The Nashville Predators headed to the Prudential Center for a matchup with the New Jersey Devils off the back of a nice 4-3 win over the New York Islanders last night. The New Jersey Devils will be well-rested and ready to go for this home matchup, with their last game coming on the 8th of December, which was a solid 3-0 victory over the Flyers.
The Predators undoubtedly have the better talent, but they will be at a distinct disadvantage in this one with this game being the second of a back-to-back, so we will see what version of the Preds shows up for this contest.
Nashville Predators Betting Preview:
The game’s name for the Predators in 2021 has been solid defense giving up just 2.69 goals per game, and a lot of the credit for that needs to go to their number 1 netminder Juuse Saros. Saros now has an 11-8-1 record and an elite 2.37 GAA, and a .921% save percentage, but the problem is that Saros may miss this one with an illness. This will be important information to keep up with, as backup David Rittich has not been nearly as good as Saros this year, even though he was between the sticks for that last win over the Isles.
In terms of the offense, the main two goalscorers have been Matt Duchene, 13, and Filip Forsberg, 11. Forsberg really is the main guy as he has 11 goals in just 17 games, and he really does pass the eye test when watching this team play, as he is performing at an elite level.
This team also has one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL with Roman Josi, who has 25 points in 26 games, consisting of 8 goals. Another positive with the Predators is that they are pretty deep when it comes to their lines, with any line between 1-4 being able to get the job done. It is also important to talk about Mikael Granlund, who is looking like an excellent set-up man putting up 21 assists on the season, and he really is the guy who makes this top power-play line tick.
New Jersey Devils Betting Preview:
The Devils have been quite a bit better than a lot of people expected this year with a 10-9-5 record, and a big reason for that has been how healthy they still are without one player on the injury report coming in here. The big issue for the Devils has been the defense and goaltending, giving up 3.13 goals per game which is why it was such a surprise that they were able to hold the Flyers off the board last time out.
In terms of their offense, it is tough to talk about one guy, as they do not really have much of alpha on the offensive side of the ice. If this team wants to make a real run at a playoff berth, they will likely need their highly-touted prospect Jack Hughes to find his stride in front of the net, as he is just coming back from missing several games with a shoulder injury. The 20-year-old center has 3 goals and 2 assists in his 7 games, and considering he just signed a 64 million dollar extension; fans will be expecting improvements from him.
Nashville Predators vs. New Jersey Devils Free Betting Pick
Although it is early, some of the first lines coming out have the Predators at about -130, which is not a price I can get behind. The Predators might be a bit leg weary from last night’s game, and their goaltending situation is up in the air, so it just does not seem like a great spot. On the other hand, it is awfully tough to take the Devils, as they are at such a big talent deficit compared to the Predators.
As of right now, I have a lot more interest in the total, with the over currently being offered at -120. That would be the way I would be going here, as the Preds will likely be without Saros, and this Devils defense certainly is not the same Devils defense we saw in the mid-’90s. Look for an exciting game here with some sloppy play on both sides and for this one to end up going over the total of 5.5.
BetUSASports Free Pick:
Nashville Predators vs. New Jersey Devils Betting Verdict: Over 5.5 goals
Nashville Predators vs. New Jersey Devils Correct Score Prediction: Predators 5-4