This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
NHL Bets Today: Expert NHL Picks and Props for Devils vs. Penguins
The New Jersey Devils (7-6-1) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (8-6-0) renew acquaintances in a Metropolitan Division matchup at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on ESPN+.
This is the first of four regular-season matchups between these teams. New Jersey has won five straight meetings, including each of the four battles in the 2022-23 season. The Devils also cashed on the puck line in three of those four wins as the favorite, while the Under cashed at a 2-1-1 clip.
The Devils outscored the Penguins by a 9-2 count in two meetings in the Steel City last season, including a 5-2 win on Feb. 18 as the Over (6.5) cashed, while winning 4-2 on Dec. 30 as the total pushed.
The Devils head into this game with just a single win in the past five games, while going 1-4 in the past five games inside the Metropolitan Division, too. However, New Jersey has won four of the past five games against teams with a winning overall record.
The Penguins have won five consecutive games, outscoring the opposition by a 25-8 pace, including four games as a favorite. Pittsburgh has covered the puck line in each of those four outings. The Over is 3-2-1 in the past six games dating back to Oct. 30.
Vitek Vanecek (6-3-0, 3.45 GAA, .887 SV%) is projected to be in the blue ice for the Devils, while Tristan Jarry (6-5-0, 2.31 GAA, .918 SV%, 3 SO) is likely to be in between the pipes for the Penguins.
While Jarry has been amazing this season, he was 0-2-1 with a 3.33 GAA and .888 SV% in three meetings with the Pens in 2022-23. On the flip side, Vanecek dominated the Pens last season, going 4-0-0 with a 1.49 GAA and .949 SV%. Until the Pens can solve Vanecek, back the Devils.
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NHL Puck Line Bets for Devils vs. Penguins
- Devils ML (+125 at BetMGM)
In this series, we've seen the total cash at a 5-2-3 pace in the past 10 meetings in this series. However, the Over is 2-0-3 in the past five meetings in the Steel City. With the way Jarry has been playing in the crease, the Under is a good play in this one, too.
The Over is 20-8 in the past 28 games overall for the Devils, while cashing in eight of the past 11 games on the road. The Over has cashed in six of the past eight games inside the division, too.
For the Penguins, it's been all about the Under, going 3-1-1 in the past five games at home, and 8-2 in the past 10 games inside the Metro. The Under at plus-money is as strong play, as Vanecek had tremendous showings all season against the Pens, and Jarry has been red-hot lately.
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NHL Totals Bets for Devils vs. Penguins
- Under 6.5 (+112 at FanDuel)
NHL Player Props for Devils vs. Penguins
As far as player prop wagers on Thursday, let's take a look at a player from each team.
Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton has been on a roll, posting two goals and five points in six games since flipping the calendar from October to November. That includes a helper on the power play last time out against the Jets in Winnipeg on Tuesday. In fact, all five of Hamilton's points this month have been on the man advantage.
- Dougie Hamilton Over 0.5 Points (-120 at BetMGM)
For the Penguins, the diminutive Jake Guentzel has been on fire lately. He has gone for four goals and nine points with a plus-10 rating across the past five outings. While he had no goals and just a single assist in four meetings with the Devils last season, failing to solve Vanecek, he has been red-hot, and Guentzel is a value play as an anytime goal scorer here.
- Jake Guentzel Anytime Goal Scorer (+140 at FanDuel)
Be sure to keep up with our up-to-the-minute NHL player props page to find the best values across the leading sportsbooks.