Place NHL Pick 'Over' for Flyers vs. Sabres as Emery's Pathetic GAA Allows Buffalo to Surpass Total

David Lawrence

Sunday, February 15, 2015 1:15 PM GMT

Time is ticking on the Philadelphia Flyers season if they’re trying to make the playoffs. They’re a road favorite on the NHL betting lines in Buffalo & are seven points out of a spot right now.

The Philadelphia Flyers Can Win Because…
The Sabres are the worst team in the NHL. Sure, the Flyers have had their issues but they still have 21 more points than the Sabres at this point. And while the Flyers have lost three of four, they are still confident these days because each of those losses was in overtime. They are actually 5-0-3 in their last eight games, which means they’ve been profitable to bettors in that span.

The Sabres don’t have a quality option in net as they just traded away Jhonas Enroth and shipped away one of their best defensemen in Tyler Myers. Now they’ll have to find a way to adjust. Backup Michal Neuvirth will likely get the call and he’s posted a 3.37 GAA in 19 games this season. The Flyers have averaged 3.75 goals per game over their last eight and they shouldn’t have too hard of a time approaching that number on Sunday's NHL odds.

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The Buffalo Sabres Can Win Because…
The Flyers have fallen on hard times. They’re playing without goaltender Steve Mason right now and while Mason isn’t known as an elite goaltender, he’s a difference-maker for the Flyers. On the season, he has a 2.27 GAA and a .925 save percentage, which means that the Flyers have a reasonable shot to win when he’s in net. However, right now they’re relying on backups with Ray Emery being the first choice. Emery gave up four goals in a loss to Columbus on Friday and has a 3.29 GAA this season. Worse yet, he has a 3.61 GAA on the road, which is pathetic.

While the Sabres are clearly a bad team, they appear to have an opening in this spot. They are 2-3 in their last five, which is respectable considering they had only won twice in their previous 20 games. And while they are just 5-20-1 on the road this season, they are much more competent at home with an 11-16-2 record. The Flyers have just eight wins in 29 road games this season, so consider the Sabres for your NHL picks.

Here's another NHL pick for Sunday's slate: Penguins vs. Blackhawks.

Outlook
It’s tough to trust the Flyers in this spot given this is their last game on a four-game road trip. Also, their goaltending situation has been such a mess. Emery should be in net but he’s just 12-7 versus the Sabres in his career with a 3.03 GAA, which is pretty lofty. The Flyers 2.82 goals allowed per game are seventh-most in the NHL. While Buffalo has had trouble scoring goals recently, this could be one spot where they manage to score a few. And with the Sabres, they give up more goals per game (3.45) than any other team in the league, so don’t be surprised if this game is a high-scoring affair.

NHL Pick: Over at Bovada