The New Jersey Devils (26-41-6) step into the gauntlet to face the Colorado Avalanche (53-14-6) Thursday at Ball Arena. Puck drop is set for 9 p.m. ET (ESPN+). Below, we look at the Devils vs. Avalanche odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
The Devils have won two in a row after chasing off the Arizona Coyotes 6-2 Tuesday. They have scored 13 goals in their last three games despite playing short-handed without their phenom C Jack Hughes, who was lost for the season with a knee injury April 3.
Colorado probably isn’t very impressed with 13 goals in three games because they royally pounded the Los Angeles Kings 9-3 Wednesday. The Avs were up 4-0 in the first 11 minutes of the game and never looked back. Colorado has won seven games in a row and eight of its last nine outings.
Devils at Avalanche odds, spread and lines
- Money line: Devils +225 (bet $100 to win $225) | Avalanche -290 (bet $290 to win $100)
- Against the spread (ATS): Devils +1.5 (-107) | Avalanche -1.5 (-115)
- Over/Under (O/U): 6.5 (O: -125 | U: +100)
Devils at Avalanche projected goalies
Nico Daws (10-11-0, 3.13 GAA, .893 SV%) vs. Pavel Francouz (14-3-1, 2.58 GAA, .917 SV%, 2 SO)
Daws has been better in April with a 2-2 record, 2.60 GAA and .892 SV%. He has held teams to 3 or fewer goals in three straight starts. He beat the Avs March 8, stopping 23 of 26 shots in a 5-3 upset.
Francouz has won five in a row with the most recent a 5-4 overtime win against at the Winnipeg Jets Friday. He stopped 39 of 43 shots in what was just the second time he saw 40 shots in a game this year. He was not between the pipes for the March 8 defeat at the hands of Jersey.
The Avs keep a chip on their shoulder, and they probably remember the 5-3 upset in March vividly. So we’re not looking for another upset here and surely aren’t dropping -290 on the Avs. PASS.
Against the spread
You know it’s a mismatch when you have to risk a heavy -115 tag on the favorite to win by 2 or more goals. I would consider the ALTERNATE SPREAD AVALANCHE -2.5 (+135) for a half-unit.
We’re going to hit the Over here, but there isn’t a lot of room to profit, either.
The Over is 22-7-1 in Jersey’s last 30 road games, and the last two games between these two have seen at least 7 goals scored. So take the OVER 6.5 (-125).
You can consider the alternate total of Over 7.5 (+165), but that’s a little risky.