NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Devils vs. Blues
Andrew Mordzynski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jesper Bratt
- The Devils have won seven of their past 10 games, but lost to the Blues earlier this season.
- St. Louis, meanwhile, has won two in a row and will be looking to defend home ice.
- Ryan Dadoun details his best bet below.
Devils vs. Blues Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Blues earned a 5-3 victory over New Jersey on Jan. 5, but can they do it again Thursday? St. Louis has traded Vladimir Tarasenko since then, and the Devils are one of the strongest teams in the league with a 35-13-5 record. So what hope do the Blues have?
New Jersey Devils
Dating back to Dec. 30, the Devils’ loss to St. Louis is one of just two they’ve suffered in regulation. New Jersey has achieved dominance in no small part thanks to its offense. The Devils have scored 3.45 goals per game this season, and that jumps to 3.72 if you look at just their past 18 contests.
Jack Hughes has led the charge for New Jersey with 35 goals and 67 points in 50 games, but Jesper Bratt, Dougie Hamilton and Nico Hischier have also surpassed the 45-point mark. However, Hughes has missed New Jersey’s past three games with an upper-body injury and is questionable for Thursday’s contest.
With Hughes absent, Tomas Tatar and Hamilton have helped carried the offense, each recording two goals and an assist over the past three games. Ondrej Palat has four helpers over the same stretch. Thanks in part to them, New Jersey is 2-0-1 in its past three games.
Vitek Vanecek has also been a major factor in the Devils’ continued success. He’s 23-5-3 with a 2.31 GAA and a .916 save percentage in 35 contests this season. The 27-year-old hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down either, posting a 5-0-1 record, 2.08 GAA and a .927 save percentage over his past six contests.
Even with Hughes’ availability in question, there’s clearly still a lot to like about New Jersey.
St. Louis Blues
The Blues are a far more flawed team, but — to their credit — they haven’t rolled over, even after the Tarasenko trade. They earned a 6-5 overtime win against Arizona on Sunday and 6-2 victory versus Florida on Tuesday. Though neither of those teams are at New Jersey’s level.
St. Louis’ recent offensive outburst also isn’t representative of how the squad has performed overall. The Blues rank 18th offensively with 3.11 goals per game this season. They do have a strong forward core with Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, Pavel Buchnevich and Brayden Schenn each providing at least 40 points, but no one else on the team has even reached the 30-point milestone.
To make matters worse, Brandon Saad (upper body) isn’t expected to be an option Thursday. With 15 goals and 22 points in 46 contests, Saad is one of the Blues’ best secondary scorers.
The news gets no better for St. Louis in net because Jordan Binnington has been all over the place this season. Sometimes he’s great, but he’s averaged out to record a subpar 20-18-3 record, a 3.28 GAA and a .892 save percentage.
In other words, the Blues figure to be at a disadvantage on both ends of the ice.
Devils vs. Blues Pick
New Jersey is the clear favorite here and the odds reflect that.
I’m tempted to take the Devils on the puck line because of the solid potential payout, and if I knew for certain Hughes was playing, I would go with that bet. However, Hughes being a question mark makes me want to seek something a little safer.
DraftKings is offering a combination of “Devils to win and over 4.5 goals” with a potential payout of -105.
This is the same as taking the Devils on the moneyline, but you’re getting a significantly better potential payout because you’re also adding an over/under component. New Jersey is a high-scoring team — even if Hughes doesn’t play — facing mediocre goaltending, and the Blues are still okay offensively, so betting that the game goes over 4.5 goals seems reasonable.
Pick: New Jersey Devils to Win and Over 4.5 Goals -105 (Play Down to -120)
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