Free NHL Picks: Capitals at Sabres Odds
by George Monroy - 1/27/2014
The Washington Capitals are still in the mix for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but if they continue to go on extended losing streaks, they might as well begin packing their bags in preparation for a long summer. Washington snapped a seven-game losing streak during its last matchup against Montreal on Saturday after team captain Alex Ovechkin returned from the sidelines due to a lower-body injury that cost the center two games.
Nothing has changed for the Buffalo Sabres over the last few weeks of hockey. They are still the worst team in the NHL, score the fewest goals, and are on pace to record only 57 points in the standings—which would be the lowest points total in the last seven years. Let’s have a closer look at Tuesday’s matchup between the Capitals and Sabres and figure out which side of the contest has the most value to bet on.
Capitals at Sabres Betting Story Lines
Washington is in the middle of a five-game road trip that will finally end on Friday in a matchup against the Detroit Red Wings. The squad has dropped 11 of its last 14 matching dating back to the last week of December and has been horrendous on offense during that span. Washington is averaging only 1.85 goals since Dec. 29 and managed to score only eight goals during its recent seven-game losing streak.
Goaltenders Philipp Grubauer and Michal Neuvirth have played well during the Washington’s slump and managed to keep games competitive and winnable for the offense. The team has allowed only four goals during its last three games, but it lost two of those matchups. Ovechkin’s return from a two-game absence helped spark Washington to a victory over Montreal, but even his production has not been enough to build any sort of momentum during the first month of the year.
Buffalo, surprisingly, is coming off a win (prior to Monday’s game) over the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. The team stopped Columbus’ eight-game winning streak by scoring five goals on only 22 shot attempts during the game. However, outside of that great performance, Buffalo has been its regular, terrible self during the first month of the year. The squad snapped a four-game losing streak with its last win and has only two wins during eight tries in 2014.
The usually-solid Ryan Miller has struggled in front of the net over the last three weeks and may be affected by the numerous trade rumors that have been moving around the league over the last week. Overall, Miller continues to provide excellent production for a Sabres team gives little help on defense and allows its opponents to bombard the net with numerous shot attempts.
Capitals at Sabres NHL Odds and Key Trends
Washington opened as a -131 road favorite over the +119 underdog Sabres at BetOnline. The total was set at five goals, with the “over” being favored at -116. Washington is 4-1 over its last five road games and last five Tuesday games. The team is also 1-5 over its last six games played on two days of rest and 1-7 in its last eight games versus the Eastern Conference.
Buffalo is 0-5 in its last five home games and 1-5 in its last six versus the Eastern Conference. The team is also 1-5 during its last six games versus team with a winning road record of less than .400. Head-to-head, the home team is 12-5 over the last 17 meetings between the teams, while the “under” is 7-3-1 during the last 11 matchups in Buffalo.
Free NHL Picks: Capitals at Sabres Predictions
Both teams are really struggling entering Tuesday’s matchup. However, the edge has to go to Washington, particularly as a small favorite for the game. Ovechkin may be looking to get right back into the mix of things after missing time with an injury, and knows that his team is only a few points out from the eighth spot in the East. Take Washington as a small favorite on the moneyline.
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