Buffalo Sabres vs. Winnipeg Jets Free Preview

In their first head-to-head matchup of the regular season, the Buffalo Sabres and the Winnipeg Jets face off at Bell MTS Place in an East-West showdown. MSG Western New York will broadcast the matchup, which gets underway at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, January 5.

Buffalo Sabres at Winnipeg Jets Odds

Winnipeg is 23-18 straight up (SU) and has netted 4.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. That win percentage, the third-best in the Central Division so far in this young season, is a welcome improvement compared to what the team did during the 2016-17 season (40-42). Of its 41 games this season, 21 have gone over the total, while 18 have gone under and just two have pushed. This season, the team is 14-4 SU at home.

The Jets have converted on 24.3 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s good enough for fourth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated 17th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 81.0 percent of all penalties.

The Jets, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five outings home outings. The teams had to defend opponent power plays for just 6.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, in total.

Averaging 27.4 saves per game with a .922 save percentage, Connor Hellebuyck (21-12-6) has been the primary option in goal for the Jets this season. If head coach Paul Maurice chooses to rest him, however, Winnipeg could turn to Steve Mason (2-8-8 record, .899 save percentage, 3.47 goals against average).

The Jets will continue to lean on the leadership from Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. Wheeler (47 points) is up to 13 goals and 34 assists and has recorded multiple points 12 times this year. Scheifele has 15 goals and 23 assists to his name and has notched a point in 21 contests.

Buffalo is 10-30 straight up (SU) and has lost 18.6 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. A total of 21 of its outings have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just three have pushed. The Sabres are 5-17 SU as a road team this season.

The Sabres have converted on just 12.4 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s ranked 31st in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 17th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.1 percent of all opponent power plays.

Buffalo’s players have been penalized only 3.6 times per game this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five on the road. The teams had to defend opponent power plays just 8.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Robin Lehner (27.0 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Buffalo. Lehner owns a 9-22-6 record, and has registered a .911 save percentage and 2.90 goals against average this year.

Evander Kane (16 goals, 19 assists) and Jack Eichel (15 goals, 20 assists) have been standout playmakers for Buffalo and will lead the offensive attack for the visiting Sabres.

Buffalo Sabres at Winnipeg Jets Betting Predictions

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

Betting Notes

  • Over Buffalo’s last ten games, four of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 1-3 in those games).
  • Penalties and power plays could play a critical role tonight. The Sabres are 3-9 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 8-22 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Jets are 12-6 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 14-10 in games where their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • The over has hit in three of Buffalo’s last five games.
  • Winnipeg has averaged 11.0 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 9.8 giveaways per game (ranked 17th).
  • Buffalo skaters have averaged 5.6 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 7.0 giveaways per game (ranked fifth in the NHL).
  • Buffalo skaters have accounted for the seventh-most hits in the league (23.7 per game).