Lightning vs. Sabres Odds, Pick, Betting Preview: Can Buffalo Keep it Close?

Lightning vs. Sabres Odds, Pick, Betting Preview: Can Buffalo Keep it Close? article feature image

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  • The Lightning are a big road favorite over the Sabres on Monday night.
  • Tampa is off to a slow start following its second consecutive Stanley Cup, and the depth it lost over the summer is starting to show. Buffalo meanwhile has three wins in five games after being pegged as the league's worst team by the betting market.
  • Get our Lightning vs. Sabres pick and betting preview below.

Lightning vs. Sabres Odds

Lightning Odds-210
Sabres Odds+180
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Buffalo Sabres, losers of two straight, will host the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division rivals' first meeting since December 31, 2019.

The Lightning have lost two straight, most recently a 4-3 shootout defeat against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Tampa Bay is 2-2-1 and is tied with the Detroit Red Wings for most goals (21) allowed among Eastern Conference teams.

Lightning Continue Slow Start

Tampa Bay has been scuffling, still grappling with the loss of former Hart Trophy-winning forward Nikita Kucherov, who sustained a lower-body injury in the Lightning's 2-1 victory against the Washington Capitals on October 16.

The Lightning are unbeaten on the road thus far, despite their 0-2-1 record in games at St. Pete Times Forum. Tampa Bay is second in the NHL in 5-on-5 expected goal percentage (59.67 percent) during road games this season.  The Lightning have a 46.52 expected goal percentage in their three home games.

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Sabres Fresh Off Back-to Back Losses

The Sabres started 3-0 but fell to the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils in back-to-backs on Friday and Saturday. Buffalo is still without standout forwards Jack Eichel and Casey Mittelstadt and defenseman Henri Jokiharju.

Still, Buffalo has been stingy defensively, allowing just 10 goals in five games and ranking tied for fourth in the NHL in 5-on-5 high-danger save percentage (.906) and sixth in 5-on-5 save percentage (.948) according to Natural Stat Trick.

Sabres vs. Lightning  Pick

The Lightning haven't yet won in regulation, and a game against the Sabres would ordinarily be the opportunity to get right. But the Lightning have been vulnerable without Kucherov and are still grappling with the loss of forwards Tyler Johnson, Yanni Gourde and Blake Coleman, who were integral pieces to their consecutive titles.

The Sabres have looked live, and although it will be their third game in four nights, they are 3-1 at home this season. Buffalo may not win, but it should be able to keep it close.

Pick: Buffalo + 1.5 (-150)

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