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Sportsbooks face seven-figure loss if Blues win Stanley Cup

Updated May 24, 2019 - 5:38 pm

Most of the country probably has grown tired of watching Boston teams win championships.

But Las Vegas sportsbooks would love to see the Bruins defeat the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Final, which starts Monday in Boston. It would spare them a collective loss of more than $1 million.

William Hill, South Point, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment sportsbooks each face mid-six figure liabilities on the Blues, who were 300-1 long shots in January to win the Cup.

“The liability is close to the Golden Knights last year,” The Mirage sportsbook director Jeff Stoneback said. “There’s no big bets, but lots at very big odds.”

South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews said he took about $1,000 in wagers on St. Louis at 300-1 odds, and a Caesars bettor placed a $400 wager Jan. 15 to win $100,000 on the Blues at 250-1 odds.

“We definitely are Bruins fans,” Caesars risk manager Jeff Davis said.

St. Louis was the worst team in the NHL on Jan. 3 before turning its season around during an 11-game win streak from Jan. 23 to Feb. 19.

“They were dead last and made that magical run,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “People were on them early in the run and stayed on them and kept betting them. Hats off to the bettors. They smelled that one pretty good.”

William Hill bettors placed the following futures wagers on the Blues: $50 at 300-1 to win $15,000 on Jan. 15; $100 at 200-1 to win $20,000 on Jan. 23; $2,000 at 40-1 to win $80,000, $2,000 at 35-1 to win $70,000 on Feb. 15; $2,000 at 25-1 to win $50,000 on Feb. 16; and $2,000 at 18-1 to win $36,000 on Feb. 17.

Boston’s longest futures odds at William Hill were 15-1 in September.

The Bruins are minus 150 series favorites over the Blues, who are plus 130.

“It should be a really low-scoring series and a long series,” Davis said. “I would assume it will go six or seven games, and many of the games will be 2-1. There’s not going to be a lot of space out there. It’s going to be really physical.

“I think the difference will be if the Blues can stay out of the penalty box. The Bruins’ power play this postseason has been out of this world. If they can stay out of the box, the price on the series seems like a good bet on the Blues.”

St. Louis has won its past three playoff games and six of eight. Boston has won seven straight playoff games and 10 of 12.

“It’s going to be a competitive series. Both teams are playing their best hockey,” Bogdanovich said. “I can’t wait to watch it. We’ve all turned into hockey fans because of the Golden Knights.”

The Westgate sportsbook also is rooting for the Bruins.

“The Bruins look awesome now, but who knows. They’re going to have an 11-day layoff, and you never know how that affects teams,” Westgate sportsbook manager Ed Salmons said. “It’s hockey. Anything can happen. The referee could make a stupid call. That’s the way game goes.”

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

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