This NHL pick features a matchup of two teams going absolutely nowhere between the Buffalo Sabres and Colorado Avalanche, because there's still money to be made.
Face-off is set for tonight at 9:00 pm ET at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. According to NHL odds, Colorado is a massive -320 betting favorite and the betting total for the game is listed at 5 goals. If any of you remember, I picked the Sabres at +400 over the Bruins and won, but in this matchup, I don't expect Buffalo to have a repeat performance.
The Western Conference
This isn't a matter of the Colorado Avalanche being a poor hockey team. At 80 points, they're actually a strong club, but unfortunately for them, they're in a very tough division and Western Conference. Buffalo would have to put forth one of their best efforts of the season to defeat Colorado on the road at the Pepsi Center.
Lindback vs. Varlamov
It has been confirmed that Anders Lindback will "likely" be in goal for the Sabres and Semyon Varlamov will definitely be between the pipes for the Avalanche.
While Varlamov has been merely average all season long, he's been a beast as of late and a great reason why Colorado is such an immense favorite. In the month of March, Varlamov is 6-1-1 with a 1.97 GAA. The Avalanche have been losing as of late and are going back to their bread and butter.
If you look at Lindback's SV%, he's been downright good at .926, but his team has let him down offensively. He's 1-5-2 in his last 8 games and it's all due to the lack of offense. Buffalo managed 3 goals in their last game, but were unable to defeat the Arizona Coyotes, 4-3 in OT. I don't see Buffalo having any chance here, but that's a lot of juice to lay.
How Bad Are They?
For the season, the Sabres rank 30th in goals scored (1.8), goals against (3.3), power play% (12.7%) and power play killing (74.2%). This is as bad as you'll ever see in a hockey club.
Winger, Tyler Ennis, is the only player on the Sabres roster above 40 points at 19 points and 23 assists. Unfortunately for Buffalo, he's out of action and they'll need to rely on other players.
Winger, Matt Moulson, has picked up the slack as of late.In his last 2 games, he has 1 goal and 2 assists and in his last 11 games, Moulson has 3 goals and 6 assists. You can count on the Avalanche defense targeting on Moulson as there's very few options in the Buffalo lineup where offense is concerned.
Where the Avalanche are concerned, center, Ryan O'Reilly, has been on a major tear as of late. He's coming off of a 2 point performance in a 4-1 victory over Vancouver and has a point in 6 straight games.
In O'Reilly's last 5 games, he has an eye-popping 3 goals and 7 assists. It's open season on the Sabres tonight as #90 has been unstoppable. I don't expect the Sabres to stop O'Reilly here and as much as I don't want to, we're going to have to lay the juice with the Avalanche as our NHL pick.
NHL Pick- Colorado -308 at Pinnacle