This experienced hockey handicapper examines today’s NHL contest between the New Jersey Devils and the Chicago Blackhawks focusing on the odds total as his top-value pick.
Devils in “The Windy City”
The Chicago Blackhawks will entertain the New Jersey Devils tonight at 8:35 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at Bookmaker, Chicago is a -260 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. These teams have met once this season, and Chicago was a 3-2 winner at New Jersey.
Devils Goaltender is Red-Hot
Cory Schneider has been superb between the pipes for the New Jersey Devils in recent outings. Schneider has posted an excellent .950 save percentage in his last seven starts, and also a terrific .948 during his previous ten. The Devils unheralded goaltender has been solid all season despite his team’s lack of success. Schneider has compiled a stellar .923 save percentage on the year, posting two shutouts, and has seen just sixteen of his forty-six starts (34.8%) go over the total.
Hawks Games have favored going under the Total
The Chicago Blackhawks have seen just 36.4% of their 55-games this season go over the total. The Blackhawks have allowed only 2.3 goals per game this season, and that’s third best in the entire NHL. Chicago has also been the best penalty killing team in the NHL this season, allowing opponents to convert on just 12.4% of their power play opportunities. Chicago will once again go with Cory Crawford in goal. This will be Crawford’s tenth start of the season versus a nonconference opponent, and he’s seen just one of the first nine go over the total while compiling a very good .921 save percentage.
This one has all the ear marks of a low scoring game. The Devils average just 2.3 goals per game this season, and that’s the third worst in the NHL. In turn, they’ll be facing an opponent (Chicago) which is one of the stingiest defensive teams in the league. Both of these goaltenders whole body of work has been outstanding this season. My strong lean is for this contest to play on the low side of the number, and that will be one of my NHL picks for Friday.
NHL Picks: Play on New Jersey and Chicago to go under the total of 5.0 at Bookmaker.