The Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets go head to head tonight. While the sportsbooks odds makers have set a low total tonight, given the Sabres current run I beliee that placing our money on the game's puckline is the best way to look tonight.
Well, would you look at who’s finally decided to join the
party. The Buffalo Sabres have long been a disappointment this season –
especially after an offseason of huge spending. But as we head down the home
stretch, they’ve closed the gap between them and the playoffs, and will have a
crucial game on Monday to narrow that deficit even more.
Bettors and touts
have watched the Sabres go 11-3-3 in their last 17 games to climb within two
points of the Winnipeg Jets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the
Eastern Conference. They’re chalk-full of confidence heading into the matchup
as they’re fresh off a 5-3 win over the league-leading Vancouver Canucks.
Both teams really need this game, so look for Monday’s
matchup to have plenty of playoff intensity.
Monday, March 5th
NHL Odds boards had opened with the Jets listed as -130 favorites, a number which early NHL betting action has now pushed down to -125. Even with the total listed at a low 5, we still are going to focus our NHL picks on the puck line.
The Buffalo Sabres can win because…
Ryan Miller is playing like a Vezina Trophy candidate.
The Sabres have gone 6-0-1 in their last seven games and Miller has been
between the pipes each time. He’s stymied opposing teams in that span while
posting a 1.40 GAA. While he gave up three goals in a 5-3 win over the Canucks
on Saturday, he had posted back-to-back shutouts before that.
The Jets are coming off a big win on Thursday but they
don’t have a tendency of following those up very well. So far this season, the
Jets are 5-10 following a win by two goals or more.
The Sabres are just clicking right now. Not only is
Miller hot but Brad Boyes has a pair of tallies in his last three games and
Ville Leino scored two games in the first five minutes against Vancouver on
Saturday. That doubled his total from the previous 26 games.
This matchup is tailor-made for Buffalo. The emphasis
will be on goaltender, where they have the edge, and scrappy offense, where
they’ve excelled recently. They are 6-2 this season when playing on the road
with a total of five and there’s a good chance they improve on that on Monday.
The Winnipeg Jets can win because…
The Sabres two best scorers are slumping right now and
that’s bound to catch up with them. Thomas Vanek has just one goal in his last
eight games while Jason Pominville has no points in five straight games. Meanwhile,
the Jets best weapons are peaking.
Evander Kane has picked up 14 points in his last eight
games including a career-high four during Thursday’s win over Florida. As for
Blake Wheeler, he’s got 15 points in those same eight games after picking up a
goal and an assist on Thursday.
The Winnipeg Jets should be far more rested for this contest as
they’ve had three days of rest. Meanwhile, the Sabres are going to be far more
worn down with this being their third game in four nights – all on the road.
It’s also the Sabres final game of a five-game road trip, so they might be on
their last legs.
The Jets are 20-10-4 at home this season while the Sabres
are 14-16-1 on the road. The Jets will have to use that home-ice advantage to
be the difference on Monday.
Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction:
The way the Sabres are playing right now, one would have
to be crazy to bet against them. They’re a team possessed and they are clicking
at the right time.
The Jets are decent – particularly at home – but that
hasn’t been such a big advantage recently. They had lost three of their last
four at home prior to Thursday’s 7-0 romp over the Florida Panthers.
Take the Sabres to the sportsbooks as they have a lot of momentum behind
them these days.
NHL Picks: Sabres