Las Vegas tabs Golden Knights as new favorite to win Stanley Cup

Updated February 19, 2018 - 6:27 pm

The Golden Knights took over the NHL’s points lead Saturday. On Monday, the Knights were at the top of another board.

The expansion team from Las Vegas became the new betting favorite at the Westgate Superbook to win this year’s Stanley Cup at 9-2 odds after falling to 4-1 on Sunday.

The Knights opened at 200-1 last June and were as high as 500-1 right before the 2017-18 season, according to Westgate sports book director Jay Kornegay.

“The Knights started off as the longest shot on the board to win the Stanley Cup,” Kornegay said. “No one was betting them. There was no interest, which totally makes sense for an expansion team. Now it’s crazy to say they’re the favorite to hoist the Cup.”

The Knights fell to 8-1 odds in late December despite skepticism, injuries to four goaltenders and heavy betting from Las Vegans.

“We certainly had some fans that came in and placed small wagers on them at 500-1, but there wasn’t any significant money on them,” Kornegay said. “Then the small bets continued to come in and it really snowballed as the season progressed.”

Kornegay said he’s never seen this many hockey future bets placed for one season in his 30-plus years of working in sports betting.

The Knights are followed by two Eastern Conference teams on the Westgate board. The Tampa Bay Lighting have the second-best odds at 5-1. The Pittsburgh Penguins (7-1), Nashville Predators (7-1) and Boston Bruins (8-1) round out the top five.

“I wouldn’t say the Knights have the easiest road to the finals,” Kornegay said, “but most of the top teams play in the Eastern Conference. History has proven that the hockey playoffs are so unpredictable. It feels like a No. 1 seed is losing to an eighth seed every other year.”

CG Analytics, which provides the daily betting line to the Review-Journal Sports section, still has the Lightning as 6-1 favorites to win the title followed by the Golden Knights at 7-1.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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