NHL Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Buffalo Sabres
Date/Time: October 8th, 7:30 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
NHL Betting Odds from Bookmaker
Moneyline: Buffalo -113
It hasn’t been a particularly strong start to the season for either the Buffalo Sabres or the Tampa Bay Lightning. The two are going to meet in NHL betting action on Tuesday night on the NBC Sports Network, and this is sure to be a game that you don’t want to miss.
The Bolts know that they are going to have a frustrating season, and if they can even come close to getting into the playoffs in the crowded Eastern Conference, it will be a heck of an accomplishment. Not surprisingly, the defense is once again failing on the Lightning this year, as the team is allowing 32.0 shots per game, ranking 22nd in the league. Fortunately, G Ben Bishop had a good start against the Chicago Blackhawks a few nights ago to log a nice win on the road against the defending Stanley Cup champs, and has to give some confidence to the whole squad. Unfortunately though, the question about the offense is really starting to come up. RW Martin St. Louis, now the captain of the team, and C Steven Stamkos, the future captain for sure, are really the only pulse of this unit, and averaging 1.5 goals per game and 24.5 shots on goal per game won’t cut it for a team that is going to struggle on the other end of the ice all season long.
For as badly as the Lightning have looked, at least they are just 1-0-1 to show for their work. The Sabres have played three times this year, and they are still without their first point of the season. All of the problems that we thought this team was going to have are coming true, as there just isn’t any offense to work with. LW Thomas Vanek has fired off 15 shots on goal in three games to lead the team in that category, but no one has more than a single point. Why is that? Because the Sabres only have a total of two goals scored in three games thus far. The defense has been sufficient, and G Ryan Miller has been rock solid, but two goals in three games is as good as death in this league. Now to make matters worse, Miller has a groin injury, C Cody Hodgson has a lower body injury, and LW Marcus Foligno has a shoulder problem, and all three are questionable for this game.
The argument could legitimately be made that the Sabres are the worst team in the NHL, and they are a team that we just have to bet against when push comes to shove right now. We may rue the day that we did this, as betting on the Lightning on the road probably isn’t going to make money this year either, but at least Tampa Bay is playing with some confidence, which is more than we can say about the Sabres.
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Buffalo Sabres Pick: Tampa Bay Lightning +105