This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
Just one game on the docket for the NHL Playoffs tonight. The Devils got absolutely worked in Game 1 in Raleigh. The Hurricanes at one point had more goals (two) than the Devils had shots (one). The Devils also started slow in the First Round against the Rangers, dropping Games 1 and 2 at home before winning the next two on the road and then eventually taking the cake in Game 7. A funny similarity is the Devils lost 5-1 in Game 1 to the Rangers, and the Canes beat them by that tally in Game 1 to kick this series off, too. As we gear up for puck drop on this fabulous Friday, let's look at the best NHL bets for tonight!
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Best Bets and Props for Devils vs Hurricanes
Honestly, when assessing this series on the juiciness meter, it might be the low man on the totem pole compared to all the other series. Two hard-nosed defenses that are happy to beat you 2-1 in overtime are squaring off, but both offenses also have the potential to pop off at any given time. Exhibit A: the Canes ended up with five goals in Game 1. Rod Brind'Amour's squad is tough as nails at home. They've won 10 of their last 12 home playoff games dating back to the 2022 postseason. Trends like this are important to keep in mind when betting in the NHL playoffs, but you have to hedge 'em with things like the Devils being one of the best road teams in the regular season this year. Both teams are about even on the moneyline at the time of this writing, with 70 percent of the public riding the Hurricanes. So, in the spirit of getting frisky, I'm going to fade the public and take the road-underdog Devils to break through and take this series back to Jersey tied 1-1.
Devils ML -105
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The Canes won't go down without a fight, so I'm liking the action on a few of their players tonight. Their top line of Sebastian Aho, Stefan Noesen and Seth Jarvis was buzzin' in Game 1. I'm going to sprinkle a bit on each of them tonight.
Sebastian Aho (CAR) anytime goalscorer +155
Stefan Noesen (CAR) over 0.5 points +105
Seth Jarvis (CAR) over 2.5 shots on goal +110
If New Jersey's going to bounce back in this one, it's gotta come from their big guns, too. Jack Hughes looked frustrated and battered in Game 1, but the Rangers did something similar to him in the First Round that just lit a serious fire under his behind. I like him to come out peppering the biscuit on net tonight. The Devils picked up Ondrej Palat last offseason for his veteran leadership and Cup-winning pedigree from him time in Tampa. He's been a key influencer throughout this postseason whether he gets on the scoresheet or not. Tonight, I think his influence is felt on that scoresheet.
Jack Hughes (NJ) over 3.5 shots on goal -130
Ondrej Palat (NJ) over 0.5 points +115
The shot total in Game 1 was 23-18 in favor of Carolina. Both of these teams can rack up their shot counts, but I feel like the onslaught will come later in the series once they've figured each other out a bit more. It's a good night to take a flyer on the under for goalie saves.
Akira Schmid (NJ) under 29.5 saves -115
Frederik Andersen (CAR) under 25.5 saves -110