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Knights not golden for NHL bettors in second season

Updated March 2, 2019 - 3:17 pm

Short of Golden Knights bettors cashing long shot tickets to win the Stanley Cup, seemingly every other wager they placed turned to gold in Vegas’ magical inaugural season.

But betting on the Knights this season has been a losing proposition. Despite their winning record (35-26-5), a $100 bettor would be down $690 after placing a straight bet on Vegas in every game, according to Covers.com.

The Knights went 29-10-2 at T-Mobile Arena last season but are 19-10-4 at home this season. Much like the high cost of beer at T-Mobile, Vegas bettors have to pay inflated prices at home. The Knights have closed as a 2-1 favorite or more in 12 games and as at least a minus 240 favorite in six, including Sunday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks.

This helps explain why wagering on the Knights is way down this season at Las Vegas sportsbooks. So much so that shortly before Tuesday’s home game against the Stars — which Vegas entered as a minus 215 favorite despite 10 losses in 13 games — Westgate sportsbook vice president Jay Kornegay tweeted, “Non-believers? We haven’t taken one straight bet on the #VGK tonight.”

“It’s dropped off a bit because the prices are so enormous,” Kornegay said. “That was one of the reasons why we probably didn’t see too much action on the Knights against Dallas.

“When they struggle, it certainly drops off. But we still see more action on them than any other game. It certainly doesn’t compare to last year, but if they start playing like Misfits again, it won’t take long until we see those levels again.”

Points taken

Vegas beat the Stars 4-1 to start a three-game winning streak and push its point total to 75 with 16 games left in the regular season. The Knights opened the playoffs on a 13-3 run last season and will need a similar surge down the stretch to top their points total, which opened at 95½ and closed at 101½.

“We got a ton of money over 95½ up to 101½,” Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said. “The Stanley Cup is always our biggest liability, but we have pretty big liabilities on the division and point total over.

“It looks like we’ll win both of those here, but all our guys want to see the Knights make the playoffs so we can go to some playoff games.”

Knights 10-1 to win Cup

When Vegas acquired right wing Mark Stone from the Ottawa Senators at Monday’s trade deadline, the Westgate kept the Knights’ odds to win the Stanley Cup at 12-1. But after Tuesday’s win, it moved their odds to 10-1, behind the Lightning at 7-2 and Sharks, Maple Leafs and Flames at 8-1.

“Getting Mark Stone definitely moved the needle. He’s a game changer,” Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “The Knights have such a huge advantage in goaltending with Marc-Andre Fleury.

“If they can get back on track at how good they’ve been at T-Mobile in the past, I think they have a real good shot to play in the Western Conference Final again.”

Money teams

The NHL’s biggest moneymakers through Friday are the league-leading Lightning (plus $1,462), Islanders ($1,285), Flames ($944), Coyotes ($635) and Blues ($555).

The biggest losers have been the Kings (minus $1,369), Devils ($1,146), Ducks ($1,086), Avalanche ($1,008) and Oilers ($976).

Hot trend

Six teams have gone over in the first period this season at a clip of at least 64 percent, though books have accounted for the trend by charging up to 2-1 on over 1½ goals in some games.

Blackhawk up

The Chicago Blackhawks are the NHL’s best over team in the first period and for the full game. Chicago has a 50-15 (76.9 percent) over-under record in the first period and is 43-18-4 (70.5) over the total overall.

The Blackhawks have gone over in 14 straight games and 21 of their past 22.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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