Two teams that are just trying to get into the playoffs in their respective conferences meet in an NHL betting battle on the NBC Sports Network on Wednesday night, as the Buffalo Sabres play the Colorado Avalanche.
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It’s scary to think that the Avs are back in the playoffs once again, as they really shouldn’t be all that great of a team this year. They didn’t do a heck of a lot to help themselves in the offseason, and last year at the trade deadline, they made a lot of moves to show that the team is rebuilding and shouldn’t be contending. That being said, four wins in five games has done wonders for Colorado, and now, it is tied with three other teams for that last spot in the playoffs in the Western Conference. The fact that the team only has four losses in overtime this year is helping, as there are clearly a lot of points that are being picked up instead of left on the table. That’s why a team like the Avs have the upper hand on say, the Calgary Flames, who have 12 OT or shootout losses this season. It’s easy to not be impressed with anything that you see statistically from this team. The Avalanche don’t have a single player with more than 51 points on the season, and scoring 2.5 goals per game and allowing 2.6 goals per game aren’t particularly impressive stats.
For most of the season, the teams in the Eastern Conference have all had a shot of getting into the postseason. Teams are starting to drop out of the race though, and the Sabres hope that they aren’t the next one to take the plunge. There are just a dozen games left on the schedule, and there are four points to be made up over the course of these last 12 clashes on the Washington Capitals. Again, this is a squad that just isn’t all that impressive statistically speaking. Scoring 2.4 goals per game is dreadful, and allowing 2.7 goals per game certainly is nothing to write home about. Ryan Miller has once again been okay, but not excellent for Buffalo in 2011-12, and save for really Jason Pominville, who has 63 points on the season, there isn’t a heck of a lot else for this team to write home about. Again though, the Sabres are in good form with three wins out of four and seven out of 10, and if that continues to be the case over the rest of the season, they will run down the Caps and get into the back end of the playoffs, where they will have the potential to be quite dangerous.
Colorado Avalanche @ Buffalo Sabres Pick: Laying -130 isn’t all that much to ask for a team that is playing as well as Buffalo is right now. The Avalanche aren’t a particularly great road team, and we think that they are going to take a step backwards and at least temporarily fall out of the playoffs in the West on Wednesday night.
Free Hockey Pick: Buffalo Sabres -130
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.