NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sabres vs. Ducks

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sabres vs. Ducks article feature image

Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Tage Thompson

  • The Buffalo Sabres travel across the country to face the Anaheim Ducks in NHL action on Wednesday night.
  • Buffalo has been scuffling of late, but might have a chance to bounce back against one of the worst teams in the league in Anaheim.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Sabres vs. Ducks Odds

Sabres Odds-215
Ducks Odds+176
Over/Under7 (+112/-138)
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Anaheim Ducks host the Buffalo Sabres in a cross-country NHL tilt on Wednesday night.

Buffalo's chances of securing a surprising wild-card berth have taken a significant hit recently, as the Sabres have been cooled off with three straight regulation losses in blowout fashion.

The Sabres are massive favorites to snap their slump against Anaheim, despite the fact that the Ducks are enjoying a season-best 5-3-1 stretch of play.

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Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo's offense has fallen into one of the worst ruts of the season, as over the last five game it has generated just 2.00 goals for per game.

The signs are there that things will turn around, however, and it is worth noting that each of the the five teams faced over that stretch are top-third defensive sides.

Buffalo is still moving play in the right direction over the last 10 games with a 51.65% expected goals for rating.  It was clear the Sabres had been the better side 35 minutes into Monday's blowout loss to the Kings, but they could not convert any chances and were entirely deflated when Adrian Kempe's softie snuck by Craig Anderson, gifting L.A. a 1-0 lead.

The Sabres may never receive quality net-minding from the duo of Craig Anderson and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, but the offensive talents are a handful for any team to keep in check and should remain a significant strength.

In particular, the Sabres have offensively terrorized bottom-feeders this season.

Against the bottom eight teams in the league, Buffalo has averaged 4.81 goals for per game, and it will hope that trend holds true in this matchup with the league's worst defensive team.

My expectation is that Luukkonen will be given a chance to shine here after Anderson's nightmare performance Monday. Luukkonen has played to a +0.2 GSAx rating and .895 save % in 22 appearances.

Anaheim Ducks

After a very out-of-the-blue 5-1-1 tear, Anaheim has been torched in back-to-back games, allowing 13 combined goals.

Despite managing a few more wins than usual over the last 10, nothing about Anaheim's process seems to be changing notably and all of the most critical flaws remain in place.

A number of the pieces struggling mightily — such as John Klingberg and Dmitry Kulikov — are not likely candidates to find better form anytime soon and will remain locked in to crucial roles.

Even over this small run of success, Anaheim owns only 43.96% of the expected goal share, and its treacherous blue-line continues to be the greatest causation of the alarmingly low control of the overall play.

With Anthony Stolarz sidelined, John Gibson will likely start again Wednesday. Gibson has struggled badly yet again this season to a -10.2 GSAx rating and .897 save % in 37 appearances.

Sabres vs. Ducks Pick

Games in Anaheim have offered a perfect get-right spot for a ton of quality teams, and I believe Wednesday's matchup sets up as a perfect time to buy back in on the Sabres.

Buffalo's elite offensive talents will be a handful for arguably the league's worst defensive side, and I believe seeing a similar result to what we saw on January 23rd when Buffalo bested Anaheim 6-3 is likely.

Buffalo to cover the puck line of -1.5 at +125 is my favorite way to attack the Sabres as a team and I would play that down to +115. Taking a worse price to back over 3.5 Sabres goals is another option if you are not into worrying about either of Anderson or UPL.

The other angle I love is getting back on board with Tage Thompson, in what could be a smash spot.

Thompson was involved versus Los Angeles, managing seven shot attempts and six unblocked attempts, including a shot off of the post. He possesses one of the league's better offensive skillsets, and the Ducks feature few skaters who offer a tough matchup for him.

There is little doubt that Thompson is going to produce at an elite rate moving forward, and I believe his recent lull in offensive production will be a low-water mark and that he could snap out of it in a big way Wednesday.

My favorite Thompson prop will be attacking four shots on goal, but playing anytime goal, over 1.5 points, or even a long-shot backing two goals are all angles which I like.

Pick:  Buffalo Sabres -1.5 +125 (Play to +115), Tage Thompson Over 3.5 Shots On Goal

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