In the early part of the NHL season, it’s easy to not put too much of an emphasis on the games played in the opening month or two. That is certainly not the case once we get past the All-Star Game and into the second half of the season, as that is when every single goal and point becomes all that more valuable. Teams sitting on the outside looking in at the playoffs start to see their window of opportunity closing with each passing game, while the teams at the top start to think about strengthening their squad ahead of the trade deadline.
We are entering one of the most exciting phases of the NHL season, with Tuesday night delivering a game that certainly has playoff implications at the heart of it. The Buffalo Sabres are sitting outside the playoff picture right now, although they are close enough where a Wild Card spot is not out of the question. They will face a Columbus Blue Jackets team sitting just above the Wild Card, with Columbus a 1 ½ goal favorite here. The goal total for this one is set at 6.
Sabres at Blue Jackets NHL Spread & Pick
Coach Housley on his decision for Hunwick to play tonight – “a little more experience.” On Pilut: “He’s going to get another opportunity.” pic.twitter.com/pMPoS1iTDS— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) 29 de enero de 2019
- When: Tuesday, January 29 at 7 PM EST
- Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus
- TV: ESPN+
- Radio: TuneIn
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- NHL Spread: Columbus Blue Jackets -1.5 (Total 6)
Why bet on the Buffalo Sabres?
With 54 points from their first 48 games, the Buffalo Sabres find themselves down in the #5 spot in the Atlantic Division, while also sitting below the playoff line. It is certainly not a lost cause for the Sabres at this stage, though, as they are just 5 points off the pace being set by the teams occupying the Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference.
The downside here is that Buffalo are doing very little help their own cause, ending the first half of the season by going 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. They have also not had a lot of joy in their previous outings versus the Blue Jackets, winning just once in their previous 5 meetings. You need to go all the way back to 2016 to find the last time that Buffalo went into Columbus and got a win.
- Goals: 2.92
- Shots: 32.35
- PP/PK Percentage: 17.01
- Goals: 3.00
- Shots: 32.65
- PP/PK Percentage: 17.91
Why bet on the Columbus Blue Jackets?
The race for the Metropolitan Division crown is a tight one, with the Columbus Blue Jackets currently sitting in 3rd, just 4 points back of the pace being set by the New York Islanders. Oddly enough, all 4 of the top teams in the division are on some type of losing skid, with the Blue Jackets among that group with back to back defeats, although they have gone 6-4 in their last 10 games.
Columbus has posted similar records at home and on the road this season, so there is no real clear home-ice advantage, although they are 14-9-2 at home. It is their domination over the Sabres in recent meetings that gives them the edge in this one, as they have won 6 of their last 7 home meetings with Buffalo.
- Goals: 3.21
- Shots: 31.81
- PP/PK Percentage: 14.58
- Goals: 3.04
- Shots: 30.21
- PP/PK Percentage: 17.05
Sabres at Blue Jackets NHL Betting Trends
- Buffalo is 15-2 ATS in the last 17 games on the road
- Buffalo is 1-6 SU in the last 7 games on the road
- The total went OVER in 4 of Buffalo’s last 5 games on the road
- Columbus is 4-9 ATS in the last 13 games at home
- Columbus is 4-1 SU in the last 5 games at home
- The total went UNDER in 9 of Columbus’s last 12 games at home
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction for Sabres at Blue JacketsThe Blue Jackets need a win to close the gap at the top of the Metropolitan Division, and I think that they get it here. I also believe that they cover on their way to victory against the Sabres.
Score: Columbus Blue Jackets 4 – Buffalo Sabres 2