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Buffalo Sabres vs. Arizona Coyotes Odds & Pick: Total Has Value in Matchup of Bottom Feeders

Buffalo Sabres vs. Arizona Coyotes Odds & Pick: Total Has Value in Matchup of Bottom Feeders article feature image
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Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Karel Vejmelka

Sabres vs. Coyotes Odds

Sabres Odds +105
Coyotes Odds -125
Over/Under 6 (+100/-120)
Time 9 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Tonight, the Arizona Coyotes defend their home ice on the second half of a back-to-back against the visiting Buffalo Sabres. These two teams squared off back in October, with the Sabres notching a 2-1 shootout victory at home.

Will we see another low-scoring game between these two teams, or will we see a pickup in offensive production?

Sabres Playing Low-Event Hockey

The Atlantic Division’s sixth place Sabres travel to Glendale following Tuesday’s 5-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators. There have been conversations all week about the starting goaltender and that is why this line was not released until this morning.

Fortunately for the Sabres, it appears they will not have to go through the emergency backup route as veteran goaltender Craig Anderson is expected to make his return tonight. Anderson was pretty solid before his injury early in the season, posting a .921 SV%.

Anderson allowed more than three goals just once in six starts, with that coming against the defending back-to-back champions Tampa Bay Lightning. The Coyotes’ offense, obviously, will not have the same firepower Tampa Bay had in that game.

In front of Anderson is one of the league’s worst offenses. Buffalo ranks 31st in 5-on-5 expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF) and has the lowest average expected goal value of 5-on-5 shot attempts in the entire league.

While the offense has been horrible, the Sabres’ blue line has actually done a good job suppressing high-danger shots. Buffalo has the fourth-lowest average expected goal value of opposing 5-on-5 shot attempts in the league.

The Sabres have been playing low-event hockey, as 13 of their last 18 games have seen six or fewer goals.


Coyotes Back to Losing Ways

Arizona enters the second half of their home back-to-back following last night’s 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. The Coyotes have been back to their losing ways this week following a short burst of wins, losers of four straight games.

Just like in Buffalo, the Coyotes have been playing low-event hockey. The total goals scored have been six or fewer in six of their last 10 games.

Also similar to Buffalo, the Coyotes’ offense is one of the league’s worst. Arizona has the fourth-lowest average expected goal value of 5-on-5 shot attempts and ranks dead-last in 5-on-5 expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF).

Their defense has been much better than their offense, as they boast the 10th lowest average expected goal value of opposing 5-on-5 shot attempts. Projected starting goaltender Karel Vejmelka has struggled in his last two starts but has been more than solid all season and I expect to see a bounce-back game from him tonight against the Sabres’ poor offense.

Sabres vs. Coyotes Pick

This matchup has been low-scoring over the past couple of seasons, as five of the last six meetings between these two teams have seen six or fewer goals scored.

A popular saying in boxing and UFC is that “styles make fights,” and I think both of these teams’ styles will lead to yet another low-scoring contest.

I expect to see tonight’s matchup play out similar to their game back in October and I think the Coyotes will bounce back and win a gritty low-scoring game.

Pick: Sabres/Coyotes under 6 (-120). Would play at 5.5 if under is +110 or better.

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