In their first head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the New Jersey Devils and the Colorado Avalanche face off at the Pepsi Center. The opening face-off is at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, December 13, and you can view this East-West matchup live on Altitude Sports & Entertainment.
New Jersey Devils at Colorado Avalanche Odds
Playing the role of sizable favorite will be Colorado (-235), while New Jersey is an underdog showing moneyline odds of +195 and oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals (-125 for the over, +105 for the under).
The Avalanche are 20-11 straight up (SU) and have earned moneyline bettors 9.5 units this season. That winning percentage, ranked third in the league in this young season, is a welcome improvement over the 38-44 record from last year’s regular season campaign. Of its 31 games this season, 15 have gone over the total, while 14 have gone under and just two have pushed. The team’s 9-5 SU at home this season.
Colorado’s converted on 18.4 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is rated 26th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.0 percent of all penalties.
Colorado, as a collective unit, has been whistled for penalties 4.0 times per game overall this season, and 2.4 per game over its past five contests. The team has had to defend opponent power plays for just 7.2 minutes per game over its last 10 outings, overall.
With a .914 save percentage and 27.3 saves per game, Philipp Grubauer (11-7-2) has been the top goalkeeper for the Avalanche this season. If head coach Jared Bednar chooses to rest him, however, the team might go with Pavel Francouz (9-4-4 record, .927 save percentage, 2.37 goals against average).
The Avs will continue to look for leadership via Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar. MacKinnon (48 points) is up to 19 goals and 29 assists and has recorded multiple points 14 times this year. Makar has eight goals and 20 assists to his credit and has notched at least one point in 20 contests.
Over on the other bench, New Jersey is 9-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 13.2 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far. A total of 16 of its games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under the total and just one has pushed. New Jersey’s 5-9 SU as an away team this season.
New Jersey has converted on just 13.6 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that places it in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 20th overall and it’s successfully killed off 78.4 percent of all penalties.
New Jersey’s skaters have been penalized 4.0 times per game this season, 4.2 per game over their past five games total, and 4.0 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties 8.6 minutes per game over their last five road outings.
MacKenzie Blackwood (.902 save percentage and 3.00 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for New Jersey. Blackwood is averaging 26.3 saves per game and has eight wins, 14 losses, and four OT losses to his credit.
Taylor Hall (six goals, 19 assists) has been one of the most vital playmaking threats for the visiting Devils.
New Jersey Devils at Colorado Avalanche Betting Predictions
Free Prediction: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Over
The under has hit in four of Colorado’s last five games.
Colorado’s attempted 31.7 shots per game overall this season (ranked 15th in the NHL), and 35.0 in their last five home outings.
Penalties and power plays may be key tonight. The Devils are 4-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 4-14 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Avalanche are 11-5 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 14-5 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
New Jersey (1-4 in shootouts this season) has more experience in games decided by shootout. Colorado has yet to participate in one this year.
Colorado skaters have averaged 10.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 8.6 takeaways per game (ranked 6th).
New Jersey has given up 4.2 goals per game (while managing just 1.5 goals per contest) over its six-game losing skid.
New Jersey skaters have averaged 5.4 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 6.5 takeaways per game (ranked 28th).