No one told the Vegas Golden Knights they weren’t supposed to be any good. But the expansion team is playing like a well-oiled machine, and in the process are breaking NHL records and Las Vegas sports books alike.
The latest mark they set was Thursday when the defeated the Winnipeg Jets in overtime, 3-2. The club now has 34 victories breaking the record previously held by the 1993-94 Florida Panthers and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
Remarkably, the Golden Knights won their 34th game in their 50th game and still have 32 more contests remaining. They own the second-best record in the NHL with only Tampa Bay ahead of them.
Because of their success, the odds surrounding the team’s chances in the postseason have plummeted. Before their first game they were last on the board to win the Stanley Cup with odds of 200/1. They are currently second at BetOnline at 8/1 and tied with the Lightning at 6/1 at Bovada. They are also the favorite to win the Western Conference at 9/2 after beginning at 100/1. Nashville is second at 6/1.
Crushing Sports Books
While hockey fans in Sin City are celebrating the success of the Vegas Golden Knights, sports book operators all along the Las Vegas Strip are bemoaning the team’s good fortune. It is costing them money, more money than they have seen lost on one team in a long time.
South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro told ESPN.com that it hasn’t been pretty for his book and others.
“We’ve been getting our butts kicked,” Vaccaro said. “We should rename it ‘free date night.’ A guy invites a girl out to dinner and stops at the sports book on the way to the game. What she doesn’t realize is we are paying for everything.”
One of the prop bets the casinos had to pay off on was the over/under for wins for the season. Most books had set the line at 24.5 with 6/1 on the over. The team reached the over on Dec. 28, a month before the halfway point of the season.
They also got burned on the point total. The over/under for that was 68.5 and the team hit the over when they beat Calgary on Tuesday.
More Bets, More Money
The Golden Knights are also turning out to be a great bet on individual games. They possess a 32-17 record straight up, second only to Tampa Bay. At home they are almost unbeatable with a 19-6 record.
Bettors have been cleaning up on games and the amount of money bet on the sport is reportedly 10 times more than usual. William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich told ESPN.com that it has been befuddling.
“Hockey is usually a very poorly bet sport,” he said. “William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich said. “But all of a sudden we have big decisions and we keep losing them. Players just keep rolling over their winnings.”
On Friday they face the Minnesota Wild, one of the few teams that have beaten them. They are a +125 at Minnesota and lost there in November, 4-2. Also back up goaltender Malcom Subban is expected to start. If they lose to the Wild it will only be the second team they have lost a season series to.