'Under' Our NHL Pick As Devils & Red Wings Lean On Superb Goalie Play

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 7:15 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015 7:15 PM UTC

The Detroit Red Wings try to finish up their home stand on a strong note as they host the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Our NHL odds handicapper analyzes the matchup to find value.

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Free NHL Pick: Under 5
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline


New Jersey Devils vs. Detroit Red Wings
In primetime NHL action on Tuesday night we have the 16-13-5 New Jersey Devils and 17-9-7 Detroit Red Wings playing in a game that can be seen on Fox Sports Detroit. With this being in Detroit and holding the better record, the moneyline has opened favoring them at -153 at Heritage. The O/U total has opened at 5 with no shade on either the over or under at this point.

Early line movement indicates money is coming in on the Devils, as their NHL odds have dropped from +141 to +137 within hours of the line opening at Pinnacle.


Detroit is coming off of a 4-2 win at home against the Calgary Flames, a win that broke a three game losing streak. The Red Wings scored three goals in the 2nd period, two within 45 seconds of each other, which is a good thing because they needed them. Although keeping the Flames out of their half of the ice for most of the game, Calgary scored late to bring the score to 3-2. Only a late empty-net goal let the Red Wings win by more than 1 goal for just the 5th game this season.

The Red Wings will want to take advantage of home ice in this one as they embark of a stretch of 9 road games in their next 10 after playing New Jersey. The Red Wings have used home ice advantage to take 12 of the last 13 SU against the Devils in Detroit.

Although Petr Mrazek was the winning goalie in Detroit’s last game, Jimmy Howard is in line for the start against New Jersey. Howard has had some tough luck losses in his last three games after winning four in a row to end November. This includes a 3-2 loss at New jersey on December 11th, where Howard gave up 3 goals on 38 shots.

The New Jersey Devils are coming into this game after losing three in a row, including two at home to Florida and Anaheim. Anaheim had the worst road record in the league coming into the game in New Jersey on Saturday night, so that would be categorized as a ‘bad loss’. That was overcome somewhat by a ‘good loss’ in that the Devils played better hockey on Sunday night - although still losing 2-1 in a shoot out. Devils goalie, Cory Schneider, turned in an exemplary effort in stopping 27 of 28 shots in regulation time.

It has not been announced if Schneider will get the start against Detroit, but backup goalie Keith Kinkaid started on Saturday. With the day off on Monday, Schneider should get the start, especially after beating Detroit a few weeks ago.

Recent form between these two teams favors the Red Wings, even though they recently lost to the Devils. New Jersey has not won in Detroit since April of 2012, with their last three losses in Detroit by two goals or more. The O/U totals in the last ten games between these two is 4-5-1. That statistic that Detroit has only won a game by two or more goals five times this year is an interesting one from a betting perspective. It brings to light a possible play on the Devils getting +1.5 goals at -212.


What's the Pick?
Instead of that angle though, I’m going to go back to the well of playing under the total in this game. The O/U is 10-14-10 for New Jersey this year and 11-15-7 for Detroit this year. Recent struggles by Detroit in getting shots on goal in power play situations also plays into my decision. I’m taking under 5 goals in this game as my Tuesday NHL pick.

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