Total the Best Bet for Monday's Ducks/Sabres NHL Picks

Ross Benjamin

Monday, October 13, 2014 1:35 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 1:35 PM UTC

It’s Columbus Day in the United States, and that means some afternoon NHL action. Ross Benjamin provides us with a NHL betting preview article for today’s game between Anaheim/Buffalo and it concludes with a free pick on the total.

Monday NHL Matinee Show
The Sabres will host the Ducks this afternoon at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo with a scheduled start time of 3:05 PM ET. This is a rare weekday afternoon game in accordance with the Columbus Day holiday in the United States. The NHL betting odds in this game show the Ducks as a -180 money line favorite, and the posted total is set at 5.5. The Ducks are also -1.5 (+155) and the Sabres +1.5 (-180) on the puck-line. These teams met twice last season with the Ducks winning both games 6-3 at home, 6-2 at Buffalo, and each contest easily went over the total.


The Mighty Ducks
This will be the 3rd of a 4-game in 6-day road trip to begin the season for Anaheim. Thus far they’ve gone 1-1, losing in the season opener 6-4 at Pittsburgh on Thursday, and rebounding with a 3-2 win at Detroit on Saturday. The Ducks will conclude the road trip tomorrow night in Philadelphia, and then return to Anaheim for their home opener on Friday, and will entertain the Minnesota Wild.


Coming off a Banner Year
Anaheim had a terrific 2013-2014 regular season campaign that saw them finish with the most points (116) in the Western Conference, and finished a mere 1-point behind the Boston Bruins for the most points in the entire NHL. The Ducks advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals before being eliminated in 7-games by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.  


The Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel Sweepstakes
The 2015 NHL entry draft will have the strongest talent pool available in quite some time according to most experts. The heads of the class will be Canadian Connor McDavid and American Jack Eichel. Both of these players are projected to be immediate impact players and potential all-stars for many years to come. The Sabres have three first round draft choices in 2015, and in all likelihood will be one of the worst teams in the NHL once again. The possibility of Buffalo getting one of these two players in next year’s draft at this point looks very favorable. The task at hand for Teddy Nolan, and his coaching staff, will be how to keep this subject from being a distraction this current Sabres team.


New Attitude but Same Results
The Sabres head coach Teddy Nolan, and a few of his veteran players insisted before the season began, that the culture in Buffalo would change this season, and their fans would see progress. That certainly didn’t seem like a ludicrous prediction considering they finished dead last in the NHL a season ago with a pathetic 52-points, and the 2nd worst team was the Edmonton Oilers a distant 15-points ahead of the Sabres. The start to this season doesn’t lead anyone to believe anything has changed, although there’s a ton of hockey left to play. Buffalo lost 3-1 to Columbus in their home opener on Thursday, and were overwhelmed 6-2 at Chicago on Saturday. They were outshot in those games by a combined 87-45.


Final Analysis
The only saving grace for the Sabres this afternoon is this will be the Ducks 3rd road game in the last 4-days, and they could catch their superior opponent in a potential flat spot. I do think Buffalo will provide a strong effort today, but I’m not sure that they will be anywhere near enough to come away with a win. My lean here for my NHL pick is toward a high scoring game.

Free NHL Pick: Ducks/Sabres to go over the total of 5.5 at 5Dimes

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