When Jack Eichel arrived at Buffalo, he was pronounced the savior of the franchise. Buffalo Sabres fans compared him to the most outstanding player in franchise history, the legendary Gilbert Perrault. During his time with the Sabres, Eichel has been a team asset on the ice and box office. Yet the Sabres are a disaster of a team. Similarly, Sabres owner Terry Pegula was hailed as a savior when he bought the team over a decade ago. Pegula said the entire purpose of the Sabres was to win Stanley Cups. And he brought the bankroll to fund such a quest. But things have not worked out as hoped. Instead, Pegula presides over a catastrophe. Buffalo plays at the reliable and structured New York Islanders Sunday.
Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders
When: Sunday, March 7, 2021, 12 p.m. ET
Where: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
NHL Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders Wagering Analysis
Entering Sunday's NBC showcase game, the Sabres offer zero online sports betting appeal. Squares never like to bet on road underdogs, regardless of ability, which means that an away team in free fall is simply no sale. Although wiseguys prefer underdogs, they don't want to burn money on plus-money teams with nothing going for them. The Islanders are a team contending for first place in the East Division. New York isn't a fun team to watch but are consistent winners. The Islanders' airtight defense should suffocate Buffalo's lackluster offense. Undertakers have a lot of interest in this game.
Buffalo's Dull Sabres
Buffalo is falling like a rock with eight losses in their last ten games. Only one of their previous ten games cleared the total. Overall, the Sabres have a record of 6-11-3 with 7-12 under the total. Buffalo ranks 29th in the NHL for goal scoring but 3rd for the power play. Defensively the Sabres are 20th for goals against and 16th for penalty killing.
Of major concern is that center Jack Eichel has only two goals with his 13 assists and a minus-seven on the season. Last week Eichel and head coach Ralph Krueger were giving different messages about the center's injury status. Another problem is that number one goaltender Linus Ullmark remains out with a lower body issue.
New York Defends the Island
Meanwhile, the Islanders have won four of their last five games, and only two of their previous nine games cleared the total. New York has a record of 12-6-3 with 7-14 under the total. NHL metrics show the Islanders 23rd for goal scoring and 12th for the power play. On the back end, New York ranks 4th for goals against and 9th for penalty killing.
Number one goaltender Semyon Varlamov has a dominant .927 save percentage and 2.10 goals against average with three shutouts. Further, center Anders Lee is the Islanders' top goal scorer with 10. Extending New York's firepower is center Mathew Barzal with eight goals and 11 assists.
Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders Betting Trends
So far this season, Buffalo is 4-4-1 on the road. Counter to that is New York's home record of 7-0-2. Head-to-head, New York is 11-2 in their last 13 games against the Sabres, with only one of the previous eight games in this series going under the total. On the Island, Buffalo has lost six straight games. The Sabres and Islanders are 3-2-1 over the total at New York.
Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders Bookmaker Free Pick
Certainly, Islanders will be a prohibitive favorite. But New York gets the call in this one. Putrid Buffalo has failed to show NHL betting value.
Sabres at Islanders Bookmaker Best Bet: New York Islanders
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