NHL Hockey Betting: Arizona Coyotes at Buffalo Sabres
Short card of NHL hockey on deck for Monday with the Panthers/Canucks game currently off the board. That leaves us with one betting opportunity but it looks like a good one as the improving Arizona Coyotes travel to upstate New York to take on the even more improving Buffalo Sabres.
The Coyotes are holding their own in the brutally competitive Western Conference. If the season ended today they’ve have the 8th and final playoff spot with a 6-3-1 record and 13 points. After losing their first two games of the year they’ve won 6 of 8 since and have become something of a wise guy ‘darling’. Their record does deserve a bit of scrutiny as they’ve won their matchups against good teams at home beating Vegas and Nashville along with Ottawa. They’ll continue to be a nice play at home since the scheduling of road trips often take teams to Arizona followed by a trip to Las Vegas to face the Golden Knights. The combination of free time in Vegas plus the lookahead possibility of a game against a marquee team makes for an almost permanent ‘lookahead situation’. Coyotes also won three games on the road though they came against three overvalued and underachieving teams at New Jersey, Winnipeg and the perpetually overrated New York Rangers.
For some reason, the Buffalo Sabres aren’t getting any respect. They remain undervalued and that has allowed them to become the most profitable betting team in the sport earning +7.4 units for their financial backers. Buffalo is tied with the Washington Capitals for the best record in the NHL at 9-2-1 and have proven to be strong in every phase of the game. They’re scoring goals putting up 3.42 per game ranking #7 in the NHL. They’re also defending well behind former Nashville backup goalie Carter Hutton and backup Linus Ullmark. They’ve allowed only 2.50 goals per game which puts them in a tie with Pittsburgh for #7 i the league. Their 0.92 differential between goals scored and goals allowed is the fourth best in the NHL behind Colorado, Boston and Nashville. They’ve also got the #4 power play in the NHL hitting on 28.9% of man advantage opportunities though the penalty kill has been middle of the road at #16 (81.1%).
Not really sure why the ‘public’ has yet to catch on to the massive culture change in Buffalo. The team is doing everything well and Jack Eichel continues to improve both on the ice and as a team leader. No disrespect to Arizona who has finally started to head in the right direction but they’re not as far along in their development as the Sabres. Arizona has struggled in non-conference games in the past few years (they’re 3-2 this year) going 27-42 -10.2 units. To be fair, Sabres have burnt a ton of money for bettors over the past few years but it’s tough to find fault with anything they’ve done this year. Sabres have won 3 of 4 head to head and won both games against the Coyotes last year by a combined margin of 6-1. Sabres are much better than that this year. Buffalo also not getting respect for their goal scoring touch either. They’ve gone ‘Over’ in 4 of their last 6 while Arizona is ‘Over’ in 4 of 5.
BET BUFFALO SABRES -118 OVER ARIZONA COYOTES
BET BUFFALO SABRES/ARIZONA COYOTES OVER 5.5 -103
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