Offensive Flame-Out: Lean to Another 'Under' in Sabres Game

Dana Lane

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 1:58 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2018 1:58 PM UTC

Buffalo's "under" is on a 11-5-1 streak following a win. With their offense so bad, there's no reason to think that trend will change tonight against Calgary.

Wednesday NHL: Flames vs. SabresFree NHL Pick: Under 5.5 +105Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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The Calgary Flames (32-25-10, 74 points, -11 goal differential) continue their three-game road trip tonight with a stop in Buffalo to face the Sabres (21-34-11, 53, -55) at 7:30 ET.

Calgary opened as a -135 favorite with a total of 5.5/Over -125 on the NHL odds board. The public jumped on the Sabres plus home money, driving the number down to its current -135 at 5Dimes. The "under" is getting the majority of the money, with BetOnline showing the shade to the "over" being just -113. That means we should go out and get this play early before it gets driven down any more.

The last time these two teams met was in late January, when the Sabres won 2-1 in overtime at Calgary. Chad Johnson made 32 saves for the Sabres, while the Flames continued to get nothing in terms of offensive contributions from their blue-liners. Johnson (7-10-3, .898, 3.17) will start tonight; David Rittich (6-5-3, .900, 3.11) is Calgary's probable starter in net.

Moneyline Flames bettors have lost 796 units, while Calgary puckline backers have lost 942 units. The "under" is 33-32-2 overall and 17-17 on the road.

Buffalo on the moneyline has lost 1420 units of profit, while the puckline has lost another 744 units. The "under" is 34-29-3 and 17-14-1 at home.

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.@visiontraveller #TravelTuesday Factoid: Johnny Gaudreau leads all #Flames skaters with 42 road points this season! He has 11 goals and 31 assists in 34 games in opponents' barns 🔥

— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 7, 2018

Top 10 Power Rankings: Calgary NR; Buffalo NR

Key Statistics: Calgary 2.78 GPG (21st); Buffalo 2.41 GPG (31st)

All-Time Series: Calgary leads 52-38-16 overall; Buffalo leads 24-19-11 at home

Series This Decade: 6-6 overall; Buffalo leads 5-1 at home

To say neither team is playing well is an understatement. The Flames have dropped four straight games and nine of their past 13. They are three points behind Colorado for the final playoff spot, but a lack of inspired play makes it unlikely they’ll find a way into the postseason.

In the first Sabres-Flames matchup, Calgary goaltender Mike Smith was sensational while making 31 saves in the loss. Smith won’t be in this one as he’s battling a lower-body injury. Smith is back on the ice but there is no target date for his return.

Calgary has been poor defensively, especially when it comes to clearing space in front of Rittich or Jon Gillies. Against the Sabres, neither might have to worry about being too active. Buffalo generates only 30.5 shots per game, so if Rittich does start it'll be a chance to start finding a groove.

The Sabres have been horrible all season, and without Jack Eichel it makes it difficult to think the 31st-ranked offensive team can improve in that category despite the recent illusion that they’re better without Eichel in the lineup.

With our NHL picks, let’s cash another winner with the "under" in this one.

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