- What: Colorado Avalanche vs. New Jersey Devils
- When: Friday, October 28, 2022, at 7:05 p.m. EST
- Where: Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
- How to watch: NHLPP, ESPN+
The reigning champion Colorado Avalanche are in the midst of an East Coast road trip and their next stop will see them take on the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. The inter-conference matchup will see the star-studded Avs look to steal a win on the road against the up-and-coming Devils. While the Avs typically get by using their overwhelming offensive, the Devils’ defense will look to keep them in the game and slow down Colorado’s stars.
Before we dive into the action, make sure to check out our NHL betting tips, and if you’re interested in following the Avalanche along their road to another championship, check out our Stanley Cup betting guide.
Avalanche vs. Devils Odds
|Puck Line||Money Line||Total|
|Avalanche||-1.5 (+170)||-141||Over 6.5 (-130)|
|Devils||+1.5 (-190)||+128||Under 6.5 (+118)|
Heading into the matchup, the Avalanche are considered favorites despite playing in New Jersey. Colorado enters the game with (-141) odds to win the game outright against the Devils, who boast (+128) odds to win themselves. A high-scoring game figures to take place, with the goal total set for over 6.5 at (-130). The books anticipate a close game, with the Devils’ puck line coming in at -1.5 (-195), suggesting that New Jersey will keep things within one goal.
The reigning champs have gotten off to a solid start in 2022-23, picking up nine points through their first seven games. The Avs are 4-2-1, and have won two straight games against quality opponents, with victories over the New York Rangers and Vegas Golden Knights. As usual, the Avs’ offense has been top-tier. Colorado paces the Central Division with 25 goals scored this season, and will look to their high-octane offense to get the job done against the Devils on Friday.
This year, Valeri Nichushkin has proven to be worth the $49 million contract he signed in the offseason. Nichushkin is on a tear out the gate this season, scoring seven goals in as many games and adding five assists. He leads the team with 12 points, averaging nearly two points per game early on. Nathan MacKinnon has dominated, too. The superstar center has 10 points on the year including three goals and seven assists. Mikko Rantanen is third on the team with nine points, including three goals and six assists.
Defensively, the Avalanche have simply not been good enough. The team has conceded an average of three goals per game this year, surrendering 21 in the campaign. That is in the bottom half of the Central Division and was a decisive factor in some of their losses this year, including surrendering four goals against both the Seattle Kraken and Winnipeg Jets. The Avalanche and Devils split their season series last year, 1-1. Both teams earned wins on their home ice, though they were even on goals with six apiece across the two games.
The Avs will lean upon their star power and their dominant offense in order to overwhelm the Devils. New Jersey’s goalkeepers have both struggled early on, with neither Mackenzie Blackwood nor Vitek Vanecek logging a save percentage above .900. The Avalanche will surely look to exploit that with their volume shooters and quality goalscorers on Friday.
The Devils have picked up eight points throughout their first seven games, going 4-3 in the early part of the season. The matchup with the Avalanche will be one of their toughest tests yet, as they’ll need to be at their best on both ends of the ice in order to win. Playing at home is a big advantage for the Devils, who pulled off a 5-3 win in Newark when these two sides met during the regular season in 2021-22.
While the Devils have a solid defense, their goaltenders haven’t been at their best. Both Blackwood and Vanecek have below-standard save percentages, and even though they aren’t facing a ton of shots per night, opponents are scoring more than three goals per game against the Devils. A high-scoring team such as the Avalanche will try to take advantage of that and could look to run up the score. New Jersey’s defense will need to be at its best and players will need to be willing to put their bodies on the line and block shots in order to give the Devils a better chance.
Offensively, the Devils have scored 23 goals this year, while conceding 22 on the defensive end. They’ll need their offense to pick up the slack a bit against an Avalanche defense that has struggled to keep opponents off the scoresheet. Superstar Jack Hughes has five points to start the year, while Jesper Bratt has stolen the show with 12 points including three goals and nine assists. If that tandem can play off each other and find an opening on net, they can maybe spur the Devils in front early on.
The Devils are a promising young group, but they’re up against the reigning champs who will be looking to win their third straight. This matchup favors the visitors, and we’re going to back the Avalanche at (-141) to get the job done in New Jersey. Avalanche Money Line (-141) is the pick for this one.
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