On Monday night, the Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres meet for the first of two games in two nights against each other.
Let’s get into our Flyers-Sabres betting preview, including odds, predictions and picks.
Flyers vs. Sabres Betting Preview (January 18, 2021)
The Flyers and Sabres will meet on consecutive nights in each team’s second mini-series to start the season. Buffalo lost their home opener 6-4 and followed that up with a 2-1 loss at home, dropping them to the basement of the realigned East Division.
The Sabres’ off-season acquisition of Taylor Hall has paid early dividends, with the winger putting up three points (1G/2A) to start the season, while former #2 overall pick Jack Eichel has three assists to to tie Hall for the team’s points lead.
The Flyers are the only undefeated team remaining in the East Division, behind Washington in the standings by a point due to the Caps earning a point via a shootout loss to Pittsburgh in their third game of the season.
Philadelphia has looked excellent through their first two games, winning both despite being outshot in each matchup. Each of their four lines contributed at least one goal in the home opener, while Travis Konecny reestablished himself as a goalscorer, finishing off the first hat trick of his NHL career on Friday night.
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Flyers vs. Sabres Odds
Here’s the line for the Flyers and Sabres at DraftKings Sportsbook PA:
- Spread: Flyers -1.5 +155, Sabres +1.5 -190
- Moneyline: Flyers -159, Sabres +138
- Over/Under: O 6 +104, U 6 -125
Bets We Like With a Flyers Win
Money Puck gives the Flyers a 63.7% chance of winning their first matchup against the Sabres. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s implied win probability based on the moneyline is 59%.
Flyers Win and Under 6.5 Goals (+160, DraftKings)
This game should go the Flyers’ way somewhat easily, or that’s at least what the thought was prior to Friday’s game against the Penguins. The Flyers lost reigning Selke Trophy winner Sean Couturier for at least two weeks with a costochondral separation following a first period hit.
That injury alone is enough to give us pause, not for the result, rather the over/under. With Couturier in the lineup, this game could have easily been a 4-1 win for the Orange & Black. Without Couturier’s presence and ability to shut down Jack Eichel or Taylor Hall, there’s a chance that this ends up being a higher-scoring affair.
Still, Flyers netminder Carter Hart locked in after Pittsburgh struck with two quick first period goals. There’s going to be a bigger onus on Hart to shut down the opposition and potentially win a game or two on his own until Couturier is back in the fold.
Buffalo was held to a single goal at home in their second game of the season after losing 6-4 to Washington in their home opener. The Flyers, meanwhile, posted six and five goals in their first two games. We believe head coach Alain Vigneault will install a more defensively responsible gameplan for this one to make up for Couturier’s absence.
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Travis Konecny to Score a Goal and Flyers to Win (+290, FOX Bet)
Travis Konecny led the Flyers in points (61) and goals (24) a season ago. The 23-year-old was a large reason the Flyers found themselves playing in the Eastern Conference round robin instead of the qualifying round to start the Toronto bubble. Then the postseason started and Konecny never managed to get himself going. It wasn’t for lack of effort, but he failed to score a goal in either of the Flyers’ two playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders.
After appearing to get on the scoresheet in Wednesday’s game against the Penguins -later given to Oskar Lindblom as the puck deflected off his helmet- Konecny dominated the crease and finished off the first hat trick of his NHL career. With Sean Couturier out, Philadelphia will need their top scorer from a season ago to keep up his scoring ways.
Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Travis Konecny to Score a Goal (+175, BetMGM)
If you follow the same line of thinking as in the aforementioned bet, but are hesitant about including the Flyers moneyline, you can get Travis Konecny to score a goal at any point in the game at +175 at BetMGM. They’ll boost those odds to +1200 if you take him to score the first goal or +1200 if you think he’ll score the last goal.
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Jakub Voracek Over 0.5 Assists (+150, BetMGM)
Jakub Voracek has had a strong start to the season, dominating possession in the offensive zone while flanking former #2 overall pick Nolan Patrick opposite former #2 overall pick James van Riemsdyk. Voracek has two assists on the season, including one at even strength and one on the power play. Both assists came in the Flyers last game against Pittsburgh, the first on a cross-ice feed to Travis Konecny on the power play and the second at even strength to find Ivan Provorov from distance.
Given his strong recent form and power play opportunities, this is a market worth considering.
Flyers vs. Penguins Prediction
Pick: This game will be a higher-scoring affair without Sean Couturier in the lineup and could end up being a 4-2 Flyers win. Avoid the spread and take the Flyers to Win and Under 6.5 Goals. Also, get in on the Jakub Voracek to record an assist market.