The Buffalo Sabres drag their six-game losing streak to the shores of Long Beach to take on the first-place New York Islanders in the second game of a back-to-back this afternoon. The Islanders posted their second 5-2 win over the Sabres in three days on Saturday, making it five wins in five games against Buffalo this season.
Oddsmakers have the home team as a -210 favorite with the total opening at 5.5 shaded to the Under. Here are our free picks and predictions for Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders for Sunday, March 7 (12:00 p.m. ET).
Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders betting preview
Sabres: Linus Ullmark G (Out), Jake McCabe D (Out).
Islanders: Johnny Boychuk D (Out).
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Betting trend to know
The Under is 5-1 in the Sabres’ last six on the backend of a back-to-back. Find more NHL betting trends for Sabres vs. Islanders.
NHL sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
FanDuel opened the Islanders -220 Saturday night and stretched to -240 by 11 a.m. ET, where the line remains 30 minutes from game time. Moneyline ticket count and cash are both running more than 9/1 on New York. The total opened 5.5 (Under -144) and is now 5.5 (Under -130), with 61 percent of bets/65 percent of money on the Over.Check out the full line movement for this game
No team has fewer points in the entire league than the Buffalo Sabres. It has been a very hectic week for the team (losers of six straight) as the losses pile up and the stars aren’t producing. Talks of a Jack Eichel trade request were floated around the media this week, and coaches and the GM are on the hot seat. At 6-16 SU on the year, putting $100 down on each Buffalo ML to date would have backers $1,000 down.
Buffalo finished the first frame on Saturday with a 1-0 lead but lost it in 90 seconds the following period, as the Islanders ended up with four second-period goals. This team just seems to lack consistency. The Sabres managed just 12 shots after 40 minutes and lost convincingly to the better team for the second time in three days.
The production from Buffalo’s top-paid players has been a conversation that has been getting louder after each game. Former second overall pick, Jack Eichel, doesn’t have a goal since January 28. Former league MVP, Taylor Hall, has two goals on the year and just one in his last 22 contests.
The Islanders have absolutely dominated the season series versus Buffalo this season. These teams have played five times with New York going a perfect 5-0 SU and covering the -1.5 spread in four of those wins. They find themselves on top of the East Division standings through 24 games. New York is in impressive form having picked up 11 of a possible 12 points over its last six matches.
New York also has a huge advantage in net on the backend of a back-to-back. Projected starter Ilya Sorokin has won his previous three starts and posted a shutout in two of those games. Buffalo will likely turn to Jonas Johansson who has seven NHL starts to his name and has given up eight goals in his only two starts this season.
The Sabres are offering great money on the ML, but this is a team that is hard to back given the frustrations and struggles they are going through. We’re putting our chips on the much better team and taking the Islanders to win in regulation.
PREDICTION: New York Islanders 3-way ML (-125)
It hasn’t been easy to score for each team this season as the Under is a combined 26-18 this year. Both clubs find themselves in the Bottom-10 in goals scored per game while also boasting Top-10 penalty-kill units.
The defensive system that head coach Barry Trotz has implemented and his team has bought into has helped keep scores down. Both Islanders goalies have goals against averages below 2.20 and have a combined five shutouts. Over the five matchups this year, Buffalo has managed just seven goals and failed to score more than two in any of them.
No team has struggled more this year to score at 5x5 than Buffalo. The Sabres are scoring a league-low rate of 1.18 even-strength goals per game. As a team, they have just 26 5x5 goals this year. The power-play is somehow scoring at a 30 percent rate, but the Islanders take the third-least penalties per game so there won’t be many opportunities.
This total will be interesting to watch. Saturday's total opened at 5 and closed at 5.5 (-130). With the backups in, it should keep this total above 5 but will be worth monitoring as taking an Under on 5 is not something we enjoy doing.
PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (-135)
Sabres vs Islanders betting card
- New York Islanders 3-way ML (-125)
- Under 5.5 (-135)
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