Lightning vs. Sabres Pick – December 31st

You have to be kidding me with the Kings last night. Lose to the Oilers? The Oilers!? Just a piss-poor effort out of LA last night, as they looked forward to getting their New Years plans started instead of playing a hockey game. For a minute there it looked like the game was going to be an easy win for the Oilers, but the Kings embarrassed presumably, decided to come out and play for the 3rd period. They tied it up but it wasn’t enough, with the Oilers winning 3-2 in a shootout for only their 2nd win in their last twenty attempts. The Kings have been coasting this season, but I think coasting would have been good enough to beat Edmonton by a big margin. Maybe that’ll be their wake up call. Never mind hung over from the night before, but the Kings might be hung over from their Stanley Cup win a year ago. Who knows, they’ve surprised us before by coming out of nowhere to win. So, perhaps they’ll be a little more motivated come March.

New Years Eve is always a big card for the NHL. It is New Years Eve and it is the eve of the Winter Classic. I believed that adding a bunch of outdoor games was going to dilute the product, and it most certainly has. This is the first year that I can remember that there hasn’t been much buzz surrounding the game. The novelty of the idea will be worn out within a couple of years I believe. For our pick tonight, the Tampa Bay Lightning will take on the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo. What a better way to spend your New Years Eve then watching the Sabres. But you know what, the Sabres have been an okay team of late. We hit in their last game and look to do it again tonight. I mentioned that I would be back on this bet in Buffalo games soon and here we are two days later.

Tampa Bay Lightning @ Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres will have to contend with one of the best offenses in the NHL tonight. The Sabres haven’t been able to really compete against bad offenses let alone powerhouses. Just look at their last game against the Senators, where they allowed another dose of healthy goals. After giving up 5 goals in that outing, the Sabres have now allowed an average of 4.6 goals in their last six games. Overall this season the Sabres are 28th in the NHL allowing 3.30 goals a game. The offense, however, has shown signs of improvement.

The 28th best defense in the league will be going against the 2nd best offense in the NHL. Armed with Steven Stamkos on their side, the Lightning are averaging 3.18 goals a game. Tampa Bay is on a three game winning streak, a streak in which they scored 9 goals in. In the Lightning’s previous three games against the Sabres, they scored 10 goals in total. The OVER is 20-18 in Lightning games and the OVER is now 17-15 in Sabre games, a 180 from what we seen in the first two months of this season. The Sabres offense has been improving slowly but surely, but their defense still needs a lot of help. They won’t get much help tonight against this Lightning offense. I am looking for goals tonight and will be on the OVER 5.5.

Pick – OVER 5.5 GOALS (+110) @ (Best Odds)

Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.