Free NHL Picks: Sabres at Rangers Odds
by George Monroy - 10/30/2013
The Buffalo Sabres’ newly-acquired forward, Matt Moulson, scored two goals in his debut with the team on Monday and nearly beat the Dallas Stars by himself. The Sabres traded for Moulson last week by sending team co-captain Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders. In return Buffalo also received a first- and second-round draft pick. The move wasn’t enough to get the Sabres their first home win of the season, but Moulson did provide an injection of offensive energy during his 20 minutes on the ice. Buffalo management and fans hope that the addition of the young forward will be enough to help the team turn around what has been the worst start in franchise history.
The New York Rangers have dealt with their own set of problems since the beginning of the season and just wrapped up a brutal, and maybe even unfair, nine-game road trip to open the year. The team was kicked out of Madison Square Garden due to a construction project and did not play their first home game of the season until Monday, Oct. 28. The Rangers felt the weight of that rough schedule and only managed to win three games and earn six points during that span. The team will mercifully start a four-game home stand against Buffalo on Thursday. Let’s take an in-depth look at the Sabres versus Rangers Halloween matchup and figure out which side of the game has the most value to wager on.
Sabres at Rangers Betting Story Lines
The Sabres are on a two-game losing streak but did show sings of improvement during their last lost to the Stars. The team gave up only 29 shot attempts, which compared to their normal average of 35 attempts is a huge improvement. The Sabres were also able to score three goals on six assists and looked much better on offense than they have all season. The biggest concern during Monday’s loss was goaltender Ryan Miller’s performance. The 10-year veteran allowed four goals on only 29 attempts and had a save percentage of .862. Miller, unfortunately, has seen the most shot attempts in the league and has a decent save percentage of .914 for such a high volume of shots.
Perhaps the Sabres biggest problem is that the team simply allows too many goals in the first period and digs themselves into a deficit early in games. Buffalo has been outscored 19-2 during the first period and allowed the Stars to score three goals before the first period ended. The Sabres are averaging only 25 shot attempts per game and take only seven attempts in the first period.
The Rangers lost their delayed home opener to the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, and after waiting nearly a month to finally play a game in front of their New York fans, were disappointed in the performance. The team then went on the road to beat the New York Islanders on Tuesday and have two wins during their last three games, which is the best stretch of hockey they have produced all season. The Rangers allowed only 24 shot attempts against the Islanders and were able to skate away with a come-from-behind victory. Benoit Pouliot and Ryan McDonagh managed to score two goals within moments of each other to tie and take the lead.
Sabres at Rangers NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
New York opened Thursday matchup as a -191 moneyline favorite against the +173 moneyline underdog Sabres, according to BetOnline. The total was set at 5.0 goals, with the “over” being a slight favorite at -110. During head-to-head meetings between the teams, the “under” is 4-0-3 during the last seven games in New York, while the under is 6-1-3 during the last 10 overall games. The Rangers have gotten the best of Buffalo over the last seven games and have a 5-2 record during that span. The Sabres are 2-12 during their last 14 overall games and are 0-4 during their last four Thursday games. The Rangers are 10-2 during their last 12 home games and 7-3 against the Atlantic Division over their last 10 games.
Free NHL Picks: Sabres at Rangers Betting Predictions
The Buffalo Sabres have shown signs of improvement since trading for Matt Moulson. However, the team still allows far too many shots and cannot control the puck on offense, which leads to costly turnovers. The truth is the Sabres have more problems than one trade can fix and may very well be the worst team in the NHL. The Rangers are a team that believes there is still hope left in this season and will be looking to turn things around on Thursday by getting their first home win of the season. This matchup will probably be just another game for the Sabres, but it will be a must-win situation for the Rangers. The moneyline may be a big one, but expect the Rangers to win this game.
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