Rangers vs. Sabres NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction (Dec. 10)

Rangers vs. Sabres NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction (Dec. 10) article feature image

Ben Green/Getty Images. Pictured: Tage Thompson

Rangers vs. Sabres Odds

Rangers Odds-165
Sabres Odds+145
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Two New York teams heading in opposite directions in the NHL standings will clash on Friday when the Buffalo Sabres host the New York Rangers in the second game of a three-game homestand.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Rangers sit fourth overall in the NHL standings and are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games, which included a last-second 5-4 win over the Sabres at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21. Buffalo now sits 28th overall and is mired in a four-game losing streak.

With both teams dealing with goaltending challenges, there should be plenty of scoring. Let's break down if the over looks like a promising bet for this matchup.

New York Rangers

The Rangers have taken a step forward this season and are currently contending for top spot in the Metropolitan Division. In a tough back-to-back situation, with minor-leaguer Adam Huska in goal, the Colorado Avalanche snapped the Rangers' seven-game winning streak on Wednesday.

Of course, goaltender Igor Shesterkin has been a huge part of the Rangers' success. He has been sidelined with a lower-body injury since being involved in a goalmouth collision last week.

While initial reports on his status were relatively hopeful, Shesterkin did not skate with his teammates on Thursday as had originally been scheduled. The Rangers have now recalled Keith Kinkaid from the AHL, swapping him with Huska.

Alexandar Georgiev looks set to get the start on Friday, and he has been solid in his two starts since his partner's injury. He has given up three goals in total in a pair of wins over the Chicago Blackhawks. However, he was pulled after two periods when the Rangers and Sabres met in November, when he gave up four goals on 18 shots.

The more the Rangers win, especially without Shesterkin, the more we should pay attention to other facets of their game. They're rolling out a dangerous power play that ranks seventh in the NHL and has scored in seven of the last eight games, and their penalty kill is solid.

But it's a different story at 5-on-5, where their 45.56% Corsi for percentage for the season is second-worst in the league, their Expected Goals percentage is ninth-worst (47.62%), and their rate of High-Danger Scoring Chances is in the middle of the pack.

Though they couldn't pick up points, the Sabres were able to exploit the Rangers' defensive vulnerabilities last time the two teams met. With Georgiev back in goal, that could easily happen again.

Buffalo Sabres

Meanwhile, in Buffalo, the Sabres are winless in their last five games (0-4-1). They currently sit sixth in the Atlantic Division, with a record of 8-14-3. Despite some shockingly small home crowds — an average of just 8,330 fans per game — the Sabres are a relatively solid 6-7-1 at KeyBank Center so far this season.

Goaltending injuries have also been a huge issue for the Sabres. Craig Anderson, who went 4-2-0 in the early going, hasn't played since suffering an upper-body injury in early November and was recently downgraded to month-to-month. Dustin Tokarski is on the Covid protocol list.

Goaltender Malcolm Subban, who was picked up in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks a week ago, gave up six goals in two-and-a-half periods in his Sabres debut. He then suffered a lower-body injury and has joined Anderson on the injured list.

That leaves Aaron Dell, with his 0-5-0 record and 4.52 Goals-Against Average, likely to start against the Rangers on Friday.

The goaltending issues overshadow the fact that coach Don Granato has had his skaters playing some pretty respectable hockey, especially for a group that's barely operating above the salary-cap floor. Tage Thompson, at age 24, has already hit a career high with 10 goals, while sophomore Dylan Cozens and $9-million man Jeff Skinner have also been lighting the lamp with regularity.

Rangers vs. Sabres Pick

Georgiev (-7.1) and Dell (-6.3) have two of the worst Goals Saved Above Expected rankings in the league this season. For bettors, that's a nice recipe for the over — and the proof of concept is that 5-4 matchup between the two teams last month, with the same two starting goaltenders.

Pointsbet is offering -110 on the over of six goals, implying a 52% chance of a high-scoring game. That's worth your consideration.

Pick: Over 6 goals (-110)

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