NHL Best Bets Tonight: Expert NHL Picks for Canucks vs. Devils

NHL Best Bets Tonight: Expert NHL Picks for Canucks vs. Devils

This article is part of our NHL Picks series.

NHL Picks for February 6: Canucks at Devils

The Vancouver Canucks (20-26-3) open up a four-game road trip at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Monday night against the New Jersey Devils (32-13-4).

It's the second and final meeting of the regular season, as the Devils posted a 5-2 win in Vancouver on Nov. 1 behind Mackenzie Blackwood.

The Canucks were showing some signs of life prior to the All-Star break, posting a pair of wins in the three games before the hiatus, and those victories came despite a trade of Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders. In fact, it's the first time Vancouver has had at least two wins in a three-game stretch since winning three consecutive games from Dec. 22-27.

The Devils were showing a flair for the dramatic, prior to the break, winning eight of 10 games (8-1-1), while grabbing at least one point in nine of those outings. And five of the past six games have not been decided in regulation, with three shootout wins, one overtime victory and an OT setback.

New Jersey is 5-1-1 in the past seven games against Western Conference combatants, too, and 16-5 in the past 21 games against the West. In addition, the Devils are an impressive 12-1 in the past 13 against Pacific Division teams, while going 17-4 in the past 21 against losing teams.

Perhaps the only thing which can cool off the Devils is time off, as they're 1-6 in the past seven when playing with three or more days of rest.

Of course, a visit from the Canucks is just what the doctor ordered to get the Devils right back into the win column after the break. New Jersey is 13-3 in the past 16 tries against Vancouver, while going a perfect 7-for-7 in the past seven home games against the Canucks.

The Canucks are projected to start Spencer Martin (11-13-1, 3.94 GAA, .875 SV%) in between the pipes, while the Devils will more than likely counter with Vitek Vanecek (21-5-2, 2.29 GAA, .917 SV%, 2 SO).

There is no value in playing the money line, as the home side will cost you around 2 1/2 times your potential return. While the Devils have played many games into OT or SO lately, and they're not great after long periods of time off, New Jersey has owned Vancouver lately, and they're the play on the puck line for a better value.

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NHL Puck Line Bets for Canucks at Devils

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  • Devils PL (-1.5, +110 at Caesars)

The Canucks have been a very giving team this season, whether it's Martin or Thatcher Demko in the crease. Vancouver ranks second-to-last in the NHL, allowing 3.9 goals per game, and they're dead-last on the penalty kill at 65.5%.

On the flip side, Vancouver is also good at revving up the offensive machine, going for 3.3 goals per game (GPG) to rank 11th, while managing a so-so job on the power play at 22.8% (14th in the NHL).

The Devils rank 6th in the league in both goals per game (3.5), and goals against (2.7). The power play for New Jersey is a rather pedestrian 20.7%, which is good for just 18th, while they're 11th on the kill at 80.9%.

Still, lately, we've gotten a lot of Over results for both of these teams. The Over is 6-2-5 in the past 13 games for Vancouver, while going 5-0-3 in the past eight against Eastern teams. The Over is 5-0 in the past five outings for the Canucks when playing on three or more days of rest.

For the Devils, they've gone high in eight of the past 11 games overall, and 6-2 in the past eight against the Western Conference.

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NHL Totals Bets for Canucks at Devils

  • Over 6.5 (-110 at Caesars)

NHL Player Props for Canucks at Devils

Checking out the NHL player props, we have a couple of tasty options for this West vs. East outing.

Vancouver's Quinn Hughes, a defenseman, has managed four goals and 14 points across the past 10 outings, including six points on the power play. He'll be trying to not only score in his second consecutive outing, but he'll be working against his brother's team, as Jack Hughes is on the other bench. That should give Quinn a little extra incentive, not that he needs it. Quinn had a power-play assist in the first game against his bro and the Devils on Nov. 1, too.

The rearguard doesn't take a lot of shots, posting just 18 shots on goal (SOG) in 13 January games. But he has scored four goals in the past 10 games on just 11 SOG. He isn't a slam-dunk play to light the lamp in New Jersey, but for a chance to multiply your initial wager by more than seven times, it's well worth a roll of the dice.

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And yes, we'll play his brother Jack for the other prop. And it's not because it is just fun, but because it is smart, too. He has been one of the hottest Devils, picking up seven goals and 15 points with a plus-2 rating in the previous eight games.

Hughes also earned first star honors in the initial match of the season between these teams in November, as Jack scored into the empty net while adding a power-play assist on Nico Hischier's goal. He is plus-money as an anytime goal scorer, and worth a look on the SOG prop, too. He had eight SOG in the first meeting with Vancouver, and he had 67 SOG in 13 January games.

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Daniel Dobish
Hockey writer, unskilled fourth liner, fantasy and gambling industry veteran, handicapper, FSWA's 2011 fantasy hockey writer of the year nominee and four-time FSWA award winner. Twitter: @danieledobish
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