Good, Bad…and Chicago Blackhawks
The New Jersey Devils have been a very good hockey team this season, continuing to improve with a young core developing and maturing. That’s bad news inside the Metropolitan Division since no one expected the Devils to be this good this fast. The Chicago Blackhawks are ugly and awful now, but the prize of Connor Bedard and their long-term future is in their sights.
The game, the first of the season between the teams, offers a clear favorite and an overmatched underdog. We will review the stats, scores and odds to find the best wagering options ahead of Tuesday’s game in Newark.
Blackhawks as Promised
The Chicago Blackhawks rebuild has started quite smoothly. They’ve unloaded assets, aiming at the first pick in the next draft. That’s months away, however, so ‘Hawk fans are left to endure a long season of losing hockey. Perhaps there’s some solace in the fact the Blackhawks are achieving their mission. 7-13-4 and among the league’s worst teams
Chicago’s lost four of its last five games, only disposing of the New York Rangers, 5-2, at the Garden along the way. Three of these games surpassed a 6½ -goal total and three ended with a 1½ -goal spread or more. Patrick Kane leads the team in scoring (four goals, 16 assists, and 20 points).
Chicago was blanked, 3-0, by the New York Islanders at Belmont Park Sunday night.
The team stats are whatever is the opposite of elite. Chicago averages 2.54 goals per game (25.8 shots/game), while surrendering 3.58 goals (34.9 shots). The power play is a rare highlight of the ‘Hawks, with 19 goals and a 25.3% rate of success. Ironically, the opposition man advantage is also0 converting at a rate of 25.3% percent, so something in either box leads to an adventure.
The Blackhawks have alternated goalies in each of their last 13. If that trend continues Tuesday, expect Petr Mrazek to start. He’s 2-5-1 (2.93 goals-against average, .884 save percentage).
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
Devils as Contenders?
While the NHL experts expected the New Jersey Devils to improve, it was supposed to be a year or two away. They’re powerhouses in the Metropolitan Division, lapping the field at 20-4-1.
Jersey has won four of its last five, three ended with at least a 1½ -goal differential, while two games finished over 6½ total goals.
The Devils are averaging 3.72 goals (35.4 shots/game), having surrendered 2.28 goals (26.5 shots). Jack Hughes has taken another step in his development, leading with 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists).
They have one-fifth of the power play while killing off just under that percentage.
Goaltending has been great this season. Vitek Vanecek’s performance has been a welcome surprise this season. Vanecek figures to get the start against the Blackhawks (11-2-1 record, 2.24 goals-against average, .918 save percentage).
Blackhawks vs Devils Game Injuries
Blackhawks vs Devils Head-to-Head
It’s the first of two seasonal scrums between the ‘Hawks and Devils. They split two last season.
Blackhawks vs Devils Game Information
- Game: Blackhawks (7-13-4) vs Devils (20-4-1)
- Day/Time: Tuesday, Dec. 6th, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
- Blackhawks vs Devils Live stream: NHL.TV
Blackhawks vs Devils Betting Lines
Blackhawks vs Devils Picks & Prediction
As was expected, Jersey is listed as a heavy favorite across the online gambling landscape.
NHL odds have the Blackhawks at +1½ on the puck line spread, while the Devils are at -1½ The Devils have a 16-9 record against the spread (ATS), while the Blackhawks are 13-11.
It’s not easy finding a reason to take the Blackhawks. Having beaten only the inconsistent Rangers and their understudy goalie (Jaroslav Halak) of late, take the Devils and Vanecek to cover the spread and soundly defeat the Blackhawks Tuesday night.
The New Jersey Devils are listed at -360 in our Vegas Lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Devils, you have a chance to win $28. The Chicago Blackhawks are +300, offering a chance to win $300.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Devils a 78.26% chance to win, with the Blackhawks at 25.00%.