Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#45 St. Louis Blues -140 vs.
#46 Buffalo Sabres 5.5
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 7:35pm EST
KeyBank Center, Buffalo
Written by Chris Kubala

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#45 St. Louis
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It’s an interconference matchup on the ice in Western New York. The St. Louis Blues are on the road as they travel to face the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night. St. Louis was dropped 5-2 at home by Toronto on Saturday night in their last contest. Buffalo earned a 3-2 overtime win over Edmonton on the road Sunday night in their latest game. The Blues have won eight of the last 10 meetings but the teams split the two meetings last season. In the most recent matchup, it was Buffalo taking a 4-3 shootout win at home on March 17, 2019.

St. Louis Blues Look to Regroup

St. Louis suffered their second straight loss as they were beaten at home by Toronto Saturday night. The Blues entered Monday holding a two-point edge over the Avalanche in the Central Division race. St. Louis is tied for 15th in the league in scoring as they put up 2.97 goals per game on the year. The Blues are 5th in goals against by allowing 2.58 goals per contest this year. St. Louis is 7th with the man advantage as the team converts 22.7 percent of their power play chances this season. The Blues are 11th in penalty killing as they successfully kill off 83.1 percent of their shorthanded situations this season.

In their last game, the Blues were jumped on early and couldn’t dig their way out of the hole against the Maple Leafs. St. Louis was outshot 12-8 in the opening period and trailed 4-1 after 20 minutes of play. After falling behind 1-0, Ivan Barbashev tied the game with his fifth of the year at 4:25 off an assist from Robert Thomas. The Blues gave up three goals over the next 8:32 to end up down three goals after one period. In the second period, St. Louis held an 11-5 edge in shots but gave up the lone goal of the period to trail 5-1 after 40 minutes. The final period saw Toronto hold a 10-9 edge in shots while the Blues scored the only goal. That got them closer but nowhere near a victory. David Perron scored his 12th of the year at 2:02 off assists from Alex Pietrangelo and Ryan O’Reilly. Jordan Binnington stopped seven of 11 shots before getting pulled in the opening stanza. Jake Allen stopped 15 of 16 shots in relief. Binnington is expected to get the start in net here.

Buffalo Sabres Try to Earn Back to Back Wins

Buffalo bounced back from an overtime loss to Vancouver as they earned an overtime win over Edmonton to close their road trip through western Canada 1-1-1. The Sabres entered Monday holding the final guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division and stood 12 points back of the Bruins for the top spot. Buffalo is 14th in the league in goals for as they average 3.06 goals per game so far this season. The Sabres are 18th in the league in goals against as they allow 3.03 goals per contest this year. Buffalo’s power play has been below average this season as the team is 20th in the league by cashing in 17.8 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Sabres are 30th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 73.4 percent of their shorthanded situations thus far.

Against Edmonton, Buffalo started strong but saw things slip away before rallying to win the game in overtime. The Sabres held an 11-10 edge in shots in the opening period and skated off with a 2-0 advantage on the scoreboard. Kyle Okposo opened the scoring with his third of the year at 4:08 off an assist from Marco Scandella. Johan Larsson doubled the Buffalo lead off assists from Jimmy Vesey and Rasmus Asplund at 10:43 to give the Sabres a 2-0 edge. In the second period, the Sabres were outshot 12-4 and outscored 2-0 to tie the game at two after 40 minutes. The final period saw the shots even at six with neither team lighting the lamp, sending the game to overtime. In the extra session, Buffalo had the lone shot and it lit the lamp. Colin Miller scored his first goal of the season at 1:13 of overtime off assists from Marcus Johansson and Jack Eichel. Linus Ullmark made 26 saves in the win for the Sabres, who were outshot 28-22 in the game. Carter Hutton is expected to get the start in net in this game.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Buffalo came up with a gritty win over Edmonton to cap their three-game road trip and gets to return home here. The Sabres are still struggling after their hot start. Buffalo had 17 points in their first 10 games (8-1-1) but it took them 21 games (6-10-5) to get their next 17 points. The Blues are the defending Stanley Cup champs and they are going to be motivated after dropping two straight contests. St. Louis has had Buffalo’s number in recent years and Hutton has struggled over the last month or so in net. Give the Blues the upper hand in this contest.

Prediction: St. Louis Blues -130

Full-Game Total Pick

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St. Louis is an impressive 10-3-3 on the road this season. In those games, the Blues hold a +6 goal differential (48-42) despite being outshot by 69 (526-457) so far this season. That gives an average of 5.63 goals per game in their road contests. Buffalo stands 8-3-3 at home this season coming into this contest. The Sabres own a +14 goal differential (50-36) and a +10 shot advantage (433-423) this season in those games. That's an average of 6.14 goals per game at the KeyBank Center. What should you expect in this one?

The under is 6-1 in the Blues' last seven games on the road and 10-4 in their last 14 games overall. Buffalo has seen the under go 6-1 in their last seven against the Central Division and 6-3 in their last nine at home. This one should fall short of the total as Binnington turns in a solid start to bounce back from being chased by Toronto in his last outing.

Prediction: Under 5.5

Half-Time Side Pick

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St. Louis comes into this game having held a lead after the first period in six of their 16 road games this season. The Blues have been tied in five games and trailed in five contests this season. Buffalo has held the lead only three times after 20 minutes in their 14 home games this season. The Sabres have been tied after the first period four times, meaning they have been behind seven times after the first period on home ice. That gives the Blues the advantage here.

Prediction: 1st Period St. Louis Blues

Half-Time Total Bet

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St. Louis comes into this contest holding a +1 goal differential (12-11) in the first period on the road this season. That gives a total of 23 first period goals in the Blues' road games, or an average of 1.44 goals in the opening 20 minutes of play. Buffalo has been outscored by three goals (14-11) in the opening period at home this season. The Sabres have seen a total of 25 goals on the board in the opening 20 minutes of play, which is an average of 1.79 goals per game in the first period. This one should fall under the number after one period as the game should be 0-0 or 1-0 after 20 minutes.

Prediction: 1st Period Under
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.