NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Kings vs. Sabres Tuesday Betting Preview (December 13)
David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Los Angeles Kings goalie Pheonix Copley (29).
- The Los Angeles Kings are short road favorites (-111 moneyline odds) against Buffalo Sabres.
- Despite a tough recent schedule Tony Sartori love the opportunity to buy low on an L.A. on Tuesday night.
- Check out his Kings vs. Sabres Tuesday betting preview.
Kings vs. Sabres Odds
|Over/Under||7 (+116 / -142)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Atlantic Division’s Buffalo Sabres host the Pacific Division’s Los Angeles Kings in what should be an exciting game on Tuesday night. This game is the first meeting between these two clubs this season, although L.A. went 2-0 against Buffalo last season.
Will the Kings take care of business once again, or can the Sabres grab a victory on home ice?
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings enter this contest with just four wins over their last 11 games. However, four of those seven losses were in overtime and the other three came against teams that were in the playoffs last season.
This matchup presents an excellent opportunity to buy low on the Kings against a team they are surely better than. Perhaps the most underrated defense in hockey this season in terms of depth, L.A. ranks eighth in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5v5.
Defenseman Drew Doughty is questionable after missing Sunday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a lower-body injury, although most people around the organization are stating that It is not serious and he is just day-to-day. Even if he does not return for tonight’s game, the Kings’ depth at that position is more than capable of stepping up in his absence.
Backing up this defense is goaltender Phoenix Copley, who is projected to get the start between the pipes for L.A. Copley has been tremendous since getting called up at the beginning of December, going 2-0 with a .927 SV% and 2.00 GAA.
His metrics also suggest that these were not flukey performances. If he qualified, Copley would rank sixth among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5v5.
Copley should also get plenty of goal support as the Kings rank 13th in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at 5v5.
The Buffalo Sabres enter this contest following a home-and-home series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not only did Buffalo fail to win either of those games, but they did not walk away from the series unscathed as winger Jeff Skinner received a three-game suspension for cross-checking Jake Guentzel in the face.
While Skinner certainly has his flaws on the ice, he is still an important piece of the offense to miss. North of a point-per-game player, Skinner has posted 13 goals and 19 assists through 27 games playing alongside Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch.
In the Sabres’ lone game without him this season, they scored just one goal. Without Skinner, the Kings could boast the advantage offensively, but in the worst case, it is a wash. However, L.A. absolutely possesses the advantage defensively. At 5v5, Buffalo ranks just 24th in the league in xGA/60.
With the injuries to Henri Jokiharju and Ilya Lyubushkin, this blue line is extremely thin with a lot of offensive-minded skaters. Backing up this thin defense is goaltender Craig Anderson, who has been outperforming his metrics this season and is due for regression.
Among starting goaltenders, Anderson ranks fifth-to-last in GSAx/60 at 5v5.
Kings vs. Sabres Pick
At a pick’em, the Kings are the play to make in this contest. Skinner is a big piece missing from Buffalo’s offense, which scored just one goal last game in his absence.
Defensively, the Kings hold a clear advantage in this matchup, which will likely be the difference. After a tough stretch to their schedule and a few fixable overtime losses, now is a great opportunity to buy low on an L.A. team that is the better club in this contest.