This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
NHL Bets for March 16: Free NHL Picks and Game Props for Lightning vs. Devils
The Tampa Bay Lightning (40-22-6) face the New Jersey Devils (44-17-6) in the second end of a back-to-back set at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., with puck drop scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
The Lightning posted a 4-1 victory as road underdogs in Tuesday's meeting with the Devils at this very same venue. It started out fine for New Jersey, as Damon Severson opened the score at 5:55 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.
The Devils went on the power play late in the first, thanks to an Ian Cole tripping penalty. However, instead of parlaying that into a 2-0 lead, the Devils allowed a shorthanded goal to Anthony Cirelli at 16:17 to level the score.
Heading to the second period, that's when the dam broke for the Tampa Bay offense. Brandon Hagle scored what stood up as the game-winning goal at 8:52 of the second, while Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov netted insurance markers to make it 4-1. Kucherov's goal was the killer, as it came with just one tick left in the period. The third period was scoreless for both sides.
Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed just a single goal on 23 shots, while Vitek Vanecek coughed up four goals on 30 shots.
Vasilevskiy (30-17-4, 2.67 GAA, .914 SV%, 2 SO) is expected to run it back Thursday, while Vanecek (28-8-3, 2.52 GAA, .908 SV%, 3 SO) is also likely to be tabbed for the start.
The Lightning have posted an impressive 40-15 record in the past 55 games on a day of rest, while going 7-3 in the past 10 games against Metropolitan Division opponents. However, the Lightning are still just 1-6 in the past seven against winning teams, while going 2-5 in the past seven on the road. It's difficult to beat a good team in its place in consecutive games, too.
The Devils have managed a 9-3 record in the past 12 games at home, while going 10-3 in the past 13 games against Eastern Conference teams. New Jersey is 7-0 in the past seven games after scoring two or fewer goals in the previous outing.
Look for New Jersey to get back on track, and level the season series. These teams didn't play each other this season until Tuesday, and they'll meet each other again at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Sunday.
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NHL Money Line Bets for Lightning vs. Devils
- Devils ML (-130 at Caesars)
These teams hit the Under in Tuesday's battle, and that was a rarity for the Lightning lately.
The Over is still 3-1-1 in the past five games against the Eastern Conference for the Lightning, while going 4-1-1 in the past six against Metro teams. The Over is 5-2-1 in the past eight games against winning teams, too.
For the Devils, the Under has cashed in four in a row, while going 4-0 in the past four against Eastern Conference teams, too. The Under is 11-3 in the past 14 against Atlantic Division foes, as well.
Go low on the total, similar to Tuesday's game, especially if Vasilevskiy and Vanecek are confirmed to start, both running it back in the crease.
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NHL Totals Bets for Lightning vs. Devils
- Under 6.5 (-108 at BetRivers)
NHL Game Props for Lightning vs. Devils
Looking at the game props for this rematch, we'll check out options for both sides.
The Devils took it on the chin last time out, falling 4-1 to Vassy and the Lightning. I think that the home side bounces back and returns the favor, winning this one by at least two goals. Take a chance on the full game spread laying a goal and a half for a chance to nearly double up.
- Devils PL (-1.5, +180 at BetMGM)
A few weeks ago we hit the exact score in the Leafs-Devils game on March 6. Let's do it again!
I am feeling New Jersey to win this one by a 4-2 score, perhaps due to a late empty-net goal, and it's worth a roll of the dice to multiply your initial wager by 20 times!
- Exact Score - Devils 4, Lightning 2 (+2000 at FanDuel)