Devils vs Bruins: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

NHL New Jersey Devils vs Boston Bruins
New Jersey vs Boston, Prudential Center

It was a disappointing finish to last season for the Boston Bruins after they had all their momentum torn apart by the pandemic in March. It took the Bruins a bit to find their legs in the bubble, but they never looked like the same team again as they lost in the second round. They’re looking for yet another run with their core veterans as they open 2021 with a trip to the rebuilding New Jersey Devils.

Free Picks

The first two parts of my NHL predictions are more a comment on the Bruins offense without David Pastrnak than on the Devils. Boston will struggle to score goals without Pastrnak in the lineup as he recovers from offseason surgery, and not even the porous Devils defense and goaltending will stop it. The Bruins are still tinkering with their lines a bit, and Brad Marchand might not even be ready to go on opening night after hernia surgery in October. It will be a slow start to the season for the Bruins as they adjust without so much firepower.

NO GOALS IN 1ST PERIOD

The Devils had just two players score 20 goals last season, and they traded one of them midseason. New Jersey’s offensive production will struggle against a disciplined Bruins checking system. The Bruins aren’t as explosive offensively without Pastrnak or Torey Krug, who left in free agency. Boston added grit in the offseason to become tougher to play against, but the offense won’t come around until they settle into their new line combinations. Don’t be alarmed if Boston isn’t clicking on all cylinders offensively, similar to how it started in the bubble over the summer. I’m just thankful for the excellent odds on this wager from the NHL betting sites in New Jersey.

UNDER 5 GOALS

The Bruins might have lost Krug and decided against re-signing Zdeno Chara, but Boston has plenty of other defensemen ready to step up and keep the Bruins the top-defensive team in the NHL. Charlie McAvoy is ready to take on added responsibility and Tuukka Rask is re-focused and re-energized after a sensational season last year. Boston has been one of the most consistent defensive stalwarts in the league over the last decade and that isn’t changing anytime soon. Couple that with New Jersey’s offensive limitations and Boston should win by two goals at least – even if that last one is an empty-netters.

BOSTON -1.5 GOALS

Best Odds

New Jersey Boston
888Sport
+125 -152
Sugar House
+125 -152
FanDuel
+125 -150
Borgata
+120 -140
BetMGM
+120 -140
Caesars
+120 -140

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the first of eight meetings this season between the newly-paired division rivals as the NHL adjusted its schedule to reduce travel due to COVID-19.

Stats

  • Boston won two of the three meetings last year between the teams and has won 14 of the last 18 games between the two squads. The Bruins also lead the all-time series 89-42-11 with 19 ties.
  • This is Boston’s third straight year opening on the road after starting seven of the previous eight years at home. The Bruins have won seven of their nine season openers since splitting a pair of games in Europe to kick off the 2010-11 season.
  • New Jersey will open the season at home for the fourth straight year and has claimed at least a point in four straight season openers.
  • The last time these teams met in the season opener was in October 2003 when the two tied 3-3. It was the first career game for newly-minted Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, who was an 18-year-old rookie at the time.

Our Prediction for New Jersey vs Boston

Boston Bruins to win

There is a lot of talent missing in the Bruins lineup entering the season, but there is still more talent in Boston than in New Jersey. The Bruins still have strong two-way players and elite goaltending, which will help them tread water until David Pastrnak returns from his injury. It won’t be pretty, but Boston should get it done.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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