Add Winnipeg To Your NHL Picks & Expect Jets To Beat Sabres Outright

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, January 10, 2016 4:38 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 4:38 PM UTC

The Sabres are in the midst of a shame spiral while the Jets have alternated wins and losses over their last six games. Let's consider the NHL odds offerings as we cash in our NHL picks.

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Free NHL Pick: Jets -175
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Buffalo Sabres (15-26, -4.8 units)
Six consecutive losses and a total of just eight goals during that span for one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, the Buffalo Sabres. A lack of scoring punch has bedeviled the Sabres this season which is precisely why they rank 28th of 30, scoring an average of only 2.24 goals per game. But that blame certainly cannot be shouldered by 24-year-old Ryan O'Reilly who is the lone representative from the Sabres headed to this season's All-Star game. O'Reilly has notched 17 goals and tallied 18 assists for 35 points but it is his two-way play that makes him among the league's best this season.

Curiously, the Sabres are getting their fair share of shots on net despite their scoring drought. They rank 14th in shots on goal averaging 29.9 yet have a team plus/minus differential of -20 which ranks them among the worst in that category. In their last game, Buffalo was outshot 45-29 by the Blackhawks and had it not been for the sterling performance by netminder Chad Johnson the game would have gotten out of hand early. Johnson turned aside 42-of-44 shots with the Hawks scoring an empty-netter at the end of the game for a 3-1 victory over the floundering Sabres.

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Winnipeg Jets (19-22, -2.9 units)
Since their 4-1 win over the Red Wings on December 29th the Jets have alternated wins and losses, and if that pattern holds true, they are due for a victory this afternoon over the Sabres. In their last outing, Winnipeg dropped a 2-1 decision to the Dallas Stars in a shootout. Despite the loss, the Jets picked up a point and outshot the Stars 33-24 with rookie goalie Connor Hellebuyck impressing again stopping 23-of-24 shots including the overtime frame. Unfortunately, the shootout proved to be the team's undoing and both Hellebuyck and the team got tagged with the loss.

Offensively, the Jets are getting contributions from many different sources and are currently ranked 12th in the league in that category averaging 2.7 goals per game with veteran Blake Wheeler leading the team in points with 40 on the season. Defensively, it has been a struggle as the club ranks 25th allowing 2.8 goals per game on average and their penalty killing unit has not helped, currently ranked 27th killing only 77.3 percent of their opposition's man-advantage situations.


Betting Analysis
The NHL odds boards opened this one up at Winnipeg -170 but that line has spiked to as high as -185 in some offshore books. The public, the sharps or perhaps a bit of both are backing the big home favorite here and do not mind laying the lumber in order to hopefully cash in their NHL picks. it is hard to disagree here, and as fond as I am of picking up the juice instead of laying it, the recent history between these teams tells me Winnipeg is more than likely to emerge victorious having won three of their last four meetings.

While the Sabres statistically enjoy an advantage in goals against average, we must consider that the rookie Connor Hellebuyck has bolstered the Jets defensively since taking over for the injured Ondrej Pavelec. The 22-year-old is expected to be tending the twine once again this afternoon, and if that is indeed the case, then that is yet another check mark in Winnipeg's column.

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