Taking Rare Shot on Sabres in Thursday Trip to Vancouver

Dana Lane

Thursday, January 25, 2018 2:45 PM UTC

Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 2:45 PM UTC

The Buffalo Sabres are the worst team in the Eastern Conference by far, but they are worth an underdog bet when they visit Vancouver on Thursday night to close the first half of the NHL season. 

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"https://www.youtube.com/embed/8gsHLPrQltE", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]Buffalo Sabres at Vancouver CanucksFree NHL Pick: Sabres +135Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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All good things must come to an end, so when the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames failed to get close to covering our OVER bet on Wednesday, I made sure I went right to work to find a new win streak. I do want to make a point that I haven’t in a long time and it’s the most important lesson to keep in mind: Always manage your bankroll properly. I know it’s easy to say because when your bankroll is only $500, there isn’t much fun in making $5 wagers. Honestly, if you’re truly committed to being a professional handicapper, don’t even think of starting without a big bankroll, unless you’re cool with playing small, as in, 1% of your bankroll small. Never make a wager that you must sweat. Be in control of your bankroll. Sportsbooks win because they can financially outlast the player, so bet small enough where you can outlast them a little more. Greed often takes the place of planning and discipline.

Tonight, we’re taking a chance with the Buffalo Sabres at another plus money price on the road. I don’t normally look to the Sabres as a play, but perhaps we’re catching lightning in a bottle off their most impressive win of the season, 5-0, at Edmonton.

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Now this is some pretty passing. 😍 pic.twitter.com/9EiXIcu7hx

— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 24, 2018

The Buffalo power play finally found its form again from a group that was the best in the league last season with the man advantage. Not much changed in terms of personnel, but their production did as they rank just 26ththis season. However, if you look at what they’ve done over the last two weeks, you’ll find that no one has been a bigger threat with the man advantage. Since being crushed by Winnipeg, 7-4, the Sabres have won three of five and own the top power play over that small sample of time. I don’t care how small it is, a 40% success rate will force me to take notice. They scored three power-play goals against the Oilers, which allowed the post-game comments to take on a tone of a team that is starting to like each other. They now have at least one power-play goal in five of their last seven games.

This version of the Sabres is more aggressive, as they forecheck well, allowing them to play with confidence. They forced Edmonton into playing with offensive anxiety for most the night. They now have the blueprint for success, and now the question is: Can they parlay that into a mini-win streak?

From a trend perspective this may be the exact team you want to be playing if I’m Phil Housley. Vancouver has always had trouble against the East with a 17-35 record. The Canucks are also just 8-27 in their last 35 games at home. The Sabres have won their last four games against the Pacific Division. The plus money price is worth a shot here.

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