of the most polarizing teams in the league this season. They sit firmly in a playoff spot, yet haven't been outplaying other teams at even strength. The primary reason for their success has been the stellar play of starting goaltender Igor Shesterkin. Shesterkin has the highest save percentage in the league at .940, the second-highest goals against average at 1.98, and the most goals saved above expected at 30.2.

His play is the main reason that I believe there's value on the under in this game. He allowed three goals on Wednesday against the Blues, but it's far more common to see him allow 1-2 in any given start. Now, there is reason to believe that the Devils will be able to push this game over. The over has cashed in each of their last five games, in large part because of their improved goal scoring. However, if there's anyone who can put a stop to that run, it's the best goaltender in the world.

Bet $10, Win $200 If the Rangers Score

The more significant danger to this under is the fact that the Devils are a woeful defensive team. They have allowed 3.57 goals per game this season, which ranks 30th in the league. A lot of that is due to poor goaltending—their xGA/60 at even strength and their penalty kill are both around league average. The good news is that their goaltending has been better recently—Nico Daws has been solid. Their troubles in net have been largely a function of Mackenzie Blackwood's abysmal play, and he won't be playing on Friday night.

Overall, this number just feels a bit high to me. It's currently set at 6 with little to no vig, and there are some 6.5s still on the market. The Rangers are a team that has had difficulties scoring at even strength, so something like a 3-1 Rangers win seems pretty likely. I'd be willing to bet this down to U6 with juice.

New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils Line Movement

New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils Pick

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Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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