Sabres To Continue Their Push In The East Over The Hurricanes

Buffalo Sabres

Saturday, December 17, 2016 7:02 PM GMT

The Sabres are starting to make noise in the East as both teams are playing back to back games. Expert capper Dana Lane takes a look into the odds and provides his free pick.

2016-2017 NHL Pick Record:  34-26   .567   +16.48 units

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Buffalo Sabres vs Carolina Hurricanes

These two teams will get very familiar with each other as they'll meet three times in the next 30 days, starting tonight at the PNC Center. Both are coming into the game after being forced to overtime Friday. The Sabres received an OT winner from Rasmus Ristolainen to beat the New York Islanders while the Hurricanes dropped a 4-3 decision to the Washington Capitals in a shootout.

Since Jack Eichel has returned the Sabres are a completely different team. Buffalo is 6-3-2 in their last 11 games and took all three games from New York last season.

You can't look at the Sabres record and think you know the identity of this team. Buffalo hasn't been healthy all season but are as close as they've been which has produced better results. From a betting perspective looking at a team's form over their last three games is a more effective way to identify how a team is playing rather than thinking a long body of work is the better barometer. It's a long season, chemistry changes, and in order to be a successful bettor, you must be able to identify these changes. 

Last night Carolina couldn't hold a late lead which is a quality that I look for to financially support any team playing back to back games. I look for a club that has shown it can be a reliable investment, between the two that certainly is Buffalo. It seemed that as soon as the Capitals turned up the intensity that's when Carolina started to fold. The 'Canes stopped an aggressive forecheck when they got the lead, looking like a team that was desperate to hold on instead of just playing their game.

Also, Carolina Head Coach, Bill Peters, said that there were some minor injuries after the game so that may affect how aggressive the Hurricanes can be with a Sabres team that is in perfect position to get back in the Eastern Conference race. I didn't see or read about any impactful injuries but even small nagging injuries can make an impact. Peters didn't reveal who may have been nicked up but it's still a nugget of information to consider when placing our wager. 

Cam Ward will be making a back to back start for the Hurricanes in the crease which isn't that big of a deal but this will mark his 19th start in 21 games. You have to wonder when this will begin to take its toll. 

As always, remember to shop for the best lines at all of SBR's approved sportsbooks.

Free NHL Pick:  Buffalo Sabres +134Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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