UFC 253 comes packed with fireworks from both inside the octagon and the betting lines as middleweight king Israel Adesanya settles his grudge with the unbeaten destroyer, Paulo Costa. Both fighters are explosive strikers and with ill will all but guaranteeing heated exchanges. Co-headlining are red-hot fighters Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz facing off for the vacant light heavyweight title. Let's break down these fights and see which bets we can cash.
Canadiens at Sabres NHL Online Betting Lines
Canadiens at Sabres NHL Week 1
Betting this early in the season is always fascinating.
In theory, your team should be as healthy as it's ever going to be, without any of the nagging injuries that can hinder performance throughout the regular season and playoffs. But on the other hand, you have lots of new faces in new places. So some teams will take time to gel as teammates. The chemistry might not be there right out of the gate.
When betting on the NHL in the first month or so, I generally follow two rules of thumb. Never bet on a rookie on the road. This rule obviously applies most to rookie goaltenders. They're going to be a lot more shaky on the road.
But the rule applies to young hotshot offensive weapons.
They're going to get a rude awakening on the road, most times. The second rule is to bet on the more experienced team. A good team can easily lose to an average team, if the average team has had their nucleus intact longer than a good team.
Prediction: The Montréal Canadiens at Sports Interaction
Let's get into the specific matchup. This is the first game of the season. So, unfortunately, we don't have any hardcore statistics or trends to bet on. In theory, both of these teams have the exact same amount of momentum. And in theory, both of these teams are undefeated and have the same chance to win the Stanley Cup finals this year. Of course, you and I know that's all hogwash.
Last year, Montreal won the Atlantic division, and were very much in the hunt to win it all, but bowed out after a disappointing playoff performance.
I think that performance is still lingering in the minds of a lot of critics. Because some people have them giving of the lead in the Atlantic this year, to the upstart Toronto Maple Leafs or The Tampa Bay Lightning. In either case, the Atlantic is top heavy.
Most people have The Buffalo Sabres finishing fourth in the aforementioned Atlantic, and making the playoffs, most likely from a wild-card position. They will be improved from last year, but still not ready to challenge the upper echelon. That's still a big jump, considering the Sabres were last in the Atlantic division, second last in the East overall last year.
Defensively, Montreal looked invincible at some points last year, with the incomparable Carey Price between the posts. The Montreal Canadians gave up 200 goals on the season, which was tied for third best in the NHL. Meanwhile, Buffalo was not so good. They gave up 237 goals. That's pretty mediocre defense. However, offensively they were pretty anemic. The Sabres only scored 201 goals, which was second-worst in the Eastern Conference. Fifth worst overall.
The Bottom Line
This all comes back to what I said earlier.
In the early going of the season, you really need to bet on the more established team, especially on the road. Now, I realize that the more experienced team, Montreal, is actually playing on the road here. But I still have them winning their first game of the season on the road tonight.
Buffalo may get out to a fast start, with lots of excitement and optimism for the new year. but experience and chemistry will win this game.
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