Free NHL Picks: Ducks at Sabres Odds
by George Monroy - 11/1/2013
The Buffalo Sabres have been the NHL’s punching bag over the first month of the season and have provided bettors with more than a few excellent gambling opportunities. The team has managed to earn only one regulation win and five points over the first 15 games of the year. Unfortunately, things are about to get even worse for Buffalo as they start a brutal Western Conference trip where they play the Anaheim Ducks twice, the Los Angeles Kings twice and the San Jose Sharks over the next 10 days. The Doc’s Sports NHL free picks section has been playing against the Sabres quite regularly over the last few games, simply because wagering opposite them has provided the most value on a nightly basis.
The Anaheim Ducks are currently second in the Western Conference playoff standings with 21 points during 14 games worth of action. The team is still undefeated at home, partially because they are currently on the tail end of a tough eight-game road trip. The Ducks have performed admirably during that span and are 3-3 with seven points out of a possible 12. Anaheim will face the Sabres on Saturday and the New York Rangers on Monday before returning to Orange County for a three-game homestand. Let’s take a closer look at the Ducks versus Sabres matchup and figure out the best side of the game to wager on.
Ducks at Sabres Betting Story Lines
The Sabres simply cannot catch a break as they had another player suspended this season. Defenseman John Scott’s was suspended for seven games on Thursday for his illegal elbow on Boston’s Loui Erikkson last week, and he will miss Saturday’s matchup against the Ducks. The suspension couldn’t come at a worse possible time as Buffalo’s right winger Patrick Kaleta is still serving a 10-game suspension for his illegal hit on Columbus Blue Jackets’ defenseman Jack Johnson earlier in the month. The team is still hoping that the addition of Matt Moulson—acquired in a trade last week—can spark Buffalo’s slumping offense and bring more chemistry to the top line.
Anaheim started the season with seven wins during their first eight games but has since been cooled down by the NHL schedulemaker’s eight-game road trip. The Ducks are coming off of a shootout loss to the Boston Bruins the night after the Red Sox won the World Series, but they were competitive and even took a lead into the third period. Anaheim managed to take only 23 shots, but they had seven takeaways and won 33 face-offs. One of the Ducks biggest strengths this season has been their defense and ability to limit their opponents shot attempts. The team outshoots their opponents by six full shots and allows only 28 attempts per game.
The Sabres were shut out for the third time this season on Thursday versus the New York Rangers after taking 29 shot attempts for the game. Buffalo also had only one power play during the entire game. There is a very good chance that the Sabres will be the NHL’s worst team this season, especially since it seems like management is ready to start trading assets for future drafts picks. Buffalo simply does not have the offensive fire power or cohesion to win very many games this year.
Ducks at Sabres NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Anaheim opened as a -168 moneyline road favorite over Buffalo, according to the odds at BetOnline. The Sabres are receiving +153 odds as the home underdog. The total for the game was set at five goals, with the “over” being favored at -126 . The Ducks are 10-3 during their last 13 overall games and are 5-0 against teams with a losing record this season. The Sabres are 0-5 versus the Western Conference this year and are 1-10 during their last 11 home games. Head to head, the home team is 7-2 during the last nine meetings. The “under” is 6-2 during the last eight matchups in Buffalo and 6-2 during the last eight overall games. Anaheim has not performed well against the Sabres over the last few seasons and is 1-5 during the last six games in Buffalo.
Free NHL Picks: Ducks at Sabres Betting Predictions
The Ducks are a solid road favorite, but they have all the value in this matchup. If this game were against any other team, there might be more value on Anaheim getting upset. However, the Sabres are a bad team, and wagering on them to beat one of the Western Conference’s best is not a great, money-making play. Buffalo will probably be outshot by a large margin, and it is only a matter of time before those pucks start to see the inside of the net. Anaheim has a tough schedule, but the team has continued to perform at a high level on the road and should be able to win this game. Take the Ducks on the moneyline.
Record: 14-6 Profit: +$1000
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