This pick featuring the Devils vs. Jets is my second free NHL pick on the night and in case you missed my first one, I’ll briefly recap a tough loss that ended a five-pick win streak last night.
I had the Penguins to go into Boston and upset a tough Bruins team at +143 odds. It didn’t start well as the Bruins built a 3-0 lead, however the Penguins rallied and eventually took a 4-3 lead, one they held approaching the midway point of the third. However, the Bruins tied the game almost nine minutes into the third and scored a back-breaker with less than two minutes to go to take the lead. They would add an empty-netter to win 6-4.
I still liked the pick very well in a 4-4 tie in the dying minutes of regulation, but that late goal was a tough pill to swallow as we were in good shape with those odds.
The loss snapped a five-pick win streak for me personally, however I’ll accept it and move onto tonight’s 11-game NHL schedule and find another pick that I deem worthy of a wager!
Season Record: 11-8
After first featuring the Hurricanes vs. Flyers contest, my second pick of the night will feature the Devils vs. Jets in a rare meeting from Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg!
Devils vs. Jets Betting Odds:
Over 6.5 (-115)
Under 6.5 (-105)
Devils vs. Jets NHL Pick
It’s a rare cross-conference matchup featuring the Devils vs. Jets tonight from Winnipeg as both teams are coming in off a high note following big road victories.
For the Devils, their 5-3 win as big +170 underdogs in Carolina on Saturday was probably a high point in their season, but also their lone road win of the season in four tries. The win snapped a three-game losing streak that saw the Devils allow five goals per game in regulation – all three of which interestingly came at home.
Beating the Hurricanes at home is certainly no easy feat as that was just their second home loss in eight games in Raleigh, however the Devils sport some ugly, ugly numbers on the road and will need to seriously get some consistency going in just about every single faze of the game.
Entering this one tonight, the Devils are tied for 16th in scoring while averaging three goals per game. However, on the road, they rank 30th with just 1.75 goals per game. Defensively, they’ve pretty much been terrible regardless of venue. Overall, they’re the third-worst defense in hockey as their 3.92 goals against per game ranks 29th, however that number increases to 4.25 goals against per game on the road – also good for 29th and only better than the Kings (4.86) and the Blue Jackets (4.33).
On special teams, things aren’t much prettier. In fact, they are downright horrendous. The Devils rank 23rd with a 14.9% clip overall on the power play this season, but their ghastly 6.7% mark on the road ranks 30th and only better than the Stars’ 5.9% mark. The penalty kill could be considered worse – although that’s a close call – as their 75% mark on the PK ranks 25th overall, but their god-awful 53.3% mark on the road ranks dead-last by a country mile.
I’ve mentioned in these NHL picks pieces before that we can identify numbers that are due for either positive or negative regression early in the season, and it’s hard to look at these Devils road numbers and not expect positive regression. However, there also hasn’t been any sort of consistency on the road – other than losing – to this point. The win in Carolina was nice, but there’s still very much a long way to go here.
A chunk of the problem has been in goal. The Devils have received just an .863 Sv% from Cory Schneider and Mackenzie Blackwood this season – tied for dead-last in the league. There isn’t a confirmed starter for the Devils at this point, but Blackwood seems to be the man right now as he interestingly started each of the Devils’ back-to-back games on the weekend – a rarity in today’s NHL. Blackwood enters this one with a 3.19 GAA and .878 Sv5 across seven starts and eight appearances on the season, but has been brutalized to the tune of a 5.01 GAA and .841 Sv% across two road starts in Buffalo and Carolina – although the latter resulted in a win despite an .889 Sv% in that one on Saturday.
For the Jets, they’ll enter this one also on a high after winning two straight road games to conclude their west-coast swing through Anaheim, San Jose and Vegas. They were dealt a 7-4 loss in Orange County to begin the trip but knocked off the Sharks and most recently Golden Knights as +134 and +190 underdogs, respectively.
While the road wins are nice, the home cooking simply has not been there for a Jets team who used to pummel teams with offense at Bell MTS Place.
The Jets are just 3-4-0 on home ice this season largely due to the fact that they have scored just two goals per game at home. They are still a positive possession team at home this season with a 50.16% Corsi For% at 5v5 at home and they’re also a middle-of-the-pack home defense at 2.86 goals against per game despite a much-thinner blueline this season than in year’s past.
Are the Jets going to regress from their two goals per game average at home? I don’t know about you, but I’m saying absolutely, 100% for sure. Their offense is largely the same from last season and that group averaged 3.68 goals per game at home – good for third-best in the NHL while their home power play clicked at 31.4% – second-best in the NHL. Their home power play this season has sputtered to 16.7% – good for a share of 22nd with the Red Wings.
There isn’t a confirmed starters in the Jets crease as of yet, either, however I would strongly anticipate to see starter Connor Hellebuyck get the nod after Laurent Brossoit backstopped the Jets to their victory in Vegas on Saturday.
Hellebuyck is coming off one of the best starts of his young career from Friday in San Jose. The Jets were outshot 53-19 in that one, but Hellebuyck was up to the task in turning aside 51 of those 53 shots to earn the club and 3-2 win and posted a .962 Sv% in the process. While the effort on the road was superb in that one, Hellebuyck’s best work for the season has indeed come at home where he’s put together a 1.99 GAA and .940 Sv% across six starts, but only has three wins in that time thanks to a lack of offense. Tonight would appear to be a favorable matchup for the Jets’ home offense to get back on track and give their goaltender some support.
I’m not going to overthink this one. In fact, I am going to get a little frisky and not only take the Jets to win, but I’m going to take them to win this one in regulation time. The home cooking has to start at some point and why not against one of the very worst road teams the NHL has to offer? Give me the Jets in regulation and let’s increase our payout a little bit.