Two teams meeting for the first time this year, the Buffalo Sabres and the Philadelphia Flyers face off at the Wells Fargo Center for an Eastern Conference tilt. NBC Sports Philadelphia will broadcast the game, and the puck drops at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 14.
Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers Odds
Philadelphia enters the matchup as the heavy favorite with a moneyline of -175. The line for Buffalo sits at +155, and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The odds for betting that total sit at -125 for the under and +105 for the over.
Losing 8.6 units for moneyline bettors, Philadelphia is 12-18 straight up (SU) overall this year. That early-season winning percentage is a slide from what the team managed during last years regular season (39-43). Through 30 regular season outings, 16 of its games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and just one has pushed. The teams 5-10 SU at home this season.
The Flyers have converted on 19.0 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 27th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 76.7 percent of all penalties.
As a collective unit, the Flyers have been called for penalties 3.9 times per game overall this season, and 2.0 per game over their last five outings. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays for just 6.9 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, in total.
Averaging 28.0 saves per game with a .912 save percentage, Brian Elliott (10-13-6) has been the best goalkeeper for the Flyers this season. If Philadelphia decides to give him the night off, however, the team might turn to Michal Neuvirth (2-6-6 record, .915 save percentage, 2.66 goals against average).
The Flyers will continue to lean on the offensive production via Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux. Voracek (37 points) is up to seven goals and 30 assists and has recorded two or more points 13 times this year. Giroux has 13 goals and 21 assists to his credit and has notched at least one point in 20 contests.
On the other side of the rink, Buffalo is 8-23 straight up (SU) and has lost 15.3 units for bettors taking the moneyline thus far. Through 31 regular season contests, 17 of its games have gone under the total, while 11 have gone over and just three have pushed. As the visiting team, the Sabres are 4-13 SU so far.
The Sabres have converted on just 13.3 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 15th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.4 percent of all penalties.
Buffalo’s players have been penalized 3.7 times per game in total this season, and 5.2 per game over their last five on the road. The teams been forced to kill penalties 12.6 minutes per game over their last five road outings.
Robin Lehner (26.4 saves per game) has been the main option in goal for Buffalo. Lehner has seven wins, 17 losses, and four OT losses to his credit, and has registered a .911 save percentage and 2.87 goals against average this year.
Evander Kane (14 goals, 14 assists) will lead the offensive attack for the visiting Sabres.
Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Flyers, O/U – Over
- Over Buffalo’s last ten games, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 2-4 in those games).
- The Sabres are 2-7 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 7-16 when they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total.
- The total has gone over in three of Philadelphia’s last five games.
- Philadelphia has averaged 2.9 goals per game overall this season, but has upped it to 4.3 per contest in its past four games (the teams a perfect 1-0 SU during that span).
- Philadelphia has averaged 12.2 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 10.1 giveaways per game (ranked 17th).
- Buffalo is ranked sixth this season with 7.3 giveaways per game. That figure has trended down, however, as it’s averaged 6.2 giveaways over its last 10 games and 4.4 giveaways over its last five.
- Buffalo skaters have given out the leagues 10th-most hits per game (23.3).