NHL Picks for Tonight's Sabres vs. Penguins

Ross Benjamin

Monday, January 27, 2014 4:39 PM GMT

The Penguins host the Sabres on Monday at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with the opening puck drop coming at 7:35 PM ET. Does this matchup offer us any value worth looking at with our NHL picks?

The game will be televised by the NBC Sports Network. According to NHL betting odds Pittsburgh is a -270 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. The Penguins have won 10 of the last 14 meetings between these teams. These teams have seen 6 of the last 8 meetings in Pittsburgh stay under the total.

Read our NHL Picks of the Day for more free plays.

Hitting a Flat Spot

The Penguins come off an uninspiring 3-0 loss at Dallas on Saturday. The Penguins were held to just 24 shots on goal which is 6 below their season average, and for lack of a better adjective were just plain flat. It marked the first time in the last 5-games, and the 2nd time in the last 10 that Pittsburgh has stayed under the total. This will be the Penguins 4th game in the last 6-days. They’ve gone a very profitable 29-11 in their last 40-games versus the money line when playing their 4th game in the last 6-days.

Very Special Teams

One of the many bright spots for the Penguins this season has been their special teams play. The Penguins are best in the NHL on the power play converting on a terrific 24.4% of their opportunities. The Penguins penalty killing has been equally as good killing off 87.3% of their opponent’s power play chances, which is also best in the league. 

The Ted Nolan Influence

Since Teddy Nolan has taken over as the interim head coach in November the Sabres have shown noticeable improvement. Their effort level on a nightly basis has been more consistent in comparison to the tenure of former head coach Ron Rolston, who was fired after a horrific start to the year. The Sabres ended a 4-game winless streak with a 5-2 win at Columbus on Saturday. It was just the 5th win in the first 22 road games of the season for the Sabres.

Miller Time

Despite the Sabres struggles all season Ryan Miller has continued to play at a world class level. Miller has posted an outstanding .926 save percentage in 35-starts this season. Buffalo is 13-22 versus the money line when Miller is their starter and 1-14 when he’s not.

Finding some Offense

The win over Columbus was the 6th consecutive game that the Sabres have gone over the total. That’s news in itself considering they’re last in the NHL averaging 1.8 goals per game. The Sabres anemic offense has found a bit of a groove scoring 3-goals or more in each of their last 6-games. Prior to those 6 contests the Sabres had scored 3 goals or more in just 11 of their first 44-games of the season.

[gameodds]7/253691/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

NHL Betting System

For our NHL picks in this matchup we will look to a strong betting trend which states that any home team with a total of 5.5 or less that’s playing in the 2nd half of the season, they’re coming off a road loss, and have a money line winning percentage of between .600 to .700, versus an opponent with a losing record against the money line for the season, has seen 47 of those 68-games go under the total since the beginning of the 1996-1997 season.

Free Pick: Buffalo/Pittsburgh to go under the total of 5.5