NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Canadiens vs. Sabres (March 27)
Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Tage Thompson of the Buffalo Sabres, whose absence against the Canadiens makes different player props our best bet for Monday’s game.
Canadiens vs. Sabres Odds
|Over/Under||7 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Buffalo will look to keep its faint playoff hopes alive as it hosts the Canadiens Monday at home. A win in regulation would raise the Sabres‘ playoff chances to 8.8% (via MoneyPuck).
With news breaking that leading scorer Tage Thompson is out, the Sabres are now priced at just -175 to win this critical showdown.
Find out how to back the Sabres below in our NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Canadiens vs. Sabres (March 27).
Canadiens on the Mend — But Is It Enough?
Montreal has 3.67 goals against per game this season, which is the fifth worst mark in the league. That’s especially concerning as the Canadiens’ goaltending has actually been quite solid.
In 13 contests throughout March, the Canadiens have played to a 3.67 xGA/60 and allowed 4.23 goals against per game.
A plethora of injuries to key players has certainly been a very valid excuse, and Montreal will remain without a laundry list of players for this matchup.
With Joel Edmundson and Mike Matheson back in the picture, the Canadiens blue-line’ is arguably far stronger than it has been much of this season, but the problem is the depleted forward core can not help to carry much of the play.
A number of forwards skating regular minutes are a liability defensively and are simply skating in roles too far up the lineup.
Jake Allen is listed as probable in goal and has played to a -1.3 GSAx rating and .891 save % in 41 games.
It’s worth noting, however, that it is highly possible Sam Montembeault starts, and he has been considerably sharper recently. So keeping an eye out for official confirmation does hold some weight handicapping-wise.
Sabres To Roll On With Tage Out
Buffalo has been an offensive juggernaut all season long and enters this favorable matchup sitting with the league’s third best goal per game output at 3.57 per game.
Leading scorer Tage Thompson missed the morning skate and is likely to miss this contest due to injury, which leaves a massive hole on the Sabres top line and top powerplay in a great matchup.
That opens the door for Buffalo’s strong secondary scorers to do some damage, and in particular we could see a big night from its stellar second line of J.J. Peterka, Dylan Cozens, and Jack Quinn.
Buffalo’s second unit has played to a stellar 56.8% expected goals rating in a massive sample of 352.9 minutes together.
It has generated 3.60 xGoals for per 60 in those minutes, which is actually a notably higher rate than the Sabres’ standard top line of Thompson, Alex Tuch, and Jeff Skinner.
Eric Comrie is likely to start in goal for Buffalo, and has played to a -7.5 GSAx and .882 save % in 18 appearances.
Canadiens vs. Sabres Pick
Montreal has been scrappy enough that backing the Sabres at -190 is not overly enticing, although it would be more tempting if Devon Levi were to make his NHL debut in this matchup.
What is likely a safer bet is the Sabres generating a wealth of shots, and playing to or past its third best goal per game average even with Tage Thompson sidelined.
That makes me love Sabres props in this matchup, as I do believe Buffalo has other offensive pieces capable of stepping up and making a difference in this matchup.
Casey Mittelstadt is far from Thompson, but he will take over two tremendous roles on the team skating on the top line and top powerplay unit.
Mittelstadt is priced at +105 to record a point on BetRivers, and in those roles and an excellent matchup, I believe that price is too long.
Buffalo’s second even-strength line could potentially have a field day in this matchup as well, and you could talk to me into a look on anything to do with Dylan Cozens, J.J. Peterka, and Jack Quinn.
Cozens to score a goal at +250 is my favorite look for bet365 users, but if I were on another shop with a worse price for a goal, I would pivot to over 2.5 shots at -115.
Pick: Dylan Cozens Goal +250 or O2.5 SOG -115 | Casey Mittelstadt to Record a Point +105
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