Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:15 PM EST.
7:05 PM EST. OT included. The Sabres jumped out of the gate quickly in October before slowing right down and we’re going to put a little more faith in them to come out strong in the second half. Analytically, there is not a lot that separates these two, as Buffalo ranks 19th in Corsi For % during five-on-five play while the Jackets rank just 16th. In High Danger Shots %, Buffalo ranks 4th in the entire league and that may bode well here against Sergei Bobrovsky.
Bobrovsky has had a tough time in his last seven starts by going 3-4-0 with a 3.84 GAA and .864 SV%. Furthermore, he was disciplined a few games ago after hitting the showers after getting yanked when team protocol is to remain on the bench. The team asked Bob about his stance on his “no-trade clause” and he said he would be willing to waive it if he liked where he was going. Additionally over the break, Artemi Panarin stated that he is not going to discuss any contracts until after the season. That can’t be sitting well with the team or players because when a player doesn’t want to hear an offer, it very likely means he’s heading out the door. The Jackets are now in the precarious position of deciding whether to keep him and risk losing him for nothing or trading him and getting something in return. All of this matters, as a team with its sights set high wants to be cohesive and humming heading into February. For the Jackets, they’ll head into February with some questions and with the weakening goaltending, both physically and mentally of Sergei Bobrovsky.
Goaltending decides games in this league often and while there are no guarantees of anything, the price here on the Sabres warrants a bet against all the negative factors that surround the Blue Jackets right now. Buffalo was a very live dog to start the year and they surely have a chance to be a live dog again coming out of the break.
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Buffalo +155 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.10)