The Coyotes and Devils meet up in the October 25th NHL betting free pick. Arizona has had the better start to the season (5-3-1) but is a +105 underdog on Friday as they play in leg two of a back-to-back. The Coyotes lost 2-4 to the Islanders on Thursday as -105 favorites but had won four in a row prior. New Jersey is mired in last place in the Metropolitan.
Arizona the Better Team, Even When Fatigued?
One of the good things about Arizona playing 3 games in the span of 4 nights is that they’ve all been within close proximity of each other. The Coyotes road trip started with a 3-2 OT win over the Rangers on Tuesday, a 2-4 loss to the Islanders on Thursday, and a visit with New Jersey in the October 25th NHL betting free pick. That’s a travel span of only about 20 miles.
The Coyotes used Darcy Kuemper in net on Thursday. He is a top 5 goaltender this season, but gave up 3 scores on 21 shots in the loss to the Islanders. That opens things up for Anti Raanta in net vs. the Devils. Raanta has made only two appearances this season, but has been solid allowing 3 goals at Colorado and 2 vs. the Senators. Raanta should relish his chance to get on the ice in New Jersey vs. a Devils offense that ranks 27th or worse in goals, SOG, power play, and faceoffs won.
The Coyotes have gone 2-2-1 on the road this season. The offense struggled on Thursday getting off only 23 shots though. The Coyotes have still scored 4+ goals in 4 of the last 7 and have a very favorable matchup vs. the New Jersey defense that is 29th in goals against.
New Jersey Searches For Offense – and Also Defense
The Devils still seem like a strange -125 favorite in the October 25th NHL betting free pick even if Arizona is on the back-to-back. New Jersey comes into Friday’s contest on a 2-game win streak, but in games they were supposed to win. The Devils were -125 favorites last Thursday vs. the Rangers (W 5-2) and were listed at -135 last Saturday vs. Vancouver (W 1-0). Both at the Prudential Center.
The previous Saturday’s game with the Canucks was also the last time the Devils played so they are extremely well rested. Compare that with Arizona, who will be playing their 3rd game in the last 4 nights. Even so, before the consecutive wins NJ had dropped six games in a row to start the season. They were favored in 4 of those and just a +105 underdog in the other. Even with the win over Vancouver, New Jersey has been held to a goal or less in 3 of the last 6 games.
Goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood is well rested, but still has just an .886 save percentage on the season. He has been in net for each of the Devils’ last two wins though, navigating a 25 save in his last start. The total is just 5.5 in this one.
October 25th NHL Betting Free Pick
Raanta has been solid in net for the Coyotes, but it’s still just a small sample size of two starts. Blackwood has been much better in his last two. Arizona has spent 4 nights in the New York area, meanwhile New Jersey has had the past week off. It’s possible the Devils come out rusty from all that down time – or they’re anxious to get out and play to continue a 2-game win streak. It’s looking like the Devils have the edge in this one.
Pick: New Jersey Devils -125