NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Devils vs. Avalanche

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Devils vs. Avalanche article feature image

Andrew Mordzynski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Hughes

  • The Colorado Avalanche host the New Jersey Devils in an NHL matchup on Wednesday night.
  • Colorado has been red-hot of late, but is dealing with some injury issues that might slow it down against one of the league's top teams.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Devils vs. Avalanche Odds

Devils Odds-105
Avalanche Odds-114
Over/Under6 (-110/-110)
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Colorado Avalanche are far from the healthiest team in the league, but the defending Stanley Cup champions are nevertheless on a six-game winning streak.

Can the Avalanche keep that run going Wednesday though, against one of the league's best in the New Jersey Devils?

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New Jersey Devils

The big news out of New Jersey is the acquisition of Timo Meier, but he's dealing with an upper-body injury and isn't likely to make his Devils debut Wednesday.

That makes things a little more manageable for the Avalanche, but the Devils are a tough team regardless. After all, New Jersey has the fifth-ranked offense with 3.51 goals per game in 2022-23, and Meier has nothing to do with that.

Jack Hughes will lead the charge offensively for the Devils. The 21-year-old can already count himself among the league's elites with 36 goals and 74 points in 55 games this season. He's been even better lately, providing 18 goals and 35 points over his last 20 contests.

Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier have 56 and 55 points, respectively, to back him up. Plus, Dougie Hamilton is one of the league's top offensive defensemen with 17 goals and 57 points in 59 contests.

The Devils' offense shouldn't be a problem regardless of Meier's status, but their goaltending is a touch of a question mark. Although Vitek Vanecek is having a strong campaign with a 25-6-3 record, 2.37 GAA and .913 save percentage in 38 contests, he's struggled recently, allowing seven goals on 39 shots over his last two outings.

New Jersey might start Akira Schmid instead after the 22-year-old posted a 23-save shutout against the Flyers on Saturday.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche won't have Gabriel Landeskog (knee), Darren Helm (lower body), Kurtis MacDermid (concussion), Erik Johnson (ankle) or Pavel Francouz (lower body) on Wednesday.

On top of that, Cale Makar (concussion) is questionable for the contest. That a lot of talent out of the lineup, but the Avalanche have recently excelled at overcoming those hardships.

Alexandar Georgiev deserves a lot of the credit for that. With backup Francouz unavailable, Colorado has leaned on Georgiev and he's thrived, posting a 5-0-0 record, 1.77 GAA and .947 save percentage over his last five starts.

Georgiev only seems to be getting better, too, limiting the competition to just two goals over his last three starts. So the Devils' strong offense will be coming face-to-face with a hot netminder.

Colorado still has high-end offensive weapons as well, even without Landeskog and possibly Makar. Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon are tied for the Avalanche's scoring lead with 71 points each. Like Georgiev, they're on a roll. Rantanen has six goals and eight points over his last five contests while MacKinnon is on an eight-game point streak, contributing eight goals and 16 points over that span.

When you look at the amazing numbers those three have put up recently, Colorado's six-game winning streak starts to make perfect sense, but there's a weakness here just under the surface. The Avalanche have the 17th-ranked offense with 3.12 goals per game this season despite featuring two players with over 70 points. The reason is a lack of scoring depth.

Rantanen and MacKinnon are also the only Avalanche players with even 50 points compared to New Jersey, which has four players above that barrier. The Devils also have five players with at least 15 goals to Colorado's three. Injuries are part of the reason for the Avalanche's lopsided offense, but injuries will still be a problem for Colorado on Wednesday.

What this all means is Colorado is largely dependent on Rantanen and MacKinnon being hot and if they cool down Wednesday, then the Avalanche might not have anyone able to make up the difference.

Devils vs. Avalanche Pick

The Avalanche's active winning streak coupled with the fact that they're playing at home seems to be enough to convince oddsmakers that they're the favorites.

However, the Devils have had the better season thus far, and they're 21-4-3 on the road, so there's no reason to be scared off by the game being played at Ball Arena. Although Colorado is on a six-game winning streak, the Devils have been pretty hot too, winning four of their last five.

The Devils are a top-tier team and with them being treated as underdogs, I think the risk in taking them is worth the possible reward.

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