This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
NHL Expert Picks for March 27: Free NHL Bets and Player Props for Devils vs. Islanders
The New Jersey Devils (46-19-8) travel to meet the New York Islanders (37-28-9) Monday in a key game in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
The Devils head into Monday's game with 100 points, three points back of the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Carolina also has a game in hand.
The Islanders sit in the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference with 83 points, one point clear of the Pittsburgh Penguins, although the Pens have a game in hand.
New Jersey picked up a 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators last time out, snapping a 1-3-2 skid across the previous six outings. The good news for the Devils is that they have covered the puck line in each of their past four victories when favored, so if you like Jersey to win, you should like it to cover, too.
New York was cooled off in a big way last time, falling 2-0 on home ice against Eric Comrie and the Buffalo Sabres. That snapped a four-game run with four or more goals, averaging 5.3 goals per game (GPG) prior to the shutout.
The Devils have picked up eight straight victories inside the Metropolitan Division, while going 26-9 in the past 35 games on the road.
The Islanders are just 10-22 in the past 32 games when facing teams with a winning percentage greater than .600. The good news for New York is that it is 15-4 in the past 19 on home ice against New Jersey, while going 28-10 in the past 38 meetings overall.
Vitek Vanecek (29-9-4, 2.49 GAA, .909 SV%, 3 SO) is projected to start for the Devils, while the Islanders will counter with Ilya Sorokin (26-19-7, 2.41 GAA, .923 SV%, 5 SO).
Based on the Islanders dominance in this series over the past few seasons, and the struggles of the Devils recently, it's a good idea to back the home 'dogs.
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NHL Money Line Bets for Devils vs. Islanders
- Islanders ML (+112 at BetRivers)
Lately it's been all about the Over for the Islanders. While they were blanked last time out against the Sabres, New York had cashed the Over in six of the previous seven outings.
The Over is 12-3-1 in the past 16 games for the Islanders against teams with a winning percentage over .600, too, while cashing at a 4-0-1 clip in the past five games inside the Metropolitan Division.
For the Devils, the Over has cashed at a 4-1 clip in the past five games against Eastern Conference foes, while going 24-11-1 in the past 36 games in the third game of a 3-in-4 (three games in four days) situation.
While the Under has been the trend in the series in recent seasons, go against that and roll with an Over result Monday on the Island.
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NHL Totals Bets for Devils vs. Islanders
- Over 5.5 (-140 at FanDuel)
NHL Player Props for Devils vs. Islanders
As far as player props for this Metropolitan Division battle, we have a couple of solid options for both sides.
New Jersey defenseman Dougie Hamilton has managed a goal and seven points in the past nine games. And in the most recent meeting with the Islanders on Dec. 9, a 6-4 win by the Devils in Newark, the rearguard picked up a pair of helpers.
- Dougie Hamilton Over 0.5 Points (-130 at BetMGM)
Islanders rearguard Noah Dobson has picked up the pace on the offensive end, going for a goal with four assists and a plus-6 rating in the past five outings. At plus-money for just one single point, he is a tremendous value play.
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- Noah Dobson Over 0.5 Points (+105 at BetMGM)