The NHL’s Western Conference Finals are set after the Winnipeg Jets upset the Nashville Predators in game seven by a score of 5-1.
The Jets bucked the odds by winning three of their four games on the road against the team that had the second-best home record in the league.
They’ll now try to put an end to the Golden Knights’ storybook season.
The Winnipeg-Vegas matchup is not only an exciting one for fans, with both teams playing an up-tempo, physical style of hockey, but it’s an historical one as well. It’s the first time that either franchise has ever made it as far as the Western Finals. Of course, this is the first season for Vegas, so they’re batting 1.000 on that front.
However, the Jets franchise never advanced this far in their 29 years in the league.
Now, they’re the favorites to knock of the Knights and win it all.
Cleared for Takeoff
After beating the team that entered the playoffs as the favorites to lift the Stanley Cup, the Jets have now taken that mantle themselves. As for the Knights, they resume the underdog role that they’ve been comfortable in all season long. Here are the latest Cup odds, according to Ladbrokes:
Winnipeg Jets – 12/5
Tampa Bay Lightning – 13/5
Vegas Golden Knights – 29/10
Washington Capitals 29/10
Looking at the odds for the series, Winnipeg has opened as a considerable favorite over the plucky expansion franchise. The Canadian club is a 2/3 favorite to beat the Knights and advance to the Cup Finals, while Vegas is paying a 5/4 price to pull off the upset. The Jets had one more win than Vegas in the regular season and will have home-ice advantage in the series.
Bookmakers Will Be Busy
The Jets may be the mathematical favorites, but you can bet that the Knights will be the preferred side at the wagering windows in Vegas.
While locals have been thrilled to see the Golden Knights surprise everyone during their expansion season, bookmakers have been taking a bath. Even South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro admits, “we’ve been getting our butts kicked” by bettors who love the action on the Golden Knights.
With Vegas now back in the role of underdog and paying good odds, the betting action is only expected to be amped up. Vaccaro says this series will draw a ton of interest, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
“The (NHL) decisions are much bigger than they were in previous years. That’s the only reason I’ve been watching it. Before the Knights came to town, the only time there was any type of interest was when (Wayne) Gretzky came (to Los Angeles).” – Vaccaro
Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals goes Saturday Night at 7:00 pm EST. Winnipeg is favored in the game at 2/3, while the Knights are paying 13/10 to walk into Winnipeg and steal a crucial win.