Blue Jackets vs Sabres Prediction - NHL Picks 12/19/23

Buffalo Sabres (13-16-3) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (10-17-5)

Game Info: Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 7:00 pm (KeyBank Center)

Betting Odds: Buffalo Sabres -184 / Columbus Blue Jackets +152 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Columbus Blue Jackets will play the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York. Columbus has alternated wins and losses over their last five games, while Buffalo has also alternated wins and losses over their last seven games. Let’s take a look at the betting matchup and the Blue Jackets vs Sabres prediction.

Blue Jackets Preview

The Columbus Blue Jackets are 10-17-5 this year after they lost to New Jersey by a score of 6-3 in their last game. Columbus trailed 2-0 after the first period, but cut the lead to one on two different occasions in the second, before New Jersey pulled away in the third. The Blue Jackets were out shot by a total of 30-26 and went 1-4 on the power play in the game. Columbus defeated Toronto by a score of 6-5 in the game prior to New Jersey, but lost to Florida by a score of 5-2 in the game before that. The Blue Jackets are scoring 3.00 goals per game and they are allowing 3.63 goals against per game, while going 15.4% on the power play and 84.3% on the penalty kill. Zach Werenski has led Columbus with one goal, 22 assists, and 75 shots on goal. The projected starting goalie for Columbus is Elvis Merzlikins, who is 7-8-4 this year with a 3.19 goals against average and a .909 save percentage. 

Sabres Preview

The Buffalo Sabres are 13-16-3 this season after they lost to Arizona by a score of 2-0 in their last game. Buffalo allowed one goal in the second period and one goal in the third period in the shutout loss. The Sabres out shot Arizona by a total of 28-22 and went 0-1 on the power play in the game. Buffalo defeated Vegas by a score of 5-2 in the game prior to Arizona, but lost to Colorado by a score of 5-1 in the game before that. Buffalo is scoring 2.81 goals per game and they are allowing 3.25 goals against per game, while going 13.3% on the power play and 81.2% on the penalty kill. Casey Mittelstadt has led Buffalo with eight goals, 17 assists, and 51 shots on goal. The projected starting goalie for Buffalo is Devon Levi, who is 6-4-2 this year with a 3.07 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. 

Buffalo Sabres Team Facts

  • The Sabres have lost three of their last four games as favorites against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • The Sabres have failed to cover the puck line in each of their last 11 Tuesday games as home favorites.
  • The Sabres have lost the second period in each of their last five home games against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • The 'Over 1.5 Goals Period 2' market has hit in each of the last seven games between the Blue Jackets and Sabres.

Columbus Blue Jackets Team Facts

  • The Blue Jackets have won three of their last five games as underdogs against the Sabres.
  • The Blue Jackets have covered the puck line in six of their last seven games following a loss.
  • The favorites have won the third period in six of the Blue Jackets' last seven games.
  • The 'Over 2.5 Goals Period 3' market has hit in each of the Blue Jackets' last seven games.

Buffalo Sabres Player Prop Facts

  • Tage Thompson has recorded at least one point in each of his last seven appearances against the Blue Jackets.
  • Jeff Skinner has scored a goal in four of the Sabres' last five games as home favorites against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • Casey Mittelstadt has recorded at least one assist in each of the Sabres' last five games as favorites against Metropolitan Division opponents.
  • Tage Thompson has the most Shorthanded Goals for the Sabres this season (2).

Columbus Blue Jackets Player Prop Facts

  • Yegor Chinakhov has scored at least one goal in each of the Blue Jackets' last four games as underdogs.
  • Zach Werenski has recorded a point in each of his last five appearances in night games at KeyBank Center.
  • Boone Jenner has recorded at least one assist in each of his last five appearances against the Sabres after playing less than 20 minutes in the Blue Jackets' last game.
  • Yegor Chinakhov has recorded two career assists against the Sabres - equal-most against any opponent (including playoffs)

Matchup/League Facts

  • The Buffalo Sabres ranks 31st in the league for Period 1 goals allowed per game this season (1.22).
  • The Buffalo Sabres ranks 30th in the league for Period 1 goals scored per game this season (0.66).
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets ranks 25th in the league in power play percentage this season (15.38%).
  • The Columbus Blue Jackets ranks 32nd in the league for Period 3 goals allowed per game this season (1.72).

Blue Jackets vs Sabres Betting Prediction

Both of these teams have struggled to string wins together over the last couple of weeks and both are towards the bottom of their division standings. Buffalo is 6-7-1 at home, but they have only scored six goals in their last three games. Columbus is 3-8-3 on the road and they have allowed 17 goals in their last three games. Buffalo has not been good on the offensive end of the ice, but will face a pretty poor Columbus defense. I don’t like either of these teams, but I do think either team could win here, so I am going to take Columbus with the plus money. 

David’s Pick Blue Jackets ML

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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