NHL Picks: Wild vs. Devils -121

David Lawrence

Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:31 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 20, 2014 2:31 PM UTC

There’s an 11-point difference in the standings between the Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils, but both teams are about the same in terms of playoff position in their respective conferences. Both need points in the worst way to stay in the chase.

The Minnesota Wild Can Win Because…
The Devils are scuffling. They’ve lost three in a row and just can’t seem to get untracked. Their offense has gone quiet once more, totaling just five goals in their last three games while the defense and goaltending have been suspect too. They’ve given up 3.9 goals per game over their last eight, which simply isn’t good enough. That’s a surprisingly high total considering they have Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider between the pipes.

The Devils are just not the type of team that you want to be laying juice with for your sports picks. They’re just 4-4 in their last eight home games and not much is going right for them.

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The New Jersey Devils Can Win Because…
The Wild aren’t doing much better themselves. Sure, they’re coming off a 6-0 win over the New York Islanders, who are the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference. However, that was only their second win in seven games. They haven’t been a good road bet for your NHL picks this year as they’re just 13-21 on the road compared to a profitable 23-12 at home.

The Devils should benefit from the fact that the Wild will be in their third road game in four nights and fifth game in eight nights. Look for them to take advantage and get back on track.

Outlook & Pick
Both teams are struggling, so picking a side is a bit tricky. However, I’ll ride with the Devils as they should have the edge in net, they’ve got home-ice advantage and the scheduling should hamper the Wild a little bit.

Pick: Devils -121 at Pinnacle


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