NHL Odds, Picks: Devils vs Bruins Prediction & Preview (Saturday, April 8)

NHL Odds, Picks: Devils vs Bruins Prediction & Preview (Saturday, April 8) article feature image

Photo by Andrew Mordzynski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Hughes (Devils)

  • The Boston Bruins host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night as the NHL season winds down.
  • Boston may be the better side, but New Jersey has a huge motivational edge in this spot and our expert is capitalizing on the value that creates.
  • Nick Martin previews the game and offers up his best bet for Devils vs Bruins below.

Devils vs. Bruins Odds

Devils Odds+114
Bruins Odds-137
Time7 p.m. ET
TV SN360
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Boston will continue it's pursuit of the NHL's all-time regular season points record as it hosts the Devils on Saturday.

New Jersey is just one point behind the Hurricanes for first in the Metropolitan division and securing that top spot would be a significant boost to the Devils playoff hopes, as they'd avoid a nightmare first-round matchup versus the Rangers.

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New Jersey Devils

New Jersey will likely need to go 3-0 in its remaining games to have any chance of winning the Metropolitan division, and that's very possible considering the Devils strong recent play.

With Timo Meier seemingly fully adjusted to life with his new side, the Devils offense looks extremely strong and is capable of playing at an elite pace that few teams can match. It was widely expected Meier would fit in well with a team that generates so many chances off of the rush, and with five goals and seven points in his past five games, that seems to be the case.

New Jersey's defensive play has remained notably sound lately and the overall well-balanced play has been key to the Devils 59.95 xGF% over the past 10 games.

The Devils will also be receiving a boost to their blue line in the near future — top prospect Luke Hughes will join the team now that Michigan has been eliminated from the Frozen Four.

While it's bold to say any prospect can quickly adjust to the NHL level, it is realistic to believe Hughes will prove to be an upgrade on the Devils third pairing.

Vitek Vanecek has remained strong in goal and will likely start this important matchup. He owns a +3.3 GSAx rating and a .910 save % in 51 appearances.

Boston Bruins

With 127 points though 78 games, Boston is well on it's way to surpassing the regular season record of 132 points, set by the 1976-77 Canadiens. However, Jim Montgomery surely won't make roster decisions based upon breaking that record.

Montgomery's focus will be on making sure the Bruins enter the postseason in top form and fully healthy.

As a result, betting the Bruins earlier than a few hours before puck drop is likely somewhat foolish.

Charlie McAvoy is listed as day-to-day and is doubtful to play this weekend, but it wouldn't be surprising to see one or two of the Bruins other top stars skip this contest.

Over the past 10 games, Boston has played to a relatively modest 51.03 xGF%, but has put up an incredible 9-1-0 record. Four of those nine wins came in shootout and three on three, and seven were by just a single goal.

Boston is also likely defending a little sharper than public analytical models are crediting, which has allowed its incredible goaltending tandem to thrive.

Linus Ullmark will likely start this contest as Jeremy Swayman played Thursday versus Toronto. Ullmark has played to a +41.3 GSAx rating with a .937 save % in 47 appearances.

Devils vs. Bruins Pick

Based on how terrific New Jersey's play has been recently, +115 is not a terrible number — even if this were a far more meaningful game for the Bruins. However, in this specific instance, the Devils are more worthy than normal of a bet.

If Boston rests other stars, +120 will become a terrific number and one we should be happy to lock in now as it has a realistic chance to gain a ton of closing line value.

The Bruins haven't been dominating top teams recently, but have seemingly won every 50/50 battle. That comment is no slight toward the Bruins either. Boston has been resting top players and is only playing to stay sharp for the playoffs. Even so, the Bruins are still beating elite teams.

The Devils are clearly the side holding more value and I highly doubt better prices will show up prior to puck-drop.

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