Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:00 PM EST.
7:35 PM EST. OT included. The Red Wings are having a nice year. They have won several games as a high price pooch and they still have some high quality players but what they don’t have is the talent or numbers to be favored in this range against any team in the NHL. At best, the Red Wings are a 50/50 proposition to win in their own barn. In fact, Detroit is 12-13-7 at home while the Sabres have a better road record than they do at home.
We’re not going to get into a lot of the metrics here because these two are close together in the rankings in so many of them. Detroit has been the luckier of the two teams but in no way are the Red Wings performances superior. Detroit is a weak defensive team with an incredibly high shooting percentage over the past five weeks.
Robin Lehner will be back in net for the Sabres after missing their game against Washington on Monday to rest a lower-body injury. Since joining the Sabres, Lehner is 3-2-1 with a .953 save percentage and a 1.65 goals-against average against the Red Wings. The only other change to the Buffalo lineup will be on defense, where Victor Antipin is expected to replace Justin Falk after sitting as a healthy scratch on Monday. Antipin has collected assists in each of his two games against the Red Wings. Jimmy Howard will get the start in net for the Red Wings, who will be without All-Star defenseman Mike Green for the fourth-straight game due to an upper-body injury.
Buffalo has lost three straight for the umpteenth time this season so the market expects them to lose. We don’t. The Sabres last three losses were to Washington, Los Angeles and Ottawa and they were the better team against the Caps and Kings. Prior to that, the Sabres beat Tampa and won in Boston. Just before the All-Star break, the Sabres won three straight in Calgary Edmonton and Vancouver. If we lose this bet, so be it. We can live with it because we know we’re going with the best of it. Buffalo can beat Detroit on the Red Wings best day and again, the Red Wings are not close to being good enough to be priced in this range.
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Buffalo +137 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.74)