NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction for Coyotes vs. Devils: Pinch Your Nose, Bet Arizona (Jan. 19)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured (left to right): Ilya Lyubushkin, Janis Moser, and Lawson Crouse.
- The New Jersey Devils take on the Arizona Coyotes in Wednesday night NHL action.
- Neither team is the most spectacular in the sport, but each side still has intriguing pieces.
- Carol Schram explains how to bet Wednesday's game below.
Coyotes vs. Devils Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The New Jersey Devils and Arizona Coyotes aren’t the most glamorous squads in the NHL. But as both clubs try to build strong foundations for better futures, they’re not without their interesting elements.
A lot has changed since the last time these two sides met, back in December 2019. Here’s the latest on the Devils and Coyotes and why you should take a long look at the road club for their matchup on Wednesday.
In case you missed it, the Coyotes have been playing some pretty decent hockey recently. With a 4-4-2 record in their last 10 games, they’ve climbed out of the NHL basement.
Last week, a 45-save performance from Karel Vejmelka earned them a 2-1 win over one of the best teams in the NHL, the Toronto Maple Leafs.
At -58, the Coyotes’ goal differential is one of the worst in the league. But the 25-year-old rookie Vejmelka has been a bright spot. His .907 save percentage is not far below the current league average of .910 — pretty decent, behind a stripped-down roster that was designed primarily to put the Coyotes in a good spot to contend for this summer’s first-overall draft pick.
Vejmelka has started six of the Coyotes’ last seven games in which he went 3-3-0. He’s expected to get the nod in net at the Prudential Center on Wednesday, as Arizona kicks off a four-game swing through the Metropolitan Division.
Earlier in the season, the Coyotes were losing a lot of low-scoring games, as they had trouble putting the puck in the net. They’re still last in the league in expected goal percentage at 5-on-5, but their production has improved over the last month or so. Since Dec. 17, the Coyotes are averaging 3.56 goals per game — good for a very solid 10th place in the league during that span.
Arizona’s recent successes have come despite a long list of players on the injured list and in COVID-19 protocol.
Jakob Chychrun, the trade-bait defenseman, was close to returning from an upper-body injury when he landed on the COVID-19 list last week. He was cleared on Tuesday, so he could potentially make his return against the Devils.
Backup goaltender Scott Wedgewood is also good to go — there’s an outside chance that he’ll get the nod in net against his former team.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils come into Wednesday’s game on a two-game losing streak and have played just once since Jan. 8. They also had a long list of players in COVID-19 protocol, including starting netminder Mackenzie Blackwood. He’s back, however, and is expected to start against Arizona.
The most notable player still missing is defenseman Dougie Hamilton. He suffered a broken jaw earlier this month and will be out of action for the foreseeable future.
When they’re healthy, the Devils are at their best when they’re upping the ante, offensively. A 7-3 home win over Florida from November jumps off the page, as does their 6-5 overtime victory over Edmonton on New Year’s Eve.
The Devils sit in the middle of the pack when it comes to controlling play at 5-on-5, but their power play is weak. And while Blackwood can dial in and deliver the occasional gem in net, his -7.9 goals saved above expected slots him into the lowest tier of NHL goaltenders and aligns with his .898 save percentage for the year.
Devils vs. Coyotes Pick
The Devils can be a fun team to watch, and with young building blocks like Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier, they’ll get better over time. They’re coming into Wednesday’s game rested and with a reasonably healthy lineup.
But they haven’t shown enough lately to justify a lofty line like -205.
After enduring a long, dark stretch early in the season, the Coyotes have gotten a taste of winning — and they’re clearly enjoying it.
This road trip will get tougher as it goes along, but Arizona could absolutely start on a winning note in Newark, earning a tidy payout for savvy bettors in the process.
Pick: Coyotes +175 (Play to +130)