NHL Picks: Sabres vs. Red Wings

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 2:09 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 2:09 PM GMT

The Sabres and Red Wings get their seasons underway on Wednesday night in Detroit with the face off coming at 8:05 PM ET. Can sports bettors find any lines worth jumpion on with their NHL picks?

The game will be televised in the United States by the NBC Sports Network. According to current NHL odds the Red Wings are a -185 favorite on the money line and the total is 5.5. The NHL puck-line shows Detroit -1.5 (+165). This will be the Red Wings first game in the newly aligned Eastern Conference of the NHL after spending the last four plus decades in the Western Conference.

Take a look at our NHL Picks of the Day article for more free plays.

Let’s Go Buffalo! 

You would be hard pressed to find a more loyal fan base in a small market that suffers from a depressed local economy, than the Buffalo Sabres have. However, since billionaire and lifelong Sabres fan Terry Pegula bought the franchise in the spring of 2011 the fortunes of the team have taken a step back. It’s of no fault of Pegula who’s been more than willing to shell out the necessary money to bring a Stanley Cup contender to town. The Sabres brass has made some blatant errors in the free agent market. As a a result they’ve been handcuffed by the salary cap the last 2 seasons and find themselves once again in a rebuilding mode. High priced veterans Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek are in the last year of their contracts. In all likelihood they will be both moved at the trade deadline or sooner to a serious contender.

Go Wings Go! 

Detroit has absolutely dominated the Sabres in recent years. Since the start of the 1996-1997 year the Red Wings have gone 18-3-1 versus the Sabres including 10-1 at home. Detroit has won 8 of those 11 home games by 2-goals or more. Detroit has seen their last 7 games and 14 of the last 17 as a home favorite go under when the total is 5.5.

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Final Analysis 

The Sabres have one legitimate scoring line with Vanek, Hodgson, and Stafford. This is a club that will rely heavily on solid defensive play and strong goaltending. The Red Wings showed in the final stretch of the regular season and playoffs they can defend with the best of them. The two goalies in this one are Ryan Miller and Jimmy Howard. Both are amongst the best in the NHL. I'm backing a low scoring affair with my NHL picks in this one. 

Free Pick: Buffalo/Detroit Under 5.5

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