Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and the Boston Bruins will do battle against Kyle Palmieri, Taylor Hall, and the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in an Eastern Conference matchup. The action will get underway at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 31, and it is being televised live on New England Sports Network.
Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils Odds
Boston is 24-16 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 40 regular season contests, 18 of its games have gone over the total, while another 18 have gone under and just three have pushed. The Bruins are 10-7 SU as a road team in 2019-20.
Boston currently has the third-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s found the net on 26.7 percent of its extra-man opportunities this season. On the other hand, it has the fourth-best penalty kill in the league, and it has successfully killed off 84.9 percent of its penalties..
Sporting a .923 save percentage and 27.8 saves per game, Tuukka Rask (15-9-5) has been the top option in goal for Boston this year. If head coach Bruce Cassidy decides to rest him, however, the team might turn to Jaroslav Halak (9-7-4), who has a .928 save percentage and 2.22 goals against average this year.
Over on the other bench, New Jersey is 13-25 straight up (SU) and has lost 12.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 38 regular season matches, 20 of its games have gone over the total, while 16 have gone under and just one has pushed. It’s 5-14 SU at home this year.
The Devils have converted on just 15.3 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s ranked 26th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.3 percent of all opponent power plays.
MacKenzie Blackwood has denied 26.2 shots per game as the primary choice in goal for the Devils. Blackwood has 12 wins, 17 losses, and five OT losses to his credit and has recorded a pedestrian 2.89 goals against average and a poor .906 save percentage this season.
Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils Free Picks
Free Pick: SU Winner – Devils, O/U – Under
Seven of New Jersey’s last ten outings have been decided by two or more goals, and the club is 2-5 overall in those games.
The Devils are 5-11 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 6-15 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
New Jersey is 1-4 in games decided by a shootout this season while Boston is 0-5 in shootouts.
Boston skaters have averaged 10.0 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 10.8 giveaways per game (ranked 20th in the NHL).
New Jersey skaters have averaged 10.8 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 9.2 giveaways per game (ranked 10th overall).
Boston skaters have accounted for the league’s eighth-most hits per game (24.1), but that number’s down to just 19.4 hits over their last five away games.