Predators vs Sabres NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions

Predators vs Sabres NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions article feature image

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Buffalo Sabres

  • The Sabres are modest favorites as they host the Predators on Tuesday night.
  • Analytically, Buffalo could be due for some better results.
  • That's one reason Grant White is backing the hot team in tonight's contest and hoping to get ahead of some steam.

Predators vs. Sabres Odds

Predators Odds+125
Sabres Odds-145
Over/Under6.5 (+120 / -120)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Buffalo Sabres picked the wrong time of year to regress. After making a valiant run up the standings, Buffalo has dropped seven of its past eight games, leaving their playoff chances on life support.

But the Sabres appear to have turned a corner analytically, supporting that greener pastures may be on the horizon.

That progression could be facilitated against a struggling Nashville Predators squad that could be without its pre-eminent star for this non-conference matchup.

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Nashville Predators Clinging to Playoff Hopes

Like the Sabres, Nashville is clinging to fleeting postseason aspirations.

The Predators have lost three in a row, including an overtime defeat on home ice to the Winnipeg Jets, a team they are trying to catch in the standings. Considering the state of their metrics, we're anticipating more losses to follow.

The Preds have put forward some lousy efforts lately. The playoff hopefuls have been outplayed in all but one of their last seven games, nosediving over the last couple of outings. Across the entire seven-game stretch, Nashville has a cumulative 41.0% expected goals-for rating. However, that benchmark drops to 35.2% over their last couple of games, failing to crack 38.0% in either contest. Although the Preds have crumbled offensively, their struggles could be correlated to one key defenseman missing from the lineup.

For most of the past decade, Roman Josi has been a pillar on the Predators' blue line. The former Norris Trophy winner is an analytics darling, posting a Corsi rating above 50.0% in nine straight seasons. Moreover, he's been a top offensive contributor, averaging 58.6 points per season across that stretch. But Josi has been absent for most of the last two games, missing all of Sunday's contest against the New York Rangers while playing just 10 minutes against the Jets.

Nashville's downturn in its metrics correlates with Josi's departure, and his absence could profoundly impact the team's chances against the Sabres. Even if he's cleared to return, it may not be enough to overcome their overall deficiencies.

Buffalo Sabres Due for Puck Luck

The results aren't going their way, but analytically, the Sabres are trending in the opposite direction as the Preds.

Buffalo posted expected goals-for ratings above 50.0% in three of its last five games, including posting two game scores above 60.0%. Included in that sample was Sunday's loss to the Boston Bruins, a game in which the Sabres controlled the tempo from start to finish.

Against their division rivals, the Sabres managed 25 scoring and 13 high-danger chances, out-chasing their opponents in both categories. Further, that was the fifth time over the previous six outings in which the Sabres attempted at least 10 quality opportunities. Equally as impressive, Buffalo limited its opponents to nine or fewer high-danger chances in four of five.

The Sabres are asserting themselves on both ends of the ice. Still, they haven't had any luck in knocking off their opponents and watching their PDO crumble to .918 over the five-game sample.

In reconciling their performances with outcomes, it's evident the Sabres are progression candidates and should have some puck luck as output starts to balance with production.

Predators vs. Sabres Pick

This betting line doesn't accurately reflect the analytical divide between these teams.

The Sabres are playing an elite brand of hockey while the Predators can't get out of their own way.

We're using this spot to back the home favorites. Expect this line to be steamed throughout the day.

Pick: Buffalo Sabres (-145 at DraftKings)

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