Vegas Golden Knights Keep Winning, So Vegas Sportsbooks Keep Losing
Posted on: January 26, 2018, 03:00h.
Last updated on: January 26, 2018, 12:12h.
The Vegas Golden Knights are having one of the most unlikely seasons for an expansion franchise in professional sports, jumping out to a 32-12-4 record so far.
But while this NHL underdog story has just about everyone rooting for the league’s newest team, there’s one group that isn’t having fun with this story: Las Vegas sportsbooks.
The hot start for the Golden Knights has meant that bookmakers in Las Vegas are seeing significant losses on NHL action for the first time that most of them can remember.
Typically, hockey is not a sport that sees a lot of betting action in Nevada, but with a brand new hometown team, bettors are flocking to put money down on the Golden Knights.
And to the dismay of local bookies, they just keep winning.
“All of a sudden we have big decisions and we keep losing them,” said Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading at William Hill. “Players just keep rolling over their winnings.”
Home Games Have Been Cash Cow for Fans
The worst part, from the books’ perspective, is that the Knights have been even more dominant at home. They’ve posted a 19-2-2 record at T-Mobile Arena, and that incredible mark means that fans going to the games have been cashing in big. According to a report on ESPN.com, if a person bet $100 on every Golden Knights home game this season, they would be up $1,395 so far.
Local bookmakers are apparently seeing about 10 to 15 times as much action on Golden Knights’ home games than any other NHL team, putting these games more in the range of a typical NFL regular season game than anything the sportsbooks have ever seen in hockey. With the incredible success the Knights have seen this season so far, that has put the losses for the bookmakers well over $1 million.
“The betting public found a new ATM,” said John Murray, manager and oddsmaker for the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook. “It’s called the Golden Knights.”
Stanley Cup Win Could Mean Historic Losses for Books
The damage doesn’t seem likely to end anytime soon, either. Futures bets on the Golden Knights are already starting to pay off, as the team has hit the over on its preseason wins total of 26.5, and will soon do the same on points (68.5).
Now, fans, pundits, and bettors are all wondering the same thing: can the Golden Knights do the seemingly impossible and win a Stanley Cup in their first season in existence?
Las Vegas is certainly among the favorites for the title. William Hill currently has them listed as the second choice to win the championship with 15-2 odds, trailing only the Tampa Bay Lightning (6-1, who remain the consensus favorite at almost all sportsbooks.
This problem for the Las Vegas sportsbooks is that bettors got in when the odds were much more lucrative. Many fans placed wagers before the season started, leaving bookmakers with massive liability on the Knights to win the Stanley Cup at odds of 200-1 or more, which could lead to a nightmare should the team go all the way.
“I figured the tickets were just souvenirs,” said MGM Vice President of Race and Sports Jay Rood. “It’s probably the most liability of any team during my 10 years here.”
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