Two teams that split their head-to-head series (one win apiece) a year ago, the Buffalo Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes face off at Gila River Arena for an East-West showdown. The opening face-off takes place at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, October 13, and it is being televised live on Fox Sports Arizona.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Arizona Coyotes Odds
Arizona (-125) is currently favored over Buffalo (+105), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-120 for the under, +100 for the over).
Buffalo is 2-2 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 0.3 units this season. That winning percentage, the third-best in the Atlantic Division so far this season, is a welcomed improvement over the 25-57 record from last year’s regular season campaign.
Buffalo has converted on 20.0 percent of its power play chances so far. That mark hasn’t moved a lot from last season, when it was ranked 20th in the NHL by converting on 19.1 percent of its extra-man opportunities. Its penalty kill has fallen off drastically since last year, as the team has gone from successfully defending 77.9 percent of all opponent power plays (ranked 22nd overall last year) to 70.0 percent this year.
For the team as a whole, Buffalo has been penalized 3.5 times per game during the 2018-19 season, a number that’s pretty close to last year’s 3.4 penalties per game. After serving an average of 8.2 penalty minutes per game a year ago, the team has had to stave off opponent power plays for 7.8 minutes per outing this season.
Boasting a .912 save percentage and 31.0 saves per game, Carter Hutton (2-2) has been the top option in goal for Buffalo this year.
Jack Eichel and Conor Sheary will both lead the way for the visiting Sabres. Eichel has four points on three goals and one assist this season; Sheary has two goals and one assist to his credit through the early stages of the regular season.
Arizona is 1-2 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.7 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through three regular season matches, two of its games have gone under the total, while zero have gone over and one has pushed.
Arizona has converted on 11.1 percent of its extra-man advantages this year after scoring on 16.3 percent (ranked 27th in league) last season. It’s killed off an impressive 100.0 percent of its penalties, a few points up from the 79.4 percent the team posted a year ago (when it was ranked 18th in the NHL).
Arizona players have been penalized 3.0 times per game this season. Last year, that number was at 3.3, the fifth-best mark in the NHL. After serving an average of 7.8 penalty minutes per game a season ago the team has been forced to kill penalties for 6.0 minutes per outing this year.
Antti Raanta (21.3 saves per game) has been the top choice in goal for Arizona. Raanta has one win and two losses to his name and has recorded a solid 1.96 goals against average and a .914 save percentage this season.
Richard Panik (zero goal, one assist) and Clayton Keller (zero goals, one assists) will pace the attack for Arizona.
Buffalo Sabres at Arizona Coyotes Betting Predictions
Free Pick: SU Winner – Coyotes, O/U – Over
Buffalo has managed 0.0 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Arizona is averaging 41.0 shots per game over its last five at home.
After going 2-5 in games decided by a shootout last year, Arizona is off to a 1-0 start in shootouts this season. Buffalo went 1-2 in shootouts last year and has yet to participate in one this time around.
Arizona’s skaters managed 5.5 takeaways per game and allowed 7.3 giveaways per contest.
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