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ice-hockey | Friday, March 24, 2023 9:52 AM (Revised at: Friday, March 24, 2023 10:24 AM)

NHL Hockey Friday Best Bets: Metropolitan Division Playoff Chase

NHL Hockey Friday Best Bets: Metropolitan Division Playoff Chase
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NHL Hockey Friday Best Bets: Friday, March 24th

The Metropolitan Division is still up for grabs and the Canes and Devils are only 2 points apart for the lead, while the Islanders catch the struggling Jackets hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive. Our resident pucks expert Ej Garr is up to his usual antics giving out a pair of plus-money offers for the pair of games being discussed today, so let’s take it to the ice and see what he has in store.

In this article:

Buffalo Sabres vs New Jersey Devils Preview

March 25, 00:07 (UK time)

Remember when the Sabres were trying to be taken seriously? It seems like an eternity ago that they were in the hunt for one of the eight playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, but all of that has gone out the window!

Buffalo has lost 8 of their last 9 games, and they’ve allowed 7 goals to Nashville and Boston at home in their last two outings. The Sabres have lost 5 straight home games, and with only 72 points to their credit, I will go on that limb and say the season is already over for Buffalo. Sure, they’ll play it out and hope for some success over their last 12 games of the regular season, but the fight is over for the most part.

Philadelphia and Washington each scored five times against the Sabres before allowing the 7 goals to Boston and Nashville, and when you allow 24 goals over 4 games it is time to look for some goaltending!

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is a full-blown disaster, and it is amazing that he actually has a 15 – 13 W-L record despite being such a sieve in the net. Eric Comrie has made 17 starts for the Sabres and he is allowing nearly 4 goals a game but it looks like Craig Anderson is getting the start tonight for this game.

I am seeing Anderson and Vitek Vanacek as the probable goalie matchup for this affair, and that certainly gives the Devils an advantage. Vanacek has had some rough outings this year, but this is one of the highest-scoring seasons that I can remember and the goals are still flying in around the NHL on a nightly basis.

The Devils are not exactly in form of late either having lost 4 of their last 5 games but they are still within two points of the lead in the Metropolitan Division behind the Carolina Hurricanes. Luckily for them, Carolina is also struggling to find a win having lost 4 of their last 7 outings, so the race for that title will likely come down to the final few games of the regular season.

Buffalo Sabres vs New Jersey Devils Best Bet

When I saw this line at Marathon with plus-money on the board, there was no way I was leaving it off the board. New Jersey can win this game 2 – 1 for all I care, but we all know this could just as easily be 7 – 6 and no one would be shocked at all!

  • Selection: Devils Win + Both Teams to Score
  • Best odds: 2.07 (Marathon)
  • Stakes: 4/10

More Buffalo Sabres vs New Jersey Devils Tips

Columbus Blue Jackets vs New York Islanders Preview

March 25, 00:07 (UK time)

The Islanders are currently holding on to the 7th position in the Eastern Conference table, and we all know that Columbus started to look toward the next season months ago. As it stands at this moment, Columbus will get the first pick in the next draft with only 51 points officially the worst team in the NHL.

This is another situation where I cannot believe that Marathon is giving us a plus-money offer on the simplicity of an Islanders win with both teams finding the net at least once. The Isles have won their last 3 games and they are scoring goals with ease lately while coming off that 7-goal barrage against the Maple Leafs.

Getting past San Jose and Anaheim is nothing to write home about, but the Islanders are, at least, gaining momentum no matter who they have across the ice from them. On paper, this appears as a no-contest, and I am a little surprised that the line setters are only putting a 1.55 on the board suggesting an Islander win in this spot.

Now, you know that the Mayor of Value City has zero interest in juiced-up lines such as that because we like our ROI around here. However, when I see lines like 2.07 for the Isles to win this game while allowing just one goal to Columbus, you can bet your ass I am all over it.

In fact, if you are a combination player, you can put that 1.55 and the 1.65 with New Jersey together and do okay for yourself. I see 2.50 for such a bet, although I haven’t put a combo on the board in about 10 years.

I know people out there today only bet on combos and Trixie’s if not more, so if you are looking for that type of material I won’t blame you for putting those together tonight.

Ilya Sorokin and Elvis Merzlikins are listed on the early line as the probable netminders for this affair, and that clearly gives the Isles an edge. Merzlikins has won 7 games the entire campaign and 4.1 GAA is absolutely disgusting! He has allowed no less than 3 goals in his last 12 starts, and there is no reason to expect him to be anything but a statue between the pipes tonight.

The Islander offense should find plenty of success tonight on the road, and it is spots like these that they have to take advantage of. New York simply cannot afford to let these two points go unearned, and in my opinion, they will do it in fashion!

Columbus Blue Jackets vs New York Islanders Best Bet

Islanders 6 – Jackets 3! That will about cover everything so you can head to the weekend with two plus-money offers on your plate. Hey, feel free to see what odds you can get for the Isles/Devils Moneyline too if you are into that stuff.

  • Selection: Islanders Win + Both Teams to Score
  • Best odds: 2.07 (Marathon)
  • Stakes: 4/10

Odds as of 9:00 am March 24th, 2023. Odds may now differ.

More Columbus Blue Jackets vs New York Islanders Tips


Our best bets are posted by some of the best tipsters around. These are our tipsters best value bets. A best bet can be placed on any number of different markets. The most common of which are 1X2, the Asian handicap, BTTS, and the goals markets. Value can be found in matches from leagues across the world. Be sure to follow bettingexpert for the latest best bets.

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