A game between two squads currently on losing streaks, the Buffalo Sabres and the Colorado Avalanche take the ice at the Pepsi Center for an East-West showdown. The opening face-off takes place at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 5, and you’ll be able to witness it live on Altitude Sports & Entertainment.
Buffalo Sabres at Colorado Avalanche Odds
Colorado (+120) is entering this one as the underdog to Colorado (-140), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals (-120 for the under, +100 for the over).
Earning moneyline bettors 1.8 units, Colorado is 12-13 straight up (SU) overall in the 2017-18 season. That early-season winning percentage is a huge turnaround from how the team performed during the 2016-17 season (22-60). Through 25 regular season contests, 15 of its games have gone over the total, while 10 have gone under and none have pushed. The team’s 8-5 SU at home this season.
The Avalanche have converted on 19.2 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 20th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 78.6 percent of all penalties.
The Avalanche, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.6 times per game overall this season, 4.4 per game over their last five contests total, and 4.4 per game over their last five at home. The team has had to kill penalties for 8.8 minutes per game over their last five outings, overall.
Averaging 28.5 saves per game with a .905 save percentage, Semyon Varlamov (8-7-1) has been the top goalkeeper for Colorado this year. If Colorado decides to rest him, however, the team could turn to Jonathan Bernier (4-7-7 record, .891 save percentage, 3.24 goals against average).
Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen will each lead the charge for the Avalanche. MacKinnon (29 points) is up to eight goals and 21 assists and has recorded multiple points on nine different occasions this year. Rantanen has eight goals and 13 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 13 contests.
Over on the other bench, Buffalo is 6-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 15.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 14 of its outings have gone under the total, while 10 have gone over and just three have pushed. The Sabres are 3-11 SU as an away team this season.
The Sabres have converted on just 11.6 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 13th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.5 percent of all opponent power plays.
Buffalo’s skaters have been penalized only 3.6 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five on the road. The team’s had to stave off opponent power plays just 8.1 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Robin Lehner (.903 save percentage and 2.98 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Buffalo. Lehner is averaging 24.3 saves per game and has five wins, 15 losses, and two OT losses to his credit.
Evander Kane (12 goals, 12 assists) will pace the offensive attack for the visiting Sabres.
Buffalo Sabres at Colorado Avalanche Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Over
The under has hit in four of Colorado’s last five games.
Seven of Buffalo’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 1-6 in those games.
Buffalo skaters have accounted for the league’s ninth-most hits per game (22.9).