Devils vs. Hurricanes Game 5 pick: NHL odds, prediction

The New Jersey Devils will face their first elimination game of the postseason on Thursday night. 

After capturing some serious hype with their 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers in Round 1, the Devils have been a disappointment through their first four games in Round 2.

Not only have the Devils lost three of four to the Carolina Hurricanes, but the three losses were by a combined total of 14 goals. 

Even with three ugly defeats on their ledger, the betting market isn’t giving up on the Devils.

New Jersey is a +105 underdog on the road, meaning it would be favored over Carolina in a neutral venue (home-ice advantage is worth around 5 percent to the moneyline in NHL). 

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Devils vs. Hurricanes pick

(7 p.m. ET, TNT)

There are teams that cause matchup nightmares in the NHL.

They’re outliers that play a specific style that can either be exposed or give teams fits, depending on the fit.

The Carolina Hurricanes are one of those teams. 

When Carolina’s all-action, man-to-man defensive system is clicking, it eats away space and keeps the pressure up the ice, allowing the Canes’ forecheckers to do what they do best and keep the puck in the offensive zone.

Jordan Martinook
Jordan Martinook
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This means their opponents expend a ton of energy just trying to defend and relieve pressure, and by the time they do that, they need to go off for a line change.

That often leads to soft clears that land on a Carolina stick, allowing the Hurricanes to just send the puck back into the zone. 

As a team, the Devils thrive on speed and space, but Carolina’s swarming style has eaten away at that.

The matchup has been a stark contrast to what New Jersey saw in Round 1, when the Rangers sat back and waited for chances to counter-punch, rather than creating them with an aggressive forecheck.

Betting on the NHL?

Compounding New Jersey’s problems is that its goaltenders have struggled in Round 2.

After a sparkling performance against the Rangers, rookie Akira Schmid has struggled against Carolina.

Vitek Vanecek, the goalie Schmid replaced in Round 1, has struggled since coming back into the blue paint in Game 3. 

The Devils have not looked themselves in this series at all and with Carolina sitting as a cheap home favorite it’s hard to look away.

Devils vs. Hurricanes prediction

Hurricanes -125 (BetMGM)

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗱 𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹 𝗮𝘁

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