Free NHL Picks: Blues at Sabres Odds
by George Monroy - 11/18/2013
The Buffalo Sabres are playing their best stretch of hockey since the season began a month and a half ago. The team has won two of their last three games, three of their last six, and they even managed to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Unfortunately, that mini-hot streak wasn’t enough to move Buffalo up in the standings, and the team is still sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with the worst record in the entire league. However, with a win on Tuesday night, the Sabres could move past the Edmonton Oilers and finally have someone with a worse record, even if it is a team from another conference.
The St. Louis Blues, on the other hand, are right in the thick of things in Pacific Division and Western Conference playoff hunt. The team had three huge wins over the last two weeks and defeated top contenders in the Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins and Colorado Avalanche. St. Louis has won six of eight and managed to score 11 goals during their last two wins. Let’s take a closer look at Tuesday night’s Blues versus Sabres matchup and figure out which team has the most value to bet on.
Blues at Sabres Betting Story Lines
The Blues have only lost back-to-back games once this season, and, even then, they were both overtime losses that still earned the team points in the standings. St. Louis hopes to continue that trend when they face the Sabres during the second game of a three-game road trip. The Blues lost to the Washington Capitals on Sunday in a matchup where Alex Ovechkin scored twice and Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby saved 46 shot attempts. The game was only the second time all season that Blues’ left winger Alexander Steen was held pointless, and as a result the team was only able to score one goal.
Buffalo is coming off of a home-and-away situation versus the Toronto Maple Leafs over the weekend. The Sabres were able to split games with Toronto, and they won at home but lost when they visited the Air Canada Centre. Buffalo took 22 shot attempts during the game but only managed scored in the third period when the game was already out of reach. One of the biggest reasons for the Sabres improved play has been the excellent goaltender Ryan Miller, who saved 75 of 78 shot attempts during the team’s last two wins.
The Blues have consistently been one of the best teams in a tough Western Conference, and their excellent record is a direct result of their high-powered offense. St. Louis is ranked third in the league in goals scored per game with 3.4 and first in power-play percentage—they score on 25 percent of their opportunities. The team has nine players with double-digit points and has two players with over 20 points in only 19 games worth of action. The Sabres are on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to those same stats. Buffalo has the worst scoring offense in the league and only manages to net 1.7 goals per game. They are ranked 22nd in power-play percentage. The team has only one player with double-digit points—center Cody Hodgson, who has 16.
Blues at Sabres NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
St. Louis opened as a -173 road moneyline favorite over the +157 underdog Sabres, according to BetOnline. The total was set at five goals, with the “over’ being favorite at -126 .The Blues are 6-0 during their last six road games against teams with a home record of less than .400 and are 6-2 during their last eight Tuesday games. The team has won eight of their last 11 games but is 1-5 during the third game of a ‘three-games-in-four-nights situation.
Buffalo has won four of their last five Tuesday games but has won only seven of their last 26 overall games. The team is 2-6 during their last eight matchup against teams with an above-.600 winning percentage. The Sabres have performed poorly against the Western Conference and have won only two games in their last 10 matchups. Head-to-head, the Blues are 7-1 during the last eight games played in Buffalo, and they are 12-2 in the last 14 overall meetings.
Free NHL Picks: Blues at Sabres Betting Predictions
The Sabres have been on a solid streak over the last two weeks of play, and they earned impressive wins over the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and Toronto Maple Leafs. However, taking all that into account, there is still very little reason to wager on the Sabres to win Tuesday’s game against St. Louis. Yes, they are playing well, and yes they are the home underdog, but this matchup is simply an opportunity to take the Blues with a reduced moneyline since normally they would probably be an even bigger favorite in this situation. Take St. Louis on the moneyline.
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