Winnipeg Jets vs. Buffalo Sabres Game Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The KeyBank Center will play host to an East-West tilt as the Buffalo Sabres take on the visiting Winnipeg Jets. It’s the final time that the two clubs will go at it in the regular season. This one will get going at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 9 and it will be televised live on MSG Western New York.

Winnipeg Jets at Buffalo Sabres Odds

Winnipeg enters the game as the obvious favorite with a moneyline of -165. The line for Buffalo sits at +145 and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -115 money on the over and -105 for the under.

Winnipeg is 25-18 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 6.3 units this season. Through 43 regular season outings, 22 of its games have gone over the total, while 19 have gone under and just two have pushed. This 2017-18 Jets team is 9-14 SU on the road.

Winnipeg currently touts the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 25.2 percent of its extra-man opportunities this season. Its penalty kill is ranked 15th overall, and it has successfully killed off 81.5 percent of its penalties.

Winnipeg, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.0 times per game this season, and 2.8 per game over its last five road outings. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays just 6.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Sporting a .923 save percentage and 27.5 saves per game, Connor Hellebuyck (23-12-6) has been the primary option in goal for Winnipeg this season. If head coach Paul Maurice chooses to rest him, however, the team may turn to Steve Mason (2-8-1), who has a .899 save percentage and 3.47 goals against average this year.

Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele will both lead the offensive attack for the visiting Jets. Wheeler (50 points) has tallied 14 goals and 36 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 14 different games. Scheifele has 15 goals and 23 assists to his name, and has notched at least one point in 21 games.

On the other bench, Buffalo is 10-32 straight up (SU) and has lost 21.6 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 42 regular season contests, 22 of its games have gone under the total, while 17 have gone over and just three have pushed. This season, the team is 5-13 SU at home.

Buffalo has converted on just 12.4 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that places it in the bottom overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 24th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.8 percent of all opponent power plays.

Buffalo players have been sent to the penalty box only 3.6 times per game in total this season, 3.4 per game over their last five outings total, and 3.4 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 7.4 minutes per game over their last five home outings.

Robin Lehner (27.0 saves per game) has been the primary choice in goal for Buffalo. Lehner has nine wins, 23 losses, and six overtime losses and has maintained a .911 save percentage and 2.87 goals against average this year.

The Sabres offense will be led by Jack Eichel (15 goals, 21 assists).

Winnipeg Jets at Buffalo Sabres Free Picks

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

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone over in three of Buffalo’s last five games.
  • Buffalo has given up 4.3 goals per game (while managing just 2.0 per contest) over its four-game losing skid.
  • Over Winnipeg’s last ten games, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 5-1 in those games).
  • The Sabres this season have handed the sixth-most hits per game (23.6).