Hockey fanatics, are you ready for the ultimate showdown? The NHL's 2023-24 season is here, and it's time to dive headfirst into the heart-stopping action that awaits! With three thrilling matchups to launch the regular season on Tuesday, the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are set to blaze their own trails on Thursday, making this season a spectacle you won't want to miss.

The Rangers, determined to make a statement right out of the gate, will face off against the rising Buffalo Sabres at 7 p.m. on the road. Meanwhile, the Devils are ready to rock their home opener at 7:30 p.m., where they'll lock horns with the formidable Detroit Red Wings. Brace yourselves, folks; this is where the battle lines are drawn.

And speaking of battles, remember the fiery showdown these Metropolitan Division rivals gave us last season? A jaw-dropping first-round playoff series for the ages! After dropping the first two games, the Devils staged an epic comeback, claiming Games 3-5 before delivering a resounding 4-0 victory in Game 7 at the Prudential Center. The memories of that clash still send shivers down our spines.

But what lies ahead for the Rangers and Devils in this new season? Allow me to pull out the crystal ball and share my predictions on their point totals and their odds to conquer the division, the conference, and hoist the Stanley Cup.

NY Rangers - Betting Odds for 2023-24 NHL Season:

To win Stanley Cup (+2000)
Eastern Conference (+900)
Metropolitan Division (+450)
Make playoffs (-310)
Over/under 103.5 points (-115)

The Rangers turned heads last season, racking up 50-plus wins for the first time since 2014-15. They continued their impressive form with 47 wins and boasted a jaw-dropping 28-9-4 road record in 2022. Yet, the bitter taste of two consecutive postseason failures with 2-0 series leads lingers.

With the arrival of head coach Peter Laviolette and a seasoned lineup, including veterans Blake Wheeler, Nick Bonino, and Tyler Pitlick, the Rangers are poised for greatness. However, a shaky preseason and injuries plaguing stars like Artemi Panarin and Filip Chytil raise questions.

While they're bound to be a force in one of the league's toughest divisions, expect a slight step back due to their aging roster, preseason hiccups, and injury woes. Those heartbreaking overtime losses are likely to decrease, translating to fewer points. My bet? The Rangers secure a playoff spot but fall short of the 103.5-point mark, settling for 90-plus points for the third consecutive season.

For the faithful Blueshirt believers, check out FanDuel Sportsbook's line at 100.5 points with a price of -120.

Predictions: Rangers go under 103.5 points (-115) but make the playoffs (-310)

NJ Devils - Betting Odds for 2023-24 NHL Season:

To win Stanley Cup (+1150)
Eastern Conference (+600)
Metropolitan Division (+240)
Make playoffs (-520)
Over/under 105.5 points (-111)

Last season, the Devils pulled off one of the NHL's biggest surprises. After a dismal 2021-22 campaign with the fifth-fewest points (63), they shocked the hockey world with a record-breaking 112-point season. Their unforgettable 13-game winning streak catapulted them into the limelight.

As the regular season looms, expectations soar, and the Devils find themselves under intense scrutiny. Armed with a stellar core featuring Jack and Luke Hughes, Dawson Mercer, Jesper Bratt, Nico Hischier, and Timo Meier, all under 26, the sky's the limit.

However, goaltending remains a looming question mark. Can Vitek Vanecek overcome his postseason struggles, or will Akira Schmid steal the spotlight? The dilemma of a starter's role hangs in the balance.

Despite the third-highest over/under point total in the league and goaltending uncertainties, I'm placing my faith in the Devils to continue their remarkable journey, surpassing the 105.5-point bar and clinching their first division title since 2009-10.

For those with a differing view, BetRivers offers an over/under line of 107.5 points at -112.

Predictions: Devils go over 105.5 points (-111), make the playoffs (-520), and win the Metro (+240)

The stage is set, the players are ready, and the drama is about to unfold. NHL fans, prepare for a rollercoaster of emotions as the 2023-24 season promises to deliver hockey at its finest. Will the Rangers and Devils rise to the occasion, or will destiny throw them a curveball? Buckle up, folks, because this is one season you'll want to witness!
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