Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres Betting Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

A game between two teams currently on losing streaks, the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres meet at the KeyBank Center in a divisional showdown. The match will get going at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 19, and fans at home will be able to view the game live on NBC Sports Network.

Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres Odds

Buffalo (+140) is entering this one as the underdog to Boston (-160), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -120 for the under and +100 for the over.

Boston is 15-15 straight up (SU) and has lost 4.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. 16 of its contests have gone under the total, while 14 have gone over and none have pushed. The Bruins are 6-7 SU on the road in 2017-18.

Boston has converted on 19.8 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, it has the seventh-strongest penalty kill in the league, and it has successfully killed off 83.3 percent of all penalties.

The Bruins, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties 4.2 times per game this season, 4.2 per game over its past five games total, and 4.4 per game over its last five on the road. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays a whopping 15.0 minutes per game over their last five outings.

With a .913 save percentage and 24.6 saves per game, Tuukka Rask (8-12-3) has been the top option in goal for Boston this season. If head coach Bruce Cassidy decides to rest him, however, the team could turn to Anton Khudobin (7-5-2), who has a .915 save percentage and 2.67 goals against average this year.

The visiting Bruins will be led by David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. Pastrnak (30 points) has tallied 15 goals and 15 assists, and has recorded multiple points in eight different games. Marchand has 13 goals and 14 assists to his name (and has registered a point in 18 games).

On the other side of the rink, Buffalo is 8-25 straight up (SU) and has lost 17.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 33 regular season matches, 18 of its games have gone under the total, while 12 have gone over and just three have pushed. It’s 4-11 SU at home this season.

The Sabres have converted on just 12.9 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that places them in the bottom overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 12th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.2 percent of all opponent power plays.

Sabres players have been penalized only 3.6 times per game in total this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five home outings. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 8.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Robin Lehner has denied 26.4 shots per game as the top choice in goal for the Sabres. Lehner has seven wins, 18 losses, and four OT losses to his credit and has recorded a pedestrian 2.84 goals against average and a .911 save percentage this year.

The Sabres offense will be led by Evander Kane (14 goals, 17 assists).

Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres Betting Predictions

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

Betting Trends

  • The under has hit in four of Buffalo’s last five games.
  • Over Buffalo’s last ten outings, five of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 1-4 in those games).
  • This game features two of the more physical defenses in the league. Boston skaters have accounted for the leagues fourth-most hits per game (24.3) and the Sabres have handed the eighth-most (23.4).