On Tuesday, the Penguins nearly blew a five-goal lead after two periods against a young, plucky, Devils team. On Thursday, they didn’t even entertain the notion. This time, the lead after two periods was only four goals, but the Penguins locked it down in the third period and cruised to a 5-1 win.
Let’s take a look at the third and final of three straight meetings between these teams from a betting perspective in our Devils vs. Penguins betting preview with odds, picks, and predictions.
The Devils have lost eight straight games and are just 2-12-2 in their last 16 contests. They are also just one point ahead of the Buffalo Sabres for the NHL’s worst record. Not surprisingly, the Devils ownership group knows a thing or two about tanking – as they are also the owners of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and oversaw the “process” that landed the team a top five draft pick for four straight years.
Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to make a push for the East Division crown, sitting just one point behind Washington with nine games to go. They’ve climbed into second place with a 6-1-1 surge over their last eight games.
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Devils vs. Penguins Prediction
If it seems like we’ve been harping on the Devils defense in every one of these previews, that’s because we have. New Jersey’s defense is not only one of the NHL’s worst this season but also in recent memory. The unit has allowed at least four goals in nine of their last 11 games, including seven of the eight games during their losing skid. In those eight games, the New Jersey Devils have been outscored by a whopping 41-19 margin.
On the other side of the coin, the Penguins are pumping in the goals. They’ve netted 47 scores in just 11 games this month.
In April, the top line of Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust have combined for 40 points in those 11 games.
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Devils vs. Penguins Odds
Here are the Devils vs. Penguins odds at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Penguins||+1.5 (-286)||-105||O 5.5 (+115)|
|Islanders||-1.5 (+230)||-110||U 5.5 (-139)|
Bets We Like With a Penguins Win
Sidney Crosby OVER 1.5 points (+134, FanDuel)
We mentioned above how good the Penguins’ top line has been this month, but it has been even better against the Devils.
The trio has combined for 24 points in just four games against New Jersey. Ironically, each player has eight points in those four games. The best odds on another multi-point game is on Crosby at +134. Considering how good they’ve been this month, and as unstoppable as they’ve been against the Devils, this seems like very good value.
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Bets We Like With a Devils Win
Nico Hischier OVER 0.5 goals (+350, FanDuel)
We don’t particularly think there’s much of a chance that the Devils win this game, but if they do pull off a stunner, maybe it will be their captain who gets them going.
Hischier missed six weeks with an injury before returning to the lineup just 11 days ago. After shaking off the rust, the 22-year-old has found the net in two of his last three games. Considering his skill level, the fact that he’s got his feet under him and the value on this bet, it might be worth a small flier – even if you don’t think the Devils will win.
Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Penguins to WIN by more than one goal and OVER 5.5 goals (+170, DraftKings)
Yes, this is the same pick offered ahead of Thursday’s game, but there’s a reason we’re coming back to it today. It hit then and it’s likely to hit again in this spot. As we said before, you have to be creative if you want to bet a game with such a lopsided favorite. Here, we take worse odds on the game total by dropping it a half puck to vastly improve our odds by parlaying it with a Penguins win by two or more goals.
Pittsburgh has been pouring it on against the Devils all season long, but especially this month. The Penguins have outscored the Devils 23-13 in four games, with six of the Devils’ goals coming in one period. Combine the Devils’ porous defense that sports an NHL-worst penalty kill with the fact that the Penguins found their offense, and, well, reaching that six-goal plateau should be a breeze.
Devils vs. Penguins Prediction
Two teams. Opposite directions. Lots of things trending in different directions.
The Pittsburgh Penguins can smell first place. The Devils can smell the best odds in the upcoming draft lottery. Combining all factors, this just seems too easy.
Betting Pick: Penguins 5, Devils 2.
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