Our NHL consultant examines the game today between Chicago and Buffalo. Can the lowly Sabres win their third straight by upsetting the Blackhawks? Will Chicago let their guard down and take Buffalo too lightly? Read this insightful betting preview article in order to get those answers plus much more.
Blackhawks Have Owned the Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday at 7:05 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at Pinnacle, Chicago is a -280 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. It’s also is with noting that Pinnacle has Chicago -1.5 (+100) and Buffalo +1.5 (-110) on the puck-line. Chicago has won each of their last six meetings with Buffalo, and that includes a 6-2 home win in early October. The Sabres last defeated the Blackhawks way back on 12/11/2009 in a 2-1 home win.
Road Tested and ready to Roll
The Chicago Blackhawks have gone a very good 8-3 against the money line in their previous eleven games on the road. They’ve also seen only ten of their thirty away games (26.3%) this season go over the total. Cory Crawford was in goal for Chicago during last night’s 3-1 home win over the Vancouver Canucks. In all likelihood we’ll see Scott Darling in goal tonight. Darling has seen only one of his eleven starts this season go over the total, and compiled a superb .941 save percentage in those outings. The Blackhawks can ill afford to take the Sabres lightly if they hope to keep climbing up the Western Conference standings. They’re currently second in the Central Division, one point ahead of the St. Louis Blues, trail the first place Nashville Predators by three points, and have one game in hand on each of those clubs.
Sabres Have a Small Bit of Momentum
The Buffalo Sabres enter tonight riding a modest two game winning streak. It’s just the fifth time this season that Buffalo has won two or more games in a row. Although the Sabres have been the lowest scoring team in the NHL all season long, they’ve managed to score three goals or more in each of their previous five games. Those five games came against Dallas, Arizona twice, Colorado, and Toronto. Two of those teams have been eliminated from playoff contention, and the other two are alive only from a mathematical standpoint. The Blackhawks are one of the best teams in the NHL, and will present a whole different challenge on Friday.
There are many fans in Buffalo who are hoping their team loses their remaining five games. By doing so, the Sabres would assure themselves of finishing last overall in the NHL, and would give them the inside track on obtaining highly coveted 18-year old Connor McDavid in the upcoming 2015 NHL Entry Draft. In any event, they will be overmatched tonight by a hungry Chicago team that’s eying a Central Division title and a #2 seed in the Western Conference for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. I like the Blackhawks to win this contest in a decisive manner, and one of my NHL picks on Friday will be indicative of that prediction.
NHL Pick: Play on Chicago -1.5 (+100) on the puck-line over Buffalo at Pinnacle