Bruins vs. Sabres: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Bruins vs Sabres NHL
Boston vs. Buffalo, TD Garden

The losing streak has hit 16 games for the Buffalo Sabres with 14 of those defeats coming in regulation. They will attempt to earn their first win in more than a month Saturday when they face the struggling Boston Bruins in Boston. The Bruins looked great for one period after a weeklong COVID-19 pause, but collapsed in the final two periods against the Islanders. Boston is getting healthier but the morale and confidence are at a low right now for a Bruins team with high expectations.

Free Picks

It was Boston’s role players who got the team going in the first meeting against Buffalo a little more than a week ago. That included Craig Smith, who scored a critical third goal late in the second period to firmly put Boston in control. I think we see the Bruins’ secondary scoring again come to the forefront after months of struggling, and Smith is a solid pick to be able to light the lamp. He’s one of the more offensively-skilled bottom-six forwards the Bruins have and those players will have an excellent chance to score against the Sabres’ mediocre depth players. The fact the NHL betting sites in New Jersey have Smith listed at +300 odds to score a goal only adds to the value.

CRAIG SMITH SCORES GOAL

Everything about the Sabres’ recent history makes me believe this game should have at least five goals. Buffalo has allowed at least four goals in five of its last six games, and at least five goals have been scored in 12 of the 16 games during this losing streak. But I’ve lost all confidence in the Bruins to dominate games offensively, and be able to score a lot of goals. The Bruins’ defense is going to shut down the Sabres’ offense, that is for sure, but trusting the offense to score enough goals is a bit far. I’ll take a risk for the +220 odds from the hockey betting sites in New Jersey and say this game doesn’t have five total goals.

UNDER 4.5 TOTAL GOALS –

Building off my last prediction, I am skeptical about Boston being able to win this game by multiple goals. The Bruins absolutely should win this game by multiple goals, especially on home ice, and they did handily defeat the Sabres 4-1 in their first meeting. But we’ve seen this Sabres team show some spunk in spurts and this is as good a chance as any the Sabres will have in the next week to get a win. I can easily see a situation where the Bruins play down to their opponent even after the harsh comments from their coach after the last game. It’s risky to bet the mundane +114 odds from the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey, but I think I might take it anyway.

BUFFALO SABRES +1.5 GOALS

Best Odds

Boston Buffalo
888Sport
-375 +285
BetMGM
-420 +320
FanDuel
-400 +325

Statistics

Head to Head

This is only the second of eight scheduled meetings this season between Boston and Buffalo after the Bruins won 4-1 nine days ago.

Stats

  • Over the course of it 16-game losing streak, Buffalo has been outscored 68-25 and lost 11 of those games by at least three goals. The Sabres have also been shutout five times during this stretch.
  • The Bruins’ magic number for goals this season is three. Boston is 3-8-3 when it scores two goals or fewer this season and it is 13-0-2 when it scores at least three goals.
  • Boston has had 25 players record at least one point this season and 19 different players have scored a goal. However, only four players have scored more than five goals through the first 29 games.
  • Buffalo has just two players with more than five goals, Sam Reinhart with a team-best 11 goals and Victor Olofsson with nine. Olofsson has 12 assists as well to lead the team with 21 points this season, one more than Reinhart.

Our Prediction for Boston vs. Buffalo

Boston Bruins to win

This is a pretty cut and dry game. Boston is a team with Stanley Cup ambition despite its recent performance trend and they have the experience and defense to be a dangerous team to face in the playoffs. Buffalo has lost the last 16 games and the Sabres haven’t really been competitive in most of them. Boston cannot afford to drop points against the Sabres and after blowing a lead on Thursday, the Bruins will be focused on being dominant Saturday afternoon. Whether that translates to a comfortable win remains to be seen, but the Bruins should definitely win the game.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

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