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NHL Betting Preview (March 21): Sabres vs. Oilers Odds

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew MacNeil
28 days ago
Edmonton will look to play spoiler on Thursday when they host the Buffalo Sabres, a team still fighting for a playoff spot. The Sabres beat the Oilers in Buffalo earlier this month, so this article will look at the odds and trends that make this rematch worth betting on.

Sabres vs Oilers Odds

  • Buffalo Sabres Moneyline Odds: +190
  • Edmonton Oilers Moneyline Odds: -225
  • Puck Line Odds: Sabres +1.5 (-130), Oilers -1.5 (+100)
  • Game Total: 6.5 goals (over +105, under -125)
All odds courtesy of Betway.
If you don’t yet have a Betway account, sign up now to bet on the Oilers vs. Sabres game today!

Last Matchup

The Oilers led 2-1 after the first period when they visited Buffalo on March 9th, but the Sabres would tie the game in the third and go on to win in a shootout. Edmonton outshot Buffalo 32-27 in the game, but Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was the star of the game, stopping every shot he faced in the final 40 minutes. Ryan McLeod and Warren Foegele each scored a goal and an assist.
Check out Daily Faceoff to get updates regarding the line combinations and goaltenders for Thursday’s matchup.

Handicapping the Sabres (33-37 SU, 40-30 ATS, 27-41 O/U)

The Sabres’ playoff hopes are slim. Not only do they have fewer points than the Flyers, Lightning, Red Wings, Capitals, and Islanders, but they’ve also played the most games. Buffalo isn’t one of the eight-best teams in the Eastern Conference, and there’s a 95 percent chance the Sabres won’t be one of the 16 teams competing for a Stanley Cup this spring.
Buffalo has won road games at about a league average rate, going 16-19 straight up, and they’ve pulled off some comparable upsets against teams like Boston, New York, and Vegas. However, while the Sabres do grade out as 10th-best team in shot attempts percentage this season, they rank 19th in that category on the road, which suggests they’re worse than their record indicates.
Scoring is the Sabres’ big issue, as they have only scored more than three goals in five out of 21 games since the start of February. As a result, goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has had his work cut out for him, but he’s been up to the task for the most part. Luukkonen ranks fifth in goals saved above expected according to Evolving Hockey, but only Igor Shesterkin has been better than UPL since the All-Star break.

Handicapping the Oilers (41-25 SU, 31-35 ATS, 27-36 O/U)

Edmonton played down to Montreal on Tuesday. The Oilers got the win, but Montreal was the better team at 5-on-5, owning nearly 55 percent of the expected goals, according to Evolving Hockey. They outshot the Canadiens 32-25, but actually finished the game with a negative shot attempt differential. But, do the Oilers normally play down to weaker teams?
No. At least not at Rogers Place. The Oilers have underperformed as big favourites on the road, but they are 11-1 straight up on home ice this season when their moneyline odds are -200 or greater, and they’ve won eight of those games by two goals or more. Then again, the Sabres are better than most of the teams that have been big underdogs at Rogers Place this season.
Tuesday’s game felt like an experiment. Head coach Kris Knoblauch put his top-nine into the blender and it didn’t result in a good performance. Thursday’s game against the Sabres could be another tune up of sorts. Stuart Skinner has been off for four days, which means he’s walking the line between being rested and rusty. Not to mention, The Oilers will kick off a three-game road trip Saturday in Toronto, so the Sabres could benefit if the players have one foot out the door.

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Team Betting Trends

  • In their last 10 games as the underdog, the Sabres are 5-5 straight up and 8-2 against the puck line. Buffalo has also gone 5-5 in its last 10 road games and they managed to cover the puck line in six of those games.
  • Buffalo is 19-13-3 to the under on the road this season, but the Sabres have gone 9-1 to the under in their last 10 games away from home.
  • Edmonton is 7-3 straight up in its last 10 games as the favourite. The Oilers are 5-5 to the over in their last 10 home games.

Player Prop Betting Trends

  • Forward Jeff Skinner has scored five goals on 20 shots in his last 10 games, and he also has four assists. Skinner is listed at +250 to score a goal and +120 to score a point.
  • Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens are next with three goals in their last 10 games, but Thompson has been leading the way in shots. Thompson has played 20 games since the start of February and he’s averaged 4.05 shots on goal per game. That has resulted in him registering over 2.5 shots on goal in 17 of his last 20 games. Thompson’s shots on goal prop is set at 2.5 (over -175).
  • Zach Hyman has eight goals in his last 10 games, but the winger has actually only scored in one of his last five games. He just happened to get a hat trick. Hyman is listed at +110 to score a goal on Thursday.

Best Bets for Oilersnation

Connor McDavid’s health has been in question all season due to the drop off in his shots rates, but more so because he’s not scoring as much. However, McDavid’s been shooting the puck more. In fact, No. 97 has shot the puck 42 times in his last 10 games, that’s eight more shots than he had in the 11 games following the All-Star break, and he’s registered 20 shots on goal in his last four games.
No. 97 registered nine shots on 12 attempts against the Canadiens, and five shots on goal against Colorado on the weekend. That’s more like the McDavid we saw in 2022-23, but we’re still getting 2023-24 prices on his props. For example, his shots on goal prop is set at 3.5 (over -110) at Betway, and betting on No. 97 to register at least four shots on goal for -110 is a good look given his current form.

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