Monday sees six games in the NHL including an interconference showdown at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, so here’s the best Blue Jackets vs. Sabres betting pick.
These teams meet for the first time since February 2020 when the Sabres beat the Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime. According to BetMGM Sportsbook, the Blue Jackets are a slight -116 moneyline favorites to win this duel, while the totals are listed at 5.5 goals.
The Flames lost two of their last three games in overtime
The Columbus Blue Jackets (9-6-0) are having a solid November, going 4-3-0. The Blue Jackets lost to Vegas on Saturday, 3-2, snapping a two-game winning streak. Columbus has been streaky, winning two, then losing two, then winning two more, so one has to wonder if they are destined to fall in Buffalo.
The Blue Jackets look good offensively, 11th in the NHL at 3.20 goals per game. They are connecting on 10.1% of their shots, ninth overall. Jakub Voracek has been a playmaking machine, leading the team with 14 assists and is second with 15 points overall. Voracek saw his seven-game point streak come to an end when he was held off the score sheet by Vegas.
The goaltending has not been as good, as Columbus is 23rd in goals allowed per game at 3.13. Elvis Merzlikins had looked very good early on in the season, allowing six total goals through his first four starts. However, over his last six starts he has allowed 20 goals, including 15 in the last four games. Do not be surprised if Buffalo is looking for an upgrade come the trade deadline.
The Sabres hope to stay on the winning path
The Buffalo Sabres (7-7-2) got off to a rough start in November, going 0-3-1 through their first four games. However, they have gone 2-2-0 since, despite getting blanked by Calgary on Thursday, 5-0.
Scoring has been a challenge for Buffalo over the last few seasons, and continues this year as they are 18th in the league, averaging 2.75 goals per game. The team is 12th in shooting percentage at 9.7%. This is not surprising considering that Rasmus Asplund is the only player who has reached double-digit points. However, five other players have nine points and two others have eight.
Buffalo is 20th in goals allowed per game at 3.06. When they lose, they truly struggle, giving up five goals in five of their six losses this month. Aaron Dell is expected to be making his second start of the season. He has appeared in two games, allowing five goals on 41 shots for a 3.76 GAA. Dell has a save percentage of .861.
- 4-1 in their last five games against teams with a losing record.
- 4-0 in their last four games as the favorite.
- 18-45 in their last 63 games.
- 19-53 in their last 72 games as the underdog.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Buffalo Sabres Pick
Despite their most recent loss to Vegas, Columbus has played quite well during November. Plus, they have the added advantage of not playing on back-to-back days. Buffalo will be facing the New York Rangers on Sunday, but this preview was written prior to the conclusion of that contest.
These teams are similar in how many goals they have been allowing per game, but Dell is looking like a rookie early on. No doubt that Merzlikins is struggling, but Dell has not been much of a relief when the team has turned to him to lead the way. The veteran is the difference in this contest.
Pick: Take Calgary Flames at -175
Oddsmakers seem convinced that this game is going over, but that is surprising. This is clearly based upon the performance of two goaltenders in recent history, but neither of these teams has a particularly potent offense. Columbus has been respectable (3.20) while Buffalo is in the bottom half of the league.
These teams have gone under in four of the last five meetings in Buffalo.
Pick: Go under 5.5 goals at +105