The Pittsburgh Penguins will battle with the Buffalo Sabres tonight at PPG Paints Arena. Let’s take a look at this Eastern Division showdown in our Sabres vs. Penguins betting preview with odds, picks and predictions.
Sabres vs. Penguins Betting Preview
The Penguins look to bounce back after losing a 2-1 overtime decision on Sunday night to the Devils.
Sidney Crosby opened up the scoring in the first period, but Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood locked it down from there with 35 saves to earn his seventh win of the year.
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Jesper Bratt scored the game-winner midway through the extra frame by beating Tristan Jarry, who was also solid in net, making 33 saves on 35 shots faced.
Tonight, the Pens continue their homestand against a Sabres club that has lost a staggering 14 consecutive games. This current streak ties a team record for futility set during the 2014-15 season.
During their latest defeat, a 5-3 loss to the Rangers, Sabres goalie Carter Hutton suffered a leg injury early in the contest. That forced head coach Don Granato to bring in Dustin Tokarski, who hasn’t been in the NHL since playing one game for Anaheim back in 2017.
With the trade of Jonas Johansson to Colorado earlier that same day, Buffalo now has Tokarski and Michael Houser, a 28-year-old journeyman who has spent most of his career in the minor leagues. In other words, the Sabres are a complete mess.
Sabres vs. Penguins Odds
Here are the odds for Sabres vs. Penguins at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Penguins (-1.5 -114); Sabres (+1.5 -105)
Moneyline: Penguins (-275); Sabres (+230)
Over/Under: Over 6 (-102)/Under 6 (-122)
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Bets We Like With a Penguins Win
Penguins to Score First and Win (-136, DraftKings)
This wager is more of an indictment of the Sabres than it is an endorsement of the Penguins.
The Sabres have allowed their opponents to score first in 21 games this season. They are a miserable 2-17-2 when this occurs.
The Penguins are still shorthanded, missing key players such as Evgeni Malkin, Jason Zucker, Teddy Blueger, and Brandon Tanev. Despite missing these four skaters, Pittsburgh still has plenty of remaining firepower with Crosby, Bryan Rust, and Kasperi Kapanen.
That should be plenty enough to beat a struggling Sabres squad this evening.
Bets We Like With a Sabres Win
Penguins Team Total UNDER 3.5 Goals (+102, BetMGM)
One has to wonder when the tide will turn for this Buffalo Sabres organization in the midst of a franchise-record losing streak.
While things aren’t looking great for Granato’s squad, it is getting the benefit of playing a Pittsburgh team that has lost three of its last four games. The Penguins are also missing key players from the lineup.
Still, Buffalo’s offense is virtually non-existent. Only two players, Sam Reinhart and Victor Olofsson have scored more than five goals this season.
If Tokarski, who had a brief moment of success seven seasons ago with Montreal when Carey Price was injured, can make some big saves in this contest, the Sabres could make slow things down enough to end this dreadful losing skid.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Full Game UNDER 6 Goals (-122, DraftKings)
The Sabres are ranked near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories, including expected goals, high-danger scoring chances, and goals for percentage. Conversely, the Penguins are sitting in the middle of the road in high-danger scoring chances and are lower in high-danger shot percentage.
Both clubs could struggle to find goals tonight, making this a prime spot to back the under with a high total.
Sabres vs. Penguins Prediction
This game might not be a fan-friendly event worthy of the national exposure it’s receiving on NBC Sports Network. Still, if Buffalo can slow things down and make things interesting, perhaps there will be some unexpected drama.
I like the Penguins to escape the Sabres with a 3-2 victory.
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