Free NHL Picks: Jets at Sabres Odds
by George Monroy - 12/16/2013
The Buffalo Sabres are bad—but when I state “bad,” what I really mean is historically bad. The team is on pace to earn the fewest points during a season in over 13 years, and it might not even crack the 40-point mark if things do not get better. Buffalo’s management has probably already given up on the year and may be looking toward next season, but for the players and coaching staff, things are simply getting embarrassing. The team has only 17 points on the season, and it will be looking at matchups against the Boston Bruins, Phoenix Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs over the next two weeks. It the team does not pull off a win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, it might not see another victory until 2014.
At this points in the year Winnipeg is realistically 10 to 12 points away from the final playoff spot in the West. The team is currently sitting on 33 points in the standings, but it still needs to do a lot of work if it plans on making a playoff push early next year. The first step in moving up in the standings for Winnipeg is to win the easy games on its schedule. And taking on the lowly Sabres, even on the road, qualifies as an easy game on the schedule. Let’s take a closer look at Tuesday’s matchup between the Jets and Sabres and figure out which side has the best value to wager on.
Jets at Sabres Betting Story Lines
Buffalo is bad in nearly every statistical category. The team is ranked last in the league in goals scored with 1.6 per game, 24th in the league in goals allowed with 2.9 and 26th in power-play percentage. The Sabres have only won consecutive games once this season and already have a five- and seven-game losing streak under their belts. Overall they have lost five of their last six games and are coming off an overtime loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday.
Buffalo’s goaltending has done a better job over the last few weeks, and the team has not given up more than three goals since late November. The Sabres biggest problem has been their lack of offense over the last month. They have managed to score only six goals over their last six games. The team will play three of its next four games at home but will face a home-and-road situation against the Boston Bruins later this week.
Prior to Monday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Winnipeg had lost four of its last five matchups and gave up 18 goals in the process. The team is about to face a road-heavy portion of its schedule to end the year, but it does have the luxury of facing the Sabres twice in the next two weeks. Part of Winnipeg’s problem is playing in the Western Conference where nearly game is a tough battle. The team’s last three games were against the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues—all teams that are sitting on 35 points or more.
Jets at Sabres NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Winnipeg opened as a slight -121 moneyline favorite against the home +104 underdog Sabres. The total was set at five goals, with the “over” being favored at -116 at BetOnline. Winnipeg is 7-2 over its last nine against the Eastern Conference but only 1-4 in its last five overall games. The team is 1-4 during its last five Tuesday games and 1-7 over its last eight games on the third night of a three-in-four situation.
Buffalo has performed surprisingly well on Tuesday games with a 4-1 record over its last five matchups. However, that is the only category that the Sabres have performed well in as they have a 2-10 record against the Western Conference and 5-16 record during their last 21 home games. Head-to-head, the Jets are 6-0 during the last six meetings while the home team is 7-3 over the last 10 matchups.
Free NHL Picks: Jets at Sabres Betting Predictions
The Sabres have not won a game in regulation since Nov. 15 and should be desperate to take advantage of another struggling squad coming to visit the First Niagara Center. Buffalo is struggling in nearly every area on the ice, but this matchup is a must-win for the team. It might not mean much in the standings, yet psychologically a win would do wonders for the squad. The Sabres know that wins will come be few and far between this season, so expect the coaching staff to put an extra emphasis on a very winnable matchup against the Jets on Tuesday night. Take Buffalo and the small positive moneyline payout.
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