NHL Picks: Sabres as Huge Money Line Dog over the Lightning

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 1:12 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014 1:12 PM UTC

Can the Buffalo Sabres continue their hot money line run and put an end to the 4-game win streak of the Tampa Bay Lightning? Read our NHL betting preview article on this contest to get that answer and so much more.

Lightning in Buffalo
The Sabres will host the Lightning on Tuesday at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo with the opening face-off slated for 7:35 PM ET. According to the NHL odds at Pinnacle, the Lightning is a -200 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.5. Tampa Bay is -1.5 (+156) and Buffalo +1.5 (-173) on the puck-line. This will be the first meeting of the season between these teams. The Lightning went 3-1 versus the Sabres a season ago, and 3 of those 4-games stayed under the total.


Stellar Start to the Year
The Tampa Bay Lightning is off to a superb 17-8 start against the money line this season, gone 14-5 over their last 19, and enters tonight on a 4-game winning streak. They’re coming off an impressive 6-3 road win last night versus the New York Rangers. Tampa Bay is currently tied for first with the Montreal Canadiens in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference standings. They’re an explosive offensive team that averages 3.5 goals per game, and converts on an outstanding 24.4% of their power play attempts. Ben Bishop was in goal last night, and we’re likely to see Evgeni Nabokov between the pipes tonight for Tampa Bay. Nabokov has gone just 2-3 in his 5-starts this season with a poor .870 save percentage.


Recent Money Line Roll for the Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres have won 5 of their last 6-games. That in itself is alarming news, considering this is a team that began the season by going 3-16 against the money prior to their recent successful run. The most impressive part of the last 6-games from a NHL betting standpoint has been that $100 a game money line bettors, made a huge profit of $940. That’s an incredible 156.7% return on investment during that 6-game period. Keeping things in proper perspective, this is still a team that’s 8-16 against the money line on the season, and they’re currently next to last in the Eastern Conference standings. Despite their less than impressive overall record, Jonas Enroth (.914 save percentage) and Michal Neuvirth (.920) have performed remarkably well on goal.


NHL Betting System
The Sabres are coming off a 4-3 overtime win at Montreal in their previous game. Buffalo is averaging just 1.8 goals per game. The combination of those two factors in addition to tonight’s money line (Buffalo +170), falls into a very successful underdog system, and I’ll take a calculated risk on that basis when making my NHL picks today.

Any money line home underdog of +100 to +200, coming off an overtime win in their previous game, and they average 2.4 goals or less per game, has gone 42-27 (60.9%) since 1996.

Free NHL Pick: Buffalo +170 over Tampa Bay at BookMaker

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