The New Jersey Devils open their season against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, and while bookmakers tip the hosts as the favorites in the betting, injuries have ravaged their line-up. The Devils could be without key players for this game, including goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood.
So, if the Devils can’t put their best foot forward, does this automatically open up value for bettors to back the Chicago Blackhawks to deliver the upset? Find out as we preview this matchup and serve up choice NHL picks to spot.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. New Jersey Devils
Friday, October 15, 2021 – 07:00 PM EDT at Prudential Centre
As per Bovada (visit our Bovada Review), the odds for the Devils are priced as -130 home favorite to win straight up while the Blackhawks are priced as the nominal +110 road underdogs. The total for this game is tipped at 6.0 points with the over on the total being favored at -125 and the under is priced at +105.
Blackhawks' Lose Season Opener
The Chicago Blackhawks got a tough season-opening assignment with a date against the Colorado Avalanche.
Not only are the Avs coming off a stellar 2020-21 campaign in which they clinched the President’s trophy, but they’re also the top favorites to win Stanley Cup according to NHL futures.
Chicago was slow out of the gates and within the first ten minutes, they’d conceded three goals to their Central division rival. While they steadied the ship and held their lines better from then onwards, they couldn’t avoid the defeat. Still, they only conceded one more goal after that and lost 4-2 in the end.
The Blackhawks were outshot 18 to 8 in the first stanza by the Avs in Ball Arena, Colorado. The Avs were clearly raring to go and caught the Blackhawks napping for the first few minutes of the game. Dominik Kubalik scored a goal for Colorado, along with Connor Murphy while Ian Mitchell had an assist. Marc-Andre Fleury saved 32 of 36 shots for an .889 save percentage.
Devils Injuries Ruin Start
The season is yet to start for the New Jersey Devils and they’re already dealing with setbacks. Mackenzie Blackwood is reportedly dealing with a heel injury and may not start. Defensemen Ty Smith and Damon Severson were also added to the injured reserve list this week.
The Devils are coming off a disappointing 2020-21 campaign, in which they finished at the bottom of the league in multiple categories. Injuries, coronavirus outbreaks, and more practically decimated the team. All in all, it was a write-off last year.
Nevertheless, expectations are low for the Devils this season as a consequence. That in of itself is no guarantee of anything, of course. The Devils will be hoping to show some measure of improvement this season, and the good news is that after last year’s results, they can’t possibly go lower or finish worse.
NHL Predictions and Picks
This is a totally wide-open matchup in terms of NHL picks. The Blackhawks dropped their first game on the road, losing 4-2 to the Avalanche as they were caught by surprise early. They’re unlikely to be quite so distracted this time.
We’ve yet to see the Devils product in real-game action, so it’s difficult to predict where they stack up. However, given the fact that they’re minus several key players on defense, the Blackhawks, who will be motivated to bounce back tonight, may well be the better bet to win, especially with their current NHL odds.
NHL Pick: Blackhawks ML (+110) at Bovada
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.