Buffalo Sabres at Colorado Avalanche Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

A game that features two teams currently on losing streaks, the Buffalo Sabres and the Colorado Avalanche collide at the Pepsi Center for an East-West matchup. Altitude Sports & Entertainment will broadcast the game, which gets underway at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 5.

Buffalo Sabres vs. Colorado Avalanche Odds

With a -140 moneyline, Colorado enters the contest as the obvious favorite. The line for Buffalo sits at +120, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -120 for the under and +100 for the over. Earning 1.8 units for moneyline bettors, the Avalanche are 12-13 straight up (SU) overall thus far. That early-season winning percentage is a huge turnaround from what the team did during last years regular season (22-60). Through 25 regular season contests, 15 of its games have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and none have pushed. The teams 8-5 SU at home this season. Colorado’s converted on 19.2 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 20th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.6 percent of all penalties. As a team, Colorado has been whistled for penalties 4.6 times per game overall this season, 4.4 per game over its past five outings total, and 4.4 per game over its last five at home. The teams had to defend opposition power plays for 8.8 minutes per game over its last five matchups, overall. With a .905 save percentage and 28.5 saves per game, Semyon Varlamov (eight wins, seven losses, and one OT loss) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Avalanche this year. If they decide to rest him, however, head coach Jared Bednar may turn to Jonathan Bernier (4-7-7 record, .891 save percentage, 3.24 goals against average). The Avs will continue to lean on the leadership out of Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. MacKinnon (29 points) is up to eight goals and 21 assists and has recorded two or more points nine times this year. Rantanen has eight goals and 13 assists to his name and has notched at least one point in 13 contests. Buffalo is 6-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 15.4 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. Through 27 regular season matches, 14 of its games have gone under the total, while 10 have gone over and just three have pushed. As a road team, Buffalo is 3-11 SU so far. Buffalo has converted on just 11.6 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s ranked 31st in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 13th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.5 percent of all penalties. Buffalo’s players have been penalized only 3.6 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties just 8.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Robin Lehner (.903 save percentage and 2.98 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Buffalo. Lehner is averaging 24.3 saves per game and has five wins, 15 losses, and two OT losses to his credit. Evander Kane (12 goals, 12 assists) will pace the offensive attack for the visiting Sabres.

Buffalo Sabres at Colorado Avalanche Betting Predictions

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

Betting Notes

  • The under has hit in four of Colorado’s last five games.
  • The Sabres are 2-7 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 6-15 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes.
  • Colorado skaters have created 8.8 takeaways per game over its last five home games, a slight drop from its season average of 8.1 takeaways per game (ranked 13th in the NHL).
  • Buffalo has averaged 2.1 goals per game overall this year, but has been averaging 0.3 goals per contest over its last four games (0-4 SU over that span).
  • Buffalo is ranked 31st in the league this season with 5.1 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as it has averaged 4.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 4.0 takeaways over its last five.