NHL Predictions: Kings at Sabres Odds and Picks
by George Monroy - 11/12/2013
The Buffalo Sabres are about to finish up a brutal Western Conference trip where they faced three of the conference’s top teams five times in a 10-day span. The Sabres did not fare so well during that period and lost three of the first four matchups. However, if there was a bright spot for the team, it was that they beat the San Jose Sharks on the road to earn their third victory of the season. The Sharks are a serious playoff contender, and earning quality wins, even if they are few and far between, just might be enough to help Buffalo turn around their season before it is too late.
The Los Angeles Kings have not been tearing up the standings in the way many experts believed they would before the season started. The team is currently playing .660 hockey—they win two games and lose one—which itself is not a bad situation to be in. But in the ultra-competitive world of the Western Conference, winning two games and losing one will not even get you in the playoffs. Los Angeles has a respectable 22 points through 17 games, yet is still sitting in the ninth spot in the Conference and wouldn’t make the postseason if the year ended today. The Kings are a group that realizes they need improvement and will be looking to take advantage of any easy games on their schedule.
Kings at Sabres Betting Story Lines
Los Angeles earned a victory over the Sabres five days ago at the Staples Center and will now face the struggling team again, but this time in the First Niagara Center. During the last matchup between the two squads, Los Angeles took 28 shot attempts and held Buffalo scoreless on 19 attempts. The Kings have outshot their opponents 32.6 attempts to 25.8 attempts per game this season and are one of the better defensive teams in the league in allowing only 2.4 goals per game. If Los Angeles could get more scoring consistency from their offense then the team would have a much better chance of navigating the dangerous waters of the Western Conference.
The Sabres, on the other hand, are getting outshot by 11.4 attempts per game and are giving up twice the amount of goals that they actually score themselves. Buffalo has one of the worst offenses in the entire NHL and only scores 1.6 goals per game. At the other end of the ice, Buffalo allows their opponents to score 3.2 per game. Sabres’ goaltenders Jhonas Enroth and Ryan Miller save .914 percent of their shots but are still allowing goals because of the ridiculous volume that the Buffalo defenders allow each game. The team has allowed whopping 27 goals over their last seven games while only managing to score 15 goals.
Both teams have performed poorly against the puckline this season. The Kings have lost $100 puckline bettors $690 through 17 games this year, while the Sabres have lost those same bettors $650 through 19 games. The Kings have fared much better on the moneyline but they are still not brining gamblers much profit this season. Los Angeles has earned $100 moneyline bettors $200 this year, while the Buffalo has lost moneyline bettors $980.
Kings at Sabres NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Los Angeles opened as -190 moneyline favorites over the +162 Sabres, according to the odds at BookMaker. The total was set at five goals, with the “over” being favored at -120. The Kings are 4-1 versus the Atlantic Division dating back to last season and are 4-1 against the Eastern Conference during their last five matchups. Los Angeles is 10-4 during their last 14 overall matchups. Buffalo is 1-11 during their last 12 home games and is 1-8 during their last nine games against Western Conference opponents. Head-to-head, the home team is 15-3 over the last 18 meetings between the two teams. Los Angeles is 0-4 during the last four games in Buffalo, while the over is 8-2-1 during the last 11 meetings.
NHL Predictions: Kings at Sabres Picks
There is really only one side to bet on tonight’s Kings versus Sabres matchup, and that is on Los Angeles. Buffalo simply gives up too many shots per game and allows their opponents to set the pace of the matchup. Playing passively in the NHL and allowing your opposition to dominate the puck is the quickest way to earn a loss. The only way the Sabres are getting wins these days is when teams are coming into their matchups having an off night. Los Angeles knows that they need to earn more points if they want to stay relevant in the Western Conference and will not over look any easy games on their schedule. The Sabres have not covered a puckline during any of their last four losses, so taking Los Angeles to win by more than 1.5 goals could be a solid wager to make. However, I prefer betting on the moneyline in this matchup.
Record: 18-9; Profit: $1,056
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