Free NHL Picks: Sabres at Panthers Odds
by George Monroy - 10/24/2013
The Buffalo Sabres season has gone from bad to worse as forward Patrick Kaleta’s appeal of his 10-game suspension for hitting Columbus Blue Jacket’s defensemen Jack Johnson in the head was denied on Thursday. Kaleta is a repeat offender and was given a stiffer-than-usual penalty for the potentially-dangerous contact, which did not injure Johnson. The Sabres are a league-worst 1-9 with only three points scored on the season. The team is currently on a three-game losing streak where they were outscored 12-4 and were never a threat to win any of those matchups. Buffalo’s only victory this year was a shootout win over the New York Islanders.
The Florida Panthers have not performed much better than the Sabres and are facing their own set of problems—the first of which is offensive production. The team’s leading scorer has only four goals on the season. The Panthers currently allow more goals per game than they score themselves and are near the bottom of every offensive ranking. Neither Florida nor Buffalo is performing to the level that each organization would like, and both are desperately in need of a win entering Friday’s matchup. Let’s take an in-depth look at the Sabres versus Panthers game and figure out which side of the bet has the most value to wager on.
Sabres at Panthers Betting Story Lines
Buffalo is set to go on the road for three of their next four games, and they will open up that trip against the Panthers inside of the BB&T Center on Friday. The team has been horrendous to start the season and began the year with seven straight losses. The team also just finished up a three-game homestand where they were unable to walk away with any points. The Sabres currently ranked 30th in goals per game with 1.3, 22th in goals allowed with 3.0, 27th in power play percentage and 10th in penalty kill percentage. The Sabres’ problems were on full display during Wednesday’s loss against the Boston Bruins where they were dominated by three goals and were never really in the game to begin with. Buffalo gave up 34 shot attempts and left goalie Ryan Miller in many bad situations throughout the matchup. The team is feeling the pressure from all corners, and general manger Darcy Regier and head coach Ron Rolston are already in the hot seat not even a month into the season.
Florida only has three wins and seven points on the season, which places them in the Bottom 5 in the Easter Conference. The team already has two three-game losing streaks and has not won two consecutive games all season. The Panthers are ranked 24th in goals score per game with only 2.1, 26th goals allowed with 3.4, 26th in power play percentage and 20th in penalty kill percentage. Goalies Tim Thomas and Jacob Markstrom have split time in front of the net, but neither has been particularly effective mainly because of the number of shots Florida allows per night. The team currently gives up more shots per game than they take themselves and are allowing 31.7 attempts for every 26.1 they take. The one bright spot for the Panthers is that they still have three more games in a six-game homestand to try and correct some mistakes and add a few points to their record.
Sabres at Panthers NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Florida opened as a -140 moneyline favorite over the underdog Sabres, who are receiving +127 odds, according to BetOnline. The puckline for Buffalo receiving +1.5 goals is -245 and is +205 for Florida giving up -1.5 goals. The total opened at five goals, with the “over” being a slight -118 favorite. Buffalo is 1-6 during their last seven matchups against the Eastern Conference and is a horrendous 1-10 during their last 11 overall games. The Panthers are 8-17 during their last 25 home games, and they have gone “under” in three of their last five games. The over is 3-0-1 during the last four meetings between the two teams and is 13-5-2 during the last 15 meetings in Florida. The Sabres have performed well against the Panthers recently and are 9-4 during the last 13 meetings in Florida.
Free NHL Picks: Sabres at Panthers Betting Predictions
When trying to decide on a matchup between two bad teams, the most important factors are price and home-ice advantage. The Sabres are 1-3 on the road, while the Panthers are 2-2 at home. Both teams are in desperate need of a win and will enter Friday’s game understanding that. Playing on the road is a tough place for a bad team to get a victory, and the odds are not reflecting that. Buffalo has some value here, but at +127 the price is simply not enticing enough to take the risk of wagering on a road underdog. Florida may not be much better than Buffalo, but being at home should be enough to get the win here. Take the Panthers on the moneyline.
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