The New York Islanders play host to the Buffalo Sabres in game five of their season series this Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. The Islanders are decided favorites here per NHL odds and it’s not surprising given they’ve beaten Buffalo in all four of their meetings.
I like the Islanders here. We can find and bet them from the BetUS online sportsbook. As far as solid NHL betting picks go, the Islanders have a great track record against every team they face that’s not from Pennsylvania.
Sabres vs Islanders Betting Preview
Sabres: It’s Always Cold in Buffalo
Thankfully, the Bills are fresh off a tremendous playoff run or Buffalo sports fans would be among the saddest in the world. To get to the point: it’s over with the Sabres. They’re done. Put a fork in them. Trade Taylor Hall or Jack Eichel, whatever.
Buffalo has two wins since January 31. That’s a 2-9-1 record and a 20.8 point percent, the worst in the league by at least ten percent. The Sabres can’t even score two goals per contest averaging 1.75 while allowing 3.17.
If it wasn’t for their power play, 33.3 percent in this span for the top score in the league, Buffalo would only have 12 goals for an average of one per game. You can blame the two-week layoff or their myriad of absences, but it won’t change the Sabres’ fate.
Buffalo’s front office now has to make some decisions on the team’s future. Changes should come in what has been another disastrous season in Western New York.
Islanders: One Small Flaw on the Defense
If this divisional format has shown one thing, it’s that matchups do make a difference, especially in this East Division. The Islanders have pretty much mastered their division rivals with the exception of the Pennsylvanian pair and the Capitals.
New York has won five of its last six games and hasn’t lost to a team outside of Pennsylvania since losing to Washington back in January 28. They are 10-2-4 in this span with the best point percent in the division (75 percent).
What’s their secret sauce? Defense. Barry Trotz’s guys have maintained their identity as the NHL’s most defensively sound team. They’ve allowed the third-fewest goals (2.22) per game thanks to winning the 5-on-5 puck battles.
The Islanders have limited four of their seven opponents to below nine percent shooting on scoring chances. But they are still prone to highly skilled finishers from Philadelphia or Washington This team does not make too many mistakes, but an opportunistic team can make them pay consistently.
As far as division matchups go, Islanders over Sabres is the most lopsided. We have an elite defense in the Islanders against the worst offense in Buffalo. The Islanders are our online sports betting pick for obvious reasons.
In their four games, the Islanders have an 11 to 2 goal-scoring advantage on 5-on-5 and they’ve outshot the Sabres 100 to 76. Both have also scored the same amount of power play goals (two apiece).
At some point Buffalo will have to get the monkey off their backs and start scoring again. Eichel is still an offensive dynamo and Hall, despite having just two goals, is the type of player who can make magic happen.
But even if I’m bullish on the Sabres, I feel the Islanders’ better playing unit has a more realistic shot at success. New York makes it five straight against Buffalo.
Pick: New York Islanders to win