Free NHL Picks: Sabres at Maple Leafs Odds
by George Monroy - 1/14/2014
The Toronto Maple Leafs finally ended an embarrassing four-game losing streak that included three blowout losses—two of which were by more than four goals. The team will hit the road on Tuesday night to play the Boston Bruins then return home to host the Buffalo Sabres—a matchup that Toronto believes it should be able to win. The Maple Leafs also have a four-game road trip looming and need to continue earning points in the standings before they fall even further behind in the playoff race. Toronto is currently sitting on 49 points in the standings, which is one point out from the eighth seed in the East.
Buffalo’s season is essentially over—the team would need a small miracle just to make the playoffs. However, the team has steadily improved over the course of the season and even managed to win six of its last 11 games, which for Buffalo is quite a feat since the squad has been well below .500 all year. Making the playoffs may not be a realistic goal for the Sabres, but improving and learning how to play together is what the team should be aiming for. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup with predictions and analysis.
Sabres at Maple Leafs Betting Story Lines
Buffalo started 2014 with a solid 2-2 record and is coming off an impressive road win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday. Goaltender Ryan Miller was again fantastic during the team’s 2-1 victory and had a spectacular game-saving stop late in the third period. The win over Washington snapped Buffalo’s 11-game road losing streak and stopped the team from matching the longest road losing streak in franchise history.
The Sabres play the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night before heading to Toronto for their Wednesday night matchup. Buffalo starts a favorable home stretch against Philadelphia where it will play four of its next five games inside the First Niagara Center. The team has still struggled on offense over its last four games and managed to score only four regulation goals during that span. Buffalo is ranked last in the NHL in goals scored with an average of 1.6 per game.
The Maple Leafs are in a tight race for the eighth spot in the East, and picking up valuable points during its upcoming two-game homestand against the Sabres and Montreal Canadiens is almost mandatory for the team. Toronto will visit Boston on Tuesday to play the Bruins before hosting Buffalo the next day. The team just ended a four-game losing streak with a close victory over the New Jersey Devils. Toronto gave up a whopping 38 shots attempts on the night, but goaltender Jonathan Bernier was able to stop 36 of those attempts with a great performance in front of the net.
Toronto has struggled offensively over its last five games and has scored only nine regulation goals during that span. The team’s point’s leader, Phil Kessel, has one goal over his last six games, while Toronto has been outscored 25-13 during that span. Overall, the team is ranked 19th in the league in goals per game with 2.6 and 22nd in goals allowed with 3.0.
Sabres at Maple Leafs NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Toronto opened as a -163 moneyline favorite over the +148 underdog Sabres at BetOnline. The total was set a five goals, with the “over” being slightly favored at -110. Toronto is 3-7 during its last 10 Wednesday games and 2-6 in the fourth game of a four-in-six situation. The team is also 1-4 over its last five overall matchups and 1-4 against the Eastern Conference. The squad has gone over in five of its last six home games.
Buffalo is 1-4 over its last five games against the Atlantic Division and 1-7 in its last eight games versus teams with a winning home record. The team is also only 5-11 during its last 16 Wednesday games and 6-23 in its last 29 games played on zero days rest. Head-to-head, the Sabres are 1-8 during the last nine games in Toronto, while the home team has won 20 of the last 26 overall meetings.
Free NHL Picks: Sabres at Maple Leafs Predictions
Buffalo has improved greatly since the beginning of the season, but the team is still considered a doormat for the rest of the league. Ryan Miller has been a bright spot for the team and has done an excellent job off keeping games manageable when the team’s offense doesn’t show up. Toronto is playing poorly and giving up too many goals, and Wednesday night’s game is a situation ripe for an upset. Buffalo’s goaltending has been excellent over the last couple of weeks, and the team just might be able to take advantage of slumping Maple Leafs squad. Wagering on Buffalo at a +148 moneyline payout is an excellent opportunity to take a shot on the underdog.
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