Our NHL consultant will be examining the game on Friday between Buffalo and Columbus. Will Buffalo tank it tonight and give themselves the best opportunity to acquire highly coveted Connor McDavid?
Sabres at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus
The Columbus Blue Jackets will entertain the Buffalo Sabres on Friday at 7:05 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at 5Dimes, Columbus is a mammoth -340 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. The puck-line at 5Dimes also has Columbus -1.5 (-115) and Buffalo +1.5 (+105). These teams have met twice this season, and the road team has won on each occasion. The last eight games played between these Eastern Conference clubs have resulted in just one of those going under the total.
Beware of the Tank in Buffalo
The Buffalo Sabres are currently dead last in the NHL standings, and are just two points behind the Arizona Coyotes. The Sabres would clinch the bottom overall spot by losing one of their remaining two games. Why is that so significant? I’m glad that you asked. By finishing 30th overall, Buffalo would give themselves the highest percentage of winning the 2015 NHL draft lottery, and in turn, provide a golden opportunity to draft 18-year old Connor McDavid. The highly coveted player is projected to be the best teenage prospect since Sidney Crosby.
Sabres continue to Battle
Despite all the hype surrounding the #1 overall pick in the upcoming 2015 NHL Draft, Buffalo has shown a great bit of professional character in recent games. They’ve gone 3-2 versus the money line during in their previous five contests. The Sabres have been the lowest scoring team in the NHL for the entire 2014-2015 campaign. However, they’ve scored three goals or more in seven of their previous eight games. Unfortunately, Buffalo has also given up three or more in its last four, and nine of their previous ten games. The Sabres have gone a dismal 9-31 versus the money line on the road this season, and have a horrible -1.8 goal per game differential in those forty contests.
Blue Jackets finishing the Year on a Roll
The Columbus Blue Jackets have been eliminated from playoff contention for quite awhile now. However, that hasn’t deterred their play whatsoever. As a matter of fact, Columbus has gone a sizzling hot 10-1 in the last eleven, and 13-2 during their previous fifteen games against the money line. Their only loss in the last eleven came in overtime at Madison Square Garden in New York against the President Trophy winning Rangers. Columbus is averaging a terrific 4.1 goals scored per contest over their last fifteen games.
The Sabres should be commended for the stellar efforts they’ve exhibited in recent games, despite the distractions off the ice. At the end of the day, they’ll be overmatched in a big way tonight versus an opponent (Columbus) that’s playing with an extreme amount of confidence. For your NHL picks go with the Blue Jackets.
NHL Pick: Columbus -1.5 (-115) on the puck-line over Buffalo at 5Dimes.