Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Buffalo Sabres Free Pick

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The KeyBank Center will be the site for an Eastern Conference showdown as the Columbus Blue Jackets travel to Buffalo to meet the Sabres. Fox Sports Ohio will broadcast the matchup, which gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Monday, November 20.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Buffalo Sabres Odds

Buffalo (+140) is playing the role of underdog to Columbus (-160), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-140 for the under, +120 for the over). Columbus is 12-8 straight up (SU) and has earned 2.1 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 20 regular season contests, 11 of its games have gone under the total, while nine have gone over and none have pushed. This 2017-18 Blue Jackets team is 6-4 SU on the road. Columbus has converted on just 10.3 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. Its penalty kill is ranked 11th overall, and it has successfully killed off 82.4 percent of all penalties. For the team as a whole, the Jackets have been whistled for penalties just 3.0 times per game overall during the 2017-18 season, and 2.0 per game over its past five games. The team has had to defend opponent power plays just 6.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Sporting a .933 save percentage and 28.8 saves per game, Sergei Bobrovsky (11-5-1) has been the top option in goal for Columbus this year. If head coach John Tortorella chooses to rest him, however, Columbus may go with Joonas Korpisalo (1-3), who has a .896 save percentage and 3.27 goals against average this year. The visiting Blue Jackets have relied on Artemi Panarin and Zach Werenski this season. Panarin (14 points) is up to four goals and 10 assists, and has recorded multiple points two times. Werenski has six goals and six assists to his name, and has registered at least one point in nine games. On the other side of the ice, Buffalo is 5-15 straight up (SU) and has already lost 10.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. Nine of its matches have gone over the total, while another nine have gone under and just two have pushed. Thus far, the teams 2-6 SU as the home team. The Sabres have converted on just 15.6 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the bottom 10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked ninth overall, and its successfully killed off 83.9 percent of all opponent power plays. Buffalo players have been whistled for penalties only 3.6 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five contests. The teams been forced to kill penalties just 7.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Robin Lehner (24.6 saves per game) has been the top netminder in goal for the Sabres. Lehner has four wins, 10 losses, and two OT losses and has recorded a pedestrian 3.09 goals against average and a poor .903 save percentage this season. Evander Kane (11 goals, eight assists) will pace the attack for the Sabres.

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Buffalo Sabres Betting Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Sabres, O/U – Over

Betting Notes:

  • Six of Buffalos last ten outings have been decided by two or more goals. The club is 1-5 overall in those games.
  • Columbus has allowed 2.5 goals per game overall this year, but is allowing just 0.7 per contest in their past three games (the teams a perfect 3-0 SU during that span)
  • The extra-man advantage could be key in the outcome of this game. The Blue Jackets are 6-4 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 9-6 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Sabres are 2-5 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 5-10 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Columbus could have an advantage if this one comes down to the wire. The teams 6-1 in one-goal games, while Buffalo is 3-6 in such games.
  • The total has gone under in four of Buffalos last five games.
  • Buffalo has managed just 1.6 goals per game, while giving up 3.4, over its five-game losing streak.
  • Buffalo skaters have averaged 7.4 giveaways over its last five home games, right in line with its season average of 7.7 giveaways per game (ranked 5th in the league).
  • Columbus is ranked fourth this season with just 6.3 giveaways per game. That figures trended upward recently, as its averaged 7.7 giveaways over its last 10 games and 9.0 giveaways over its last five.
  • The Sabres this season have registered the ninth-most hits in the NHL (22.7 per game).