NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Golden Knights vs. Sabres (March 10)

NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Golden Knights vs. Sabres (March 10) article feature image

Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Robin Lehner.

  • The Sabres host the Golden Knights as home underdogs in Buffalo.
  • The Golden Knights are coming off of a disappointing loss on Tuesday, but is there value on buying low on them in this spot?
  • Jacob McKenna breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Golden Knights vs. Sabres Odds

Golden Knights Odds-200
Sabres Odds+165
Time7 p.m. ET
TVESPN+ | Hulu
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights will continue their six-game road trip on Thursday with a trip to Buffalo against the Sabres.

Vegas started its road trip off with a 2-1 loss against the Flyers on Tuesday, but the Golden Knights have still played good hockey this season and currently sit in third in the Pacific Division with a 32-22-4 record. Meanwhile, Buffalo has not had nearly as much success, winning just 18 games this season and going 2-8 in their last 10 games.

Neither team has played great hockey as of late, and both have been dealing with quite a few injuries. Which team will come out on top despite a somewhat shorthanded roster?

Will the Golden Knights Offense Bounce Back?

As previously mentioned, the Golden Knights began their road trip with a loss against the Philadelphia Flyers. It was a game where the Golden Knights only managed to score one goal, but they put 48 shots on goal, which shows there were plenty of chances to change the outcome of that game.

That one-goal performance is not reflective of this scoring attack, which has actually been one of the best in the NHL this season.

Through 58 games, the Golden Knights have 2.73 Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF/60), which ranks sixth in the league this season. That number has seen a slight increase to 2.75 in their last 10 games, showing that this offense has maintained its position near the top.

Furthermore, Vegas has scored a total of 127 goals in 5-on-5 and has done so by generating 12.26 High Danger Chances per 60 minutes. This team can score from just about anywhere, which is great news as they are looking to bounce back from their most recent loss.

It's a good thing the offense has been on a roll, because the Vegas defense and goaltending have been a little shaky at times this season. Robin Lehner, who has improved as the season has gone on, is expected to make the start. In 5-on-5, he has a Save % of .912 and 0.7 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx).

Sabres Struggling on Both Ends

The Buffalo Sabres once again find themselves near the bottom of the NHL standings, entering this matchup with just 44 total points.

The big reason why Buffalo finds itself in this position is its lack of identity on the offensive end of the ice. The Sabres have posted just 2.1 xGF/60, which is the third-lowest mark in the NHL and have generated just 9.85 High Danger Chances in 5-on-5 situations per 60 minutes.

They don't have much scoring talent, but at the end of the day the Sabres simply aren't giving themselves many scoring opportunities.

The defense has performed at a higher level when compared to their scoring attack, but the defense is also liable for their lack of success this season.

It's hard to win hockey games when a defense is easily exposed, and that has clearly been the case for the Sabres as they allow an average of 34.1 Shots On Goal per game. Furthermore, this defense has surrendered 139 goals in 5-on-5 this season, the fourth-most in the NHL behind only the Blue Jackets, Devils, and Kraken.

Despite those problems, the biggest issue seems to have been the revolving door that the Sabres have in net. Craig Anderson is expected to be the guy in net for this one, and in 5-on-5 he has a Save % of .907 and -4.9 GSAx.

Golden Knights vs. Sabres Pick

Vegas has been a slight disappointment as of late, but there is some value in backing the Golden Knights in this one.

Their loss to a bad Flyers team is obviously an eye sore, but that game came down to great goaltending by Carter Hart. Vegas was still getting whatever it wanted on the offensive end with 48 Shots On Goal and held Philadelphia to just 21 Shots On Goal. Expect them to put up similar numbers in this one.

The Sabres have lots of holes, and at the end of the day, they're not strong enough to keep pace with the Golden Knights. Vegas defeated the Buffalo 5-2 earlier this season, and I think we will see a similar score in this one.

Pick: Golden Knights -1.5 (+120)

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