Sabres vs Blackhawks NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions
Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Tage Thompson
- The Chicago Blackhawks host the Buffalo Sabres in an NHL matchup on Tuesday night.
- Buffalo is coming off a loss on Monday, but should rebound against the worst team in the league in Chicago.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.
Sabres vs. Blackhawks Odds
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After suffering a tough loss at home, the Buffalo Sabres head to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks. The Sabres are working their way up the standings, but have really struggled as of late, losing four out their last five games.
The Blackhawks are currently the worst team in the league and are primed for the Connor Bedard sweepstakes. They haven’t been terrible as of late, despite getting smoked by Seattle on Saturday. Prior to that loss, Chicago won three in a row.
Here’s a look at odds, as well as our prediction for the Buffalo Sabres vs. Chicago Blackhawks.
Buffalo has been one of the NHL’s most exciting teams all season. It starts with superstar Tage Thompson with 58 points in 42 games. Behind him, three players average more than a point per game in Rasmus Dahlin, Jeff Skinner, and Alex Tuch, while Dylan Cozens isn’t far behind.
The Sabres had a rough start, but after their hot stretch, they’ve improved in the charts. Buffalo’s even strength numbers aren’t great, but its power play makes up for it. The Sabres have an expected goals rate of 49.23 xGF%, and average a little more than nine high danger chances a game.
The fourth best power play resides in Western New York. With weapons like Thompson, Skinner and specialist Victor Olofsson, the Sabres score at a 27.1% pace. However, the penalty kill doesn’t thrive the same way, as they only have a 73.3% success rate.
The crease in Buffalo has been a revolving door between Eric Comrie, Craig Anderson and Ukko-Pekka Luukonen. With Luukonen playing Monday night, I can see either Comrie or Anderson playing.
Anderson’s been utilized on a one start-per-week basis and has flourished with a +5.4 goals saved above expected (GSAx) and a .921 SV%. Comrie hasn’t had it easy this year, dealing with injuries, and has a -4.2 GSAx and an .883 SV%.
Patrick Kane came back from injury on Saturday, but even then, this team is still terrible. Max Domi is the Blackhawks’ leading scorer with 30 points in 41 games, and Jonathan Toews is enjoying a semi-productive season. There’s really not much else here, as the Blackhawks have been a total dumpster fire all year, as expected.
But the Blackhawks are one of the worst teams at not only even strength, but in special teams as well. They’re ranked 31st in expected goals with a 40.33 xGF% while averaging a league worst 6.8 high danger chances.
On the powerplay, Chicago isn’t terrible per se, but that’s not saying much given that it only scores 19.7% of the time.
Both Petr Mrazek and Alex Stalock have split starts all year, with Stalock being the better of the bunch. I’m not sure who takes the net, but Stalock is far away the better option for the Blackhawks playing to a +6.3 GSAx and a .918 SV%. Mrazek is statistically one of the worst netminders this season with a -10.6 GSAx and an .875 SV%.
Sabres vs. Blackhawks Pick
I expect this game to be pretty high scoring. Before the loss against Florida, the Sabres were the highest scoring team in the league. Now they’re second, scoring 3.79 goals per game. While Chicago is the second lowest scoring team with 2.29 goals per game, the Sabres are more than capable of letting some past, averaging 3.48 goals allowed.
With Buffalo’s piercing offense and Chicago’s lowly defense and goaltending (3.71 goals allowed), it just feels like the perfect storm for this to go over.
Also, I don’t foresee the Sabres’ cold streak lasting very long. They’re on a playoff push and seem to get better as the season goes on, so the Blackhawks can be a good primer for them to get back on the saddle.
Yes, Buffalo is on the back end of a back-to-back, but I have zero faith in this Chicago team this year.
Pick: Buffalo Sabres 60 Min Line & Over 5.5 Total Goals (+175)