Free NHL Picks: Hurricanes at Sabres Odds
by George Monroy - 1/6/2014
The Carolina Hurricanes are quietly on a tear after winning their last four games and creeping back into the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. Carolina is currently tied for the ninth spot in the standings and is one point behind the eighth and final playoff position in the East. The team’s recent surge in play has come from solid defense and goaltending mixed with a couple of well-time goals on offense. The Hurricanes play four of their next six games at home and will have chance at moving further up the standings if they can continue to earn points over the next few weeks.
The Buffalo Sabres have been the worst team in the NHL since starting out the season with seven straight losses. Buffalo, however, has turned things around—in the short term at least—by winning five straight home games dating back to mid-December. The team might need a small miracle to actually make the playoffs, but learning how to win games and building a sense of confidence are all things that will come in handy for next season. Let’s take a look at Tuesday’s Hurricanes versus Sabres matchup with predictions and analysis.
Hurricanes at Sabres Betting Story Lines
Carolina earned two road victories during its current four-game win streak and is coming off a one-goal win over the Nashville Predators on Sunday. Goaltender Anton Khudobin stopped 31 shots during the game and is still a perfect 5-0 on the season. Khudobin has allowed only six goals during his last three games and has been a huge part of Carolina’s recent win streak. Prior to the team’s four straight wins, it had lost eight of nine matchups and had a five-game losing streak as well.
Even though the Hurricanes have been playing well, they have still given up a large amount of shots over the last four games. The team allowed 41, 40, and 30 shots on goal during its last three matchups and has put Khudobin under a lot of stress in front of the net. The team’s offense has not been great, but it has been good enough to produce victories. Carolina’s point’s leader, Eric Staal, has earned four assists during his last three games.
Buffalo has won consecutive games twice this season and will have another opportunity to get back-to-back wins as well as extend its home winning streak to six games on Tuesday night. The Sabres and goaltender Ryan Miller have played on another level when they are at home. Miller even stopped 49 shot attempts during a home matchup against the Washington Capitals at the end of December.
Buffalo is probably still the worst team in the NHL, but the team is playing with a world of confidence at home thanks to its improved offense and the defensive brilliance of Miller. The Sabres are coming off a home win against the New Jersey Devils where they allowed their opponent only 22 shots on goal.
Hurricanes at Sabres NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Both squads opened up at -105 at BetOnline. The total was set at five goals, with both the “over” and “under” getting a -105 vig. Carolina is 4-0 over its last four overall games and 4-1 over its last five Tuesday games. The team is also 5-2 over its last seven games following a win, but it has struggled against the Atlantic Division over the last few seasons with a 16-38 record during the last 54 matchups.
Buffalo is 5-0 over its last five home games and 5-2 in its last seven Tuesday games. However, the team struggles to win consecutive games and is 1-6 over its last seven matchups following a win. Buffalo is also 2-8 in its last 10 games after allowing two goals or less in the previous game. Head-to-head, the under is 4-1 over the last five meetings in Buffalo, while Carolina is 4-1 over the last five overall meetings. The home team is also 4-1 in the last five games.
Free NHL Picks: Hurricanes at Sabres Predictions
Tuesday night’s game is a very interesting matchup between two streaking teams playing with a sense of confidence. The best bet for this game is to take the under on five goals. Both squads have been excellent on defense, but each team’s goaltenders have been the stars of the show. Expect Miller and Khudobin to dominate in a game where both groups struggle to produce any form of offense. Take the under on this one.
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