NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sabres vs. Jets (January 26)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sabres vs. Jets (January 26) article feature image

Photo by Joe Alexis Knight/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Tage Thompson.

Sabres vs. Jets Odds

Sabres Odds+158
Jets Odds-192
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Buffalo Sabres are riding high, winning four straight games, with points in six of their past seven. They invade the Canada Life Centre on Thursday night as they take on the Winnipeg Jets.

Winnipeg returns home after a bumpy road trip in which they lost three of five contests. Still, the betting market is heavy on the Jets, installing them as substantive favorites.

Tonight's non-conference matchup is an excellent opportunity to back the undervalued Sabres in what should be a low-scoring affair.

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Sabres Firing on All Cylinders

Solid underlying metrics validate Buffalo's four-game winning streak. The Sabres have posted expected goals-for ratings above 50.0% in three of their past five, thanks to some solid offensive performances. The playoff hopefuls have out-chanced their opponents in scoring opportunities in all but one of those contests, attempting more high-danger chances in three of five. Cumulatively, the Sabres have posted 56.0% scoring chance and 51.0% high-danger chance ratings.

Stout defensive showings complement those efficient offensive performances. Opponents haven't surpassed 25 scoring chances in any of the last five outings. Moreover, they've tidied up play in their own end, holding opponents to eight or fewer high-danger chances in two of their previous three.

As expected, the improved defensive play has positively impacted goaltending. Over the last five games, Sabres goalies have posted an above-average save percentage of 91.4% at five-on-five, allowing three or fewer goals against in four straight.

Buffalo is firing on all cylinders right now, making them a tough out whenever they step on the ice.

Jets Primed For a Letdown?

The Jets are well traveled over the past week, setting up tonight's contest as a letdown spot as they sink into the comforts of home. Although they were completely ineffective against the Nashville Predators last time out, we should see a sturdier defensive effort now that the Jets are back on home ice.

Winnipeg fell apart in their last outing, allowing the most scoring chances and second-most high-danger opportunities in a game this season. Otherwise, the Jets have been a defensively responsible team this season. In the six games preceding their most recent loss, the Jets hadn't allowed more than ten quality chances, with a rolling average of 7.7 chances against. Winnipeg will need to lean into that defensive zone coverage if they hope to limit a surging Sabres squad.

Nevertheless, the Jets' saving grace all season has been Connor Hellebuyck. The former Vezina-winning goalie has had a resurgent campaign, posting a career-best 92.5% save percentage and leading the league in Goalie Point Shares. Additionally, he's among the top goalies in Goals Saved Above Average and Adjusted Goals Against Average. When the Sabres breakthrough, they will still have to contend with one of the best netminders in the NHL.

Sabres vs. Jets Pick

The Sabres have looked good over their recent sample. They are controlling play in both ends of the ice and have reliable goaltending supporting their flourishing offense. Winnipeg is in a tough spot scheduling-wise, returning home after an extended road trip, but have been one of the best defensive teams in the NHL this year.

The betting line has moved slightly in favor of the visitors, which is validated by our analysis. Still, there's value in backing the Sabres tonight in what we're anticipating to be a low-scoring affair.

Pick: Sabres +158, Under 6.5 -104

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