NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Predators vs. Sabres (April 1)
Zak Krill/Getty. Pictured: Matt Duchene and Mattias Ekholm of the Nashville Predators.
- The Predators are favored to knock off the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, but NHL analyst Tony Sartori sees more value in the total.
- He's looking to back two surging offenses in this matchup.
- Read on to see Sartori's best bet for the early evening contest.
Predators vs. Sabres Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Central Division's fourth-placed Nashville Predators travel to Buffalo to take on the Atlantic Division's sixth-placed Buffalo Sabres. This is the second meeting between these two teams this season as the Sabres won the first matchup 4-1 back in January.
Will we see another low-scoring game, or can the goal-scoring pick up this time around?
The total in this matchup is set too low, especially for a Nashville team that has seen six or more total goals scored in eight of its last 10 games. Part of the reason for these high-scoring games has been the recent up-and-down play of projected starting goaltender Juuse Saros.
Saros has allowed three-or-more goals in six of his last eight starts, posting a 0.900 save percentage over that stretch. This figure is far below his season average of 0.921, and Saros will look to bounce back against a Buffalo team that has been scoring in bunches recently.
The other reason for the high-scoring games that Nashville has been engaged in is the Predators' forward group, which has been on fire. Spearheaded by the Filip Forsberg/Ryan Johansen/Matt Duchene line, the Predators are averaging 4.1 goals scored over their last 10 games.
Nashville will be thin at defense for this matchup as Mark Borowicki and Dante Fabbro are both expected to miss this game due to injuries. I think Buffalo can take advantage of this as it has found a groove in March.
Much like the Predators, the Sabres enter this contest following a bunch of high-scoring games. There have been six or more total goals scored in six of Buffalo's last nine games.
As I mentioned, Buffalo's forward group has rallied exceptionally well in March and is scoring in flurries. Over their last five contests, the Sabres are averaging 3.8 goals scored per game.
While its offense could fare well against Nashville, Buffalo's defense may struggle to contain the Predators' top-six forwards. This season, Buffalo ranks 19th in the league in five-on-five expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA).
Craig Anderson is the projected starting goaltender for this matchup, and like Saros, he's had some up-and-down performances lately. Over his last five starts, Anderson possesses a mere 0.882 save percentage.
Predators vs. Sabres Pick
With how well both offenses have been playing recently, I think we are getting a very generous total at 5.5. While each goaltender is capable of a good outing, they have both been below average in the month of March.
I would play this total if It jumps up to six before puck drop, but I would not lay too much juice at that number.
Pick: Over 5.5 goals (-120), play to -130