February 19, 2015

NHL Hockey Betting Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers

NHL Hockey Betting Preview:  Buffalo Sabres at Philadelphia Flyers&h=253&w=372&zc=1

It’s not always a bad idea to lay a big price. You can find value all over the price continuum and you shouldn’t assume that because a favorite is a ‘big favorite’ that it’s a bad value. Conversely, a big underdog isn’t always a good value.

The Sabres are 3-22 in their last 25 games and with a tough schedule down the stretch (they play Nashville twice, the Rangers twice, Chicago, Vancouver, Washington) they might not win again this season. That might be just fine with Buffalo who is all in for the Connor McDavid sweepstakes at this point. McDavid has been lobbying hard to get the NHL to send him to the Toronto Maple Leafs…er….hoping fervently that the balls land right so he can play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Seriously, McDavid is the real deal. He’s possessed of ungodly talent and has the sort of work ethic that can leverage that talent into a Hall of Fame career. He says he needs to improve in a lot of areas of the game–especially his ‘shot’ which is a scary thought considering he did this to a hockey puck in practice earlier this year. With a wrist shot. Adam Proteau of The Hockey News said this about McDavid when reporting on his abuse of vulcanized rubber last October:

The grand majority of junior hockey players have to adjust to the NHL. But the more we see of the 17-year-old McDavid, the more it seems the NHL is going to have to adjust to him.
When even pucks have to fear for their safety, McDavid’s opponents ought to be very afraid.

The overall take on McDavid? Not too shabby:

Generational franchise centre like Sidney Crosby

The best thing about McDavid is that he comes off as a real good dude who’ll be a great teammate and will make everyone around him better. He’s also got ridiculous poise and confidence for a guy that just turned 18. Just an amazing talent–he attracted a sellout crowd when his Erie Otters played the Mississauga Steelheads. It was the first sellout in franchise history for the Steelheads dating back to 1999.

Here’s a highlight video of McDavid. Even with the snuff film production values of much of this footage you can tell he’s got skills. Keep in mind that he’s 17 years old in most of these clips. When I was 17 I thought I was doing well swiping beef jerky from 7-11.

So that’s why the Sabres want to lose. The Flyers need wins, Buffalo is 5-20 this year against opponents with losing records and they’ll be 5-21 after tonight.