Despite not having home-ice advantage, the New Jersey Devils are favored to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2023 NHL Playoffs.
With the series set to start on Wednesday night at PNC Arena, here are Devils vs. Hurricanes Game 1 predictions, odds, and props.
The Devils will have to rebound quickly after clinching their opening round series Monday night with a 4-0 win over the Rangers in Game 7.
Devils vs. Hurricanes Game 1 Odds
For Game 1, BetMGM was dealing Carolina as the slight -120 favorite on the moneyline. Bettors wanting to back underdog New Jersey could get the Devils at even money (+100) as of Tuesday.
Here are full Game 1 betting lines from top sportsbook apps across the industry.
NHL · Wed (2/21) @ 7:12pm ET
|Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Devils vs. Hurricanes Series Price + NHL Futures Odds
The Devils won’t have the benefit of home-ice advantage or much rest, but DraftKings listed them at -130 to prevail in the series. The Hurricanes were being dealt as the +110 underdog.
The two teams were closely aligned in Stanley Cup futures at DraftKings with New Jersey at +600 and Carolina at +700 to start this series.
New DraftKings customers are offered a three-part deal that totals a potential $1,200: 1) a 20% deposit match for up to $1,000, 2) a $50 Bonus Bet after making an initial deposit of at least $5, and 3) another $150 in Bonus Bets by picking the winner of a game with a $5 moneyline wager. Visit DraftKings here to claim these bonuses now!
Devils vs. Hurricanes Game 1 Betting Trends
Carolina will be coming in off four full days of rest after closing out the Islanders in Game 7 on Friday. That likely factored into Game 1 bet splits at DraftKings, where 64% of the moneyline handle was on the Hurricanes.
That was contrary to the Game 1 puck line, as 62% of bettors liked the Devils +1.5 at -260. Carolina could be had -1.5 goals at +220.
The Game 1 total was set at 5.5, and 66% of bettors favored the Over.
Hurricanes Will Be Without Key Weapons
It’s somewhat counterintuitive that New Jersey enters as the favorite to take this series, but Carolina has some noteworthy injuries to consider.
Max Pacioretty (torn Achilles) and Andrei Svechnikov (knee injury) were both lost for the season prior to the start of the playoffs. From insult to further injury, Teuvo Teravainen suffered a broken hand when he was slashed in the opening round against the Islanders.
That’s a lot of offensive firepower to be without against New Jersey. Most notably, Svechnikov had 23 goals, 32 assists, and 55 points when he went down in March. He still finished as the team’s fourth-highest point producer in the regular season.
Sebastian Aho has helped fill the void in the postseason, leading Carolina with four goals and seven points through six games. We targeted Aho to be the top goal scorer (+350 at DraftKings) in the Isles-Canes series, and he responded by tallying four times to cash that ticket.
Can Akira Schmid Continue his Strong Play in Net for Devils?
Backup goaltender Akira Schmid was thrust into duty after starter Vitek Vanecek was shelled for nine goals in the first two games against the Rangers. New Jersey opened in an 0-2 hole as a result.
Schmid’s steadying presence helped the Devils avoid an early exit in the 2023 NHL Playoffs. He went 4-1 with a playoff-best 1.38 goals against average. Schmid also recorded a pair of shutouts including New Jersey’s 4-0 win in Game 7 on Monday.
Devils vs. Hurricanes Series Prop Bet
Sportsbooks including DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM will release Game 1 player prop bet odds on Wednesday, but let’s take a look at a player prop for the series.
Nico Hischier (+700) Most Goals in Series
Jack Hughes gets the lion’s share of pub for New Jersey, but Hischier is worth a play at these juicy odds. Hischier has made his presence felt more as a playmaker so far in the postseason with a team-high five assists. He’s been active offensively, though, and we expect the goals to come.
In the regular season, Hischier registered 31 goals, 49 assists, and 80 points — trailing only Hughes on the team’s stat sheet. Want more? Hischier had two goals, an assist, and a plus-minus rating of +3 in four games against the Hurricanes this season.
Carolina’s defense is capable of taking away the opposition’s best player. With Hughes offered at only +300, take a shot on Hischier for a nice payout at +700 here.
Devils vs. Hurricanes Game 1 & Series Predictions
Carolina thrives by using a swarming defensive system that limited the Islanders to 2.5 goals a game in the opening series. That total mirrored Carolina’s 2.55 average in the regular season, which ranked second only to Boston.
For Game 1, will the Canes come out well-rested or rusty? We’re betting on the former. The Hurricanes are a different beast at PNC Arena in the playoffs, too. They are 9-2 on home ice dating back to last year’s playoffs.
The Game 1 bet here is Carolina -120 on the moneyline. It’s tempting to wager on the Hurricanes (+110) at plus-money to win the series before it starts. Discretion is often the better part of valor for bettors, too, and we’re going to monitor the series odds on a game-by-game basis before potentially getting down on that.
How to Watch Devils vs. Hurricanes Game 1
Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC