Sabres vs. Red Wings: NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction

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

Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Devon Levi (Sabres)

  • The Sabres look to complete the season sweep of the Red Wings on Thursday evening.
  • Devon Levi will draw the start in net for the Sabres, and has flashed some real potential in a small sample size.
  • How are we betting this affair? Tony Sartori has you covered below.

Sabres vs. Red Wings Odds

Sabres Odds-111
Red Wings Odds-108
Over/Under6.5 (-124/+102)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

To kick off Thursday's slate, there's an Atlantic Division tilt with the seventh-place Detroit Red Wings hosting the fifth-place Buffalo Sabres.

This is the fourth and final meeting between these two clubs this season, as Buffalo attempts the season-sweep after winning each of the first three matchups.

Here's a look at the odds, as well as my Sabres vs. Red Wings betting pick.

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Buy Stock in Sabres' Devon Levi

Entering this contest in good form, the Buffalo Sabres have won four of their last six games.

The main conversation surrounding Buffalo is the play of goaltender Devon Levi, who made his first two career starts over that stretch and looks like he could a force to be reckoned with in the NHL.

Over those two starts, Levi has produced a dominating .942 save percentage (SV%) and 1.98 goals against average (GAA). Remarkably, those two outings came against the Florida Panthers and New York Rangers, two playoff teams with stacked rosters.

Levi's underlying metrics are just as strong, granted it's a mere two-game sample size. If he qualified, Levi would rank first among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.

Giving the Sabres' netminder some peace-of-mind is the fact that they boast one of the best offenses in hockey. This season, Buffalo ranks third in the league in goals scored per game, which is not surprising given that it boasts five guys who can put up 30+ goals in a season.

Red Wings Searching For Defense

While the Sabres boast one of the league's best offenses, the Detroit Red Wings possess one of the league's worst. This season, Detroit ranks just 22nd in goals scored per game, and its underlying metrics are even worse.

At 5-on-5, the Red Wings rank 29th in the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60).

The problem for Detroit is that its defense is hardly any better — outside of last season's Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider, who happens to turn 22 years old today.

Perhaps for his birthday, he should ask for some help from the rest of this defense. This season, the Red Wings rank in the bottom-half of the league in goals allowed per game.

Backing up this team is goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, who was recalled from AHL Grand Rapids on Wednesday and is expected to start against Buffalo. Nedeljkovic is just 5-6-2 through 14 appearances between the pipes with a .895 SV% and 3.56 GAA.

Sabres vs. Red Wings Pick

Two of Nedeljkovic's 12 starts this season have come against the Sabres. Over those two outings, he's 0-1-1 with a troubling .850 SV% and 5.76 GAA.

Buffalo's superstar forward Tage Thompson just returned from injury on Tuesday, and despite showing a bit of rust after almost a two-week layoff, he still collected an assist.

Look for him to get back into form against the poor Detroit blue line and Nedeljkovic, leading the Sabres to complete their season-sweep of the Red Wings.

Pick: Pick: Sabres ML (-115) | Play to -135

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