The National Hockey League will ease back into its schedule Tuesday and Wednesday before a full slate of games on Thursday night. We ran the betting numbers looking for systems and trends on how teams perform after an Olympic break using SDQL and real-time odds!
Carolina opened as a -125 moneyline favorite for this makeup tilt vs. the Buffalo Sabres but the Hurricanes went into the break with wins in six of their last nine contests. It’s made them the popular choice among bettors as the NHL enters its second half of the season, with online sportsbooks starting to show odds as high as -145. The total is 5 OVER (-125) and although Buffalo ranks dead last in scoring (1.82 GPG); they’ve had a terrible time all season keeping pucks out of the net. The Sabres’ overall season stat reads 2.95 goals allowed per game but click on this chart from Sports Database to get a read on the team’s performance since Jan. 14:
SDQL: team = Sabres and season = 2013 and date >= 20140114
During 13 games the Sabres have earned just two wins scoring 2.5 goals per game but they’ve allowed 3.9 goals per contest and that’s generated a mark of 9 overs, 3 unders and 1 push, or 75-percent to the “Over”.
Ryan Miller is expected to start for the home side and although Miller made a long, arduous journey to Sochi for Team USA, he didn’t play much in Russia so he could be a bit rusty. Consider that Buffalo is giving up an average of 34.3 shots per game during its recent slide and perhaps even Carey Price might have trouble keeping the puck out of the net!
In the first three days back from the Olympic break in 2010, NHL oddsmakers offered just four games with a total of ‘5’ and the home team lost all four straight-up. At 9-17-5 the Sabres own one of the worst home records in the league this season, battling with Edmonton and the Islanders for the outright cellar dweller title, so we start to see why the public money is pounding the road fave.
Carolina has 11 wins on the road this year including a 5-3 triumph at Buffalo on Jan. 23. They are notoriously slow starters, scoring just 29 first period goals in 57 games but the only team who ranks lower than them is Buffalo (25 in 57 games). One thing we should point out is that in its first 22 games, Buffalo scored just three times in the opening frame while allowing 29 goals. Since then, the Swords have tallied 21 times in 35 games including 12 first period goals in the final 11 games before the break. Nine of those 11 games made it “Over” the first period total (1.5) and the current odds for that option payback at +127 (Pinnacle Sports).
Pick: Take the Canes-Sabres OVER 1.5 goals in the first period (+127)