Devils vs. Oilers NHL Betting Odds & Picks
Derek Cain/Getty Images. Pictured: New Jersey Devils center Michael McLeod
- In one of tonight's top NHL games, the Oilers host the red-hot Devils.
- Both teams are off to a 7-3-0 start and among the league's best teams early in the season.
- Below, Nicholas Martin explains why the underdogs have a price that's too good to pass up.
Devils vs. Oilers Odds
|Over/Under||7 (+105 / -125)|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
New Jersey‘s stunning early season form has quickly made the Devils must-watch hockey. Therefore, a matchup against Connor McDavid and the Oilers should make for a very exciting affair and arguably the best of tonight’s massive NHL slate.
Both of these sides enter with an identical record at 7-3-0 and sit in the top quarter of the league with regard to offensive production.
This contest offers a huge spot for the Devils to prove the legitimacy of this start, or possibly a night for the issues on the backend of years past to be exposed.
Will McDavid, Draisaitl and company expose the Devils on Thursday?
New Jersey Devils Shutting Down Chances
Anyway you want to analyze the Devils’ early play, be it the eye test or the underlying numbers, the results have been absolutely stunning.
The Devils has allowed only 25 shots once in a game this season, and they allowing the opposition just 21.6 shots on goal, which is the lowest mark in the league this season.
The crazy part? The Devils aren’t just playing low-event hockey, and they have generated the league’s most shots on goal themselves on the other end at 40.1.
Allowing the least shots on goal in the league while generating the most is obviously an incredible combination, and if we are going to put any stock in the Devils’ opening 10-game sample, this team could end up being extremely good.
The quality of chances has been there as well, as New Jersey owns a 67.92% share of the high-danger chances to this point in the season.
As you would expect, the results have been good, but even still, New Jersey’s +11 goal differential is actually -9.39 below the expected rate.
New Jersey has received solid contributions from all over the ice, and in particular, the Devils’ defensive core has shined more than it’s getting credit for.
Jonas Siegenthaler has played at an unbelievable level on the Devils’ top defensive pairing alongside Dougie Hamilton, and he has quietly become one the league’s very best at suppressing the opposition offensively.
The Devils’ second defensive pairing of John Marino and Ryan Graves has been absolutely stellar, as well, and the strength of those top two pairings is an area where I feel the Devils hold a meaningful edge over Edmonton.
Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes have both been spectacular and comprise a two-way punch down the middle that offers an edge on almost any other night. However, not in this contest against the best 1-2 center combination in the league of McDavid and Draisaitl.
This should prove, however, a great chance for the Devils’ fourth line of Miles Wood, Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian to shine.
The fourth unit has been an absolute buzzsaw for New Jersey of late, providing a ton of energy and chipping in offensively with 10 points combined over the last five games.
The Devils will likely start Vitek Vanecek in goal tonight, which has always been the greatest question mark on the roster.
Vanecek has played to a .903 save % and -2.7 goals saved above expected in five games this season.
Edmonton has looked more or less as most would have expected to start this season, as Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have led some excellent offensive production while the rest of the roster has looked relatively standard.
Which is all the Oilers will need most nights: a surrounding core that simply does not lose the game for its high-powered offensive stars.
Edmonton has played to a 51.2% expected goals rate, which is very solid, especially when playing with what will likely be the league’s top powerplay and elite playmakers all over the roster.
The backend concerns still seem to linger, however, and Edmonton has allowed the league’s eighth-highest xGA/60 this season at 3.55, with an actual goals against average of 3.20.
Edmonton will be starting its better netminding option for this contest, though. Stuart Skinner has shined to a +6.3 goals saved above expected rating.
Devils vs. Oilers Pick
New Jersey has simply played at far too high of a level to this point in the season for me to believe the Devils should be this significant of an underdog against anyone in the league.
It’s quite likely New Jersey will control more of the play in this matchup, and are holding more depth throughout the lineup, specifically looking at the defensive core and bottom two lines.
The Devils’ soft goaltending tandem could always be liable to give away some contests, but we are getting a solid price to run that risk with an underdog that I believe will control more of the overall gameplay.
The Oilers’ incredible duo of McDavid and Draisaitl are always capable of stealing some games, and you’re simply not going to entirely stop Edmonton’s powerplay too often. But with how elite the Devils’ defensive play has been thus far, we are getting a great price to fade those concerns.
At +135, I am high on the Devils in this spot, and I believe we have value to make a play down to +125.
Pick: New Jersey Devils +135 (down to +125)