The National Hockey League’s Vegas Golden Knights make their home debut Tuesday night and not only are fans celebrating the city’s first major professional sports team, but so are overjoyed bettors.
The expansion squad has been paying off people who were gutsy enough to place wagers on them.
The Golden Knights started their season with two road games and were underdogs in both. The first at heavily favored Dallas, they were plus 210. The Stars are a 14-1 selection to win the Stanley Cup with only six teams getting better odds. The home crowd watched in horror as the visitors defeated Dallas 2-1.
They were the first NHL expansion team to win its first game since Ottawa and Tampa Bay both accomplished that feat in 1992.
The following night they were in Phoenix to face the Coyotes, a team that is not expected to make the playoffs and has the same 200-1 odds to win the Cup as Vegas does. They were, however, still favored to win the game as their opponents were a plus-160 to upset them. The Golden Knights won in overtime 2-1.
Sportsbooks Clean Up
The only ones who are happier than those who made $370 on a $100 bet on both games are the officials at the facilities that took those wagers. Most of the money was on the Stars and Coyotes and Golden Nugget sportsbook director Tony Miller told the Review Journal his place did well.
“Locals are betting on them, but the sharps are betting against them,” He said. “They got their ass kicked. We won on the first two games, thank God.”
Now they face Arizona in a rematch and the secret is out. The team is not getting attractive odds for this game, as they are a minus-110 pick to win in their home debut. Chuck Esposito, who is Sunset Station’s sportsbook director, told the Review Journal the team is getting about four times the volume as opposed to other NHL games and it should be no different for tonight’s contest.
“We expect to see some backing (for the Knights) in the home opener,” Esposito said.
Proposition Bets Announced
One bet that might interest gamblers is the over/under for the game. The line for the previous two matches was 5.5 and the under was easily achieved both times. The figure is the same for the home opener.
Station Casinos has jumped on the bandwagon and is offering several proposition bets for the game. They will present those side wagers by mid-afternoon most game days.
Offerings include first team to score, first player to score, total goals by Golden Knights and if there will be a goal in first 10 minutes.
“Anything that will create 60 minutes of hockey fun for bettors,” Esposito told the Review Journal. “We’ll expand the menu, too.”