Patrice Bergeron rode off into the sunset this offseason and left several people — including myself — wondering just how much his absence would be felt. Well, early indications say the Boston Bruins will be just fine without their former captain.
Boston leaves home to take on the Buffalo Sabres who are once again failing to meet offseason expectations, and NHL odds have labeled the B's as road favorites tonight.
Taking Boston on the moneyline seems tempting, but my best bet is going to look at another way to fade a Buffalo offense that has been lacking that oomph to start the new campaign.
Find out how in my free NHL picks for the Bruins vs. Sabres on November 14.
Bruins vs Sabres odds
Bruins vs Sabres predictions
There was strong belief coming into the 2023-24 campaign the Buffalo Sabres would snap their 12-year playoff drought — and although it can still happen — things aren't looking too hot at the moment.
The Sabres looked like an offense ready to trade punches with the best of them, but it's actually what has held them back from winning games thus far. Buffalo is fresh off a shutout at the hands of Pittsburgh and is averaging just 2.93 goals per game (22nd in the league). What concerns me even more is how bad this power play has been.
The Sabres man advantage is operating at a putrid 11.1% (28th) which is levels below their 23.4% a season ago. Positive regression will come, but I'm not so sure we're going to see it against a Boston Bruins PK sitting with a 90.9% success rate — second only to Dallas.
What makes these PP woes even more problematic is Buffalo has scraped together just 2.2 gpg at 5v5, and Boston has allowed only 16 at 5v5. If you haven't noticed, the Sabres are running out of options on how to score against the league's No. 1 defense.
Buffalo's goal total isn't the only thing concerning, however. The Sabres rank 31st in faceoff percentage (43.2%) and they're only taking 28.6 shots per game — good for 27th. This team isn't doing itself any favors in the offensive zone and losing that many faceoffs already puts them at a disadvantage once play starts.
As for goaltending, backup Linus Ullmark is expected to get the nod, with the reigning Vezina winner boasting a 2.26 GAA and .926 SV%. Good luck with that!
With all this said, I'm banking on the Bruins to keep the Sabres Under their team total of 2.5.
My best bet: Sabres team total Under 2.5 (+120 at bet365)
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Bruins vs Sabres same-game parlay
Sabres team total Under 2.5
Bruins 3-way moneyline
David Pastrnak Over 0.5 goals
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The Bruins are simply better than the Sabres at every level. The B's offense has been middle-of-the-pack but it's done more than enough to back up the league's best defense, and they should have no problem scoring on whoever Buffalo decides to put in net.
Boston is 5-1-1 on the road and has just one regulation loss in 14 games. I'm banking on the Bruins to get the job done inside 60 minutes. And if I'm taking Boston to win, I had to take a look at the David Pastrnak odds so I can get this offensive mammoth in my SGP.
Pasta has 10 goals in 14 games — fresh off a 61-goal season a year ago — and is the driving force for this offense. Both his assist and goal props are going for -110, so I'm siding with him to find the back of the net in Buffalo.
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Bruins vs Sabres moneyline and Over/Under analysis
The Bruins opened as -145 road favorites and the line currently sits around -150 throughout the market. As for the Sabres, they're currently trading as +130 to +135 home dogs.
Boston is a very impressive 11-3 on the ML to start the season while Buffalo is a more mediocre 7-8.
As for the total, it opened at a flat 6.0 and that's where it stands — although a few rogue 6.5s are out there with juice toward the Under.
Both teams sit with a 4-10 O/U mark on the year but for much different reasons. Boston has the best defense in the league which lends a helping hand, but the Sabres are at that mark because they're struggling to put the puck in the net.
Bruins vs Sabres betting trend to know
The Under is 5-0 in the Sabres last five home games. Find more NHL betting trends for Bruins vs. Sabres.
Bruins vs Sabres game info
|Location:||KeyBank Center, Buffalo, NY|
|Date:||Tuesday, November 14, 2023|
|Puck drop:||7:00 p.m. ET|
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