Sabres -108 To Slash Blue Jackets In Single NHL Pick This Friday

Nikki Adams

Friday, April 8, 2016 4:00 PM GMT

Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL’s only game on Friday night. Find out what NHL odds are trading and where the value NHL picks are to be had.

Blue Jackets (32-40-8)
The season is fast winding down for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sat bottom of the pile in the Metropolitan division with a 32-40-8 mark with 72 points they are also second worst in the Eastern Conference after Toronto Maple Leafs (at the foot of the table with a 29-41-11 mark and 69 points). What has been a largely forgettable season for John Tortorella and his young Blue Jackets is merely two-games away from being put to bed with tonight’s clash against the Buffalo Sabres and, then, (potentially) to add insult to injury, a date with the defending Stanley Cup champions Chicago Blackhawks.

Columbus are coming off a 5-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre, a performance that could give Tortorella some hope for the next season. Then again, it was a win over fellow basement dwellers even if it was an away win, so what the takeaway really is remains debatable.

The win over the Maple Leafs after all only improves the Blue Jackets to a 4-6-0 mark in their last ten games. On the road, they are 15-23-2 on the season. The Blue Jackets won their last two outings over the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs by the same score 5-1, but, prior to that, they were riding an abysmal seven-game losing streak on the road in which they were outscored 25 to 8. Yikes.

By the stats, the Blue Jackets are poor reading: they are 23rd in the league for goals per game (2.6), 29th overall for goals against (3.0), 23rd in the league on power play percentage (16.8) and 18th in the league on penalty killing percentage with (81.1).

 

Buffalo Sabres (34-35-11)
Inasmuch as the season is a write off for the Blue Jackets, so it is for the Buffalo Sabres. They are second worst in the Atlantic division with a 34-35-11 mark and 79 points, albeit 10 points clear of Toronto Maple Leafs, who are propping up the division.

Overall, the Sabres boast a 16-18-6 mark at home and an 18-17-5 mark on the road. By the stats, they are 25th overall in goals per game (2.4), but 15th in goals against (2.6). As well, they are 11th in the league with a 19.0 power play percentage and 8th in the league with a penalty killing percentage of 82.8.

On the bright side, the Sabres are riding a three-game winning streak down the stretch which has them improving to 6-2-2 in their last ten. This surge in form must be encouraging for Sabres fans as they look to the future and the coming season. They beat Toronto 4-1 (home) and NY Rangers 4-3 (away) and New Jersey Devils 3-1 (away).

Only two games remain – a date with Toronto tonight and a final, season-ending date with the NY Islanders on Saturday – and this surge in form bodes well for a strong finish. What’s more, they’ve won four in a row at home. Indeed, odds makers install the game ever so slightly in their camp with -110 to -115 NHL odds depending on your sportsbook of choice.

NHL Betting Verdict: In a game that features two sides that have nothing to play for, save for pride, it’s no surprise the NHL betting market is rather tight with the Sabres trading at -110 NHL odds while the Blue Jackets are trading anywhere from +105 to -105 on the NHL odds board. In more ways than one, it’s a bit of a tossup but, if we’re to tip our hat to one side, it would have to be the home side as they’ve shown better form down the stretch. So we’re putting up the Sabres on our NHL picks as the nominal -110 home favourites with Pinnacle.

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Free NHL Pick:  Sabres -108 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle