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Avalanche Sabres Betting – Sabres, Avalanche Clash With Crucial Points On The Line In Respective Playoff Races

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/12/2012 3:36:29 PM
ryan-miller

The Buffalo Sabres have been one of the hottest teams in the Eastern conference over their past 10 games, climbing back in to the playoff race. The Colorado Avalanche have been just as good in order to keep pace with the final postseason position in the Western conference, with only a single point separating eighth through 11th in the standings heading in to this week. Those two teams will meet this Wednesday at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo with crucial points on the line, and while they don’t meet often playing in opposite conferences, their respective playoff races should make this sports betting contest that much more intense.

Colorado Avalanche @ Buffalo Sabres
Wednesday March 14, 2012 – 7:30 PM ET
First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York
NHL Sportsbook Line: Buffalo Sabres

The Avalanche are stuck in the middle of those four teams trying to clinch that final spot, but have played the most games out of the group that includes the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks. Meanwhile, the Sabres aren’t in any better position in the East with four points to make up between them and the eighth place Washington Capitals, and if they fall any further behind their late charge could come to an end.

NHL Betting Preview: Colorado Avalanche

Colorado actually has the best record of the four teams fighting for that final spot over its last 10 games, and one of the biggest reasons that it is still even in the race is the team’s play on the road. The Avalanche are five games above .500 on the road this season, and although they simply do need to be better on home ice, they will take points anyway that they can get them. Colorado is likely to stick with Semyon Varlamov down the stretch after rotating between he and JS Giguere throughout the season. Varlamov has been the better goalie overall of late, and is 6-0 in the shootout this year.

NHL Betting Preview: Buffalo Sabres

For as good as the Sabres have been of late, they could now be without one of their top scorers in Thomas Vanek, who is out with an upper-body injury that is likely a concussion he suffered on a hit against the Boston Bruins. With Vanek out, Buffalo will rely even more on leading scorer Jason Pominville for offense, as he leads the team in goals and assists with 25 and 37 respectively. Netminder Ryan Miller has rebounded strong throughout the past month to bring his goals against average down, and he will be among the biggest keys to the Sabres’ hopes down the stretch.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

There won’t be much room for either team to pull away in this one, and although the Avalanche have played some excellent hockey on the road, Buffalo has gotten to where it is in the standings with an even better record on home ice, and should be able to get another two points here. The edge goes to Colorado if this game goes to overtime or a shootout and could be worth paying attention to for an in-game sports bet with Varlamov playing so well in the shootout, but the fact that the Sabres are the more desperate team and playing on home ice gives them the edge overall.

NHL Betting Pick: Buffalo Sabres

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