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Sportsbooks remain skeptical of Golden Knights

The Golden Knights are fresh off winning the Stanley Cup and return almost their entire roster.

But the reigning champions received the Rodney Dangerfield treatment from oddsmakers, getting little respect.

When the Westgate SuperBook posted its NHL regular-season point totals recently, the Knights had the second-highest total in the Pacific Division behind Edmonton. Circa sportsbook, meanwhile, opened the Knights with the third-highest total in the division.

“You look at this roster, and I don’t know how, over the course of 82 games, they could play like they did in the Stanley Cup Final,” Circa sportsbook manager Jeff Davis said. “They’re a good team. They’re a playoff team. But I don’t think it’s realistic to think that they’re amongst the best (teams).”

The Knights opened at 103½ points at the SuperBook and were bet down to 102½. Edmonton had the highest total in the division at 106½ points, and the Colorado Avalanche have the highest total in the Western Conference at 107½.

At Circa, the Knights opened Friday at 97½ points and quickly went up to 99 as sharps looked to capitalize on the large middle available. By early Saturday, the number was up to 100.

The Oilers had the highest total in the Pacific at 106½ points at Circa, while the Los Angeles Kings opened at 98½, ahead of the Knights. Circa lists the Avalanche (107½) as the Western Conference’s highest total.

Last season, the Knights went well over their projected season point total from oddsmakers, finishing the regular season 51-22-9 for 111 points to earn the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The SuperBook opened the Knights at 96½ in 2022, while Circa opened the Knights at 98½ points a season ago.

“It’s a division that’s gotten better,” Westgate SuperBook vice president of risk Ed Salmons said. “They’ve been adjusted upward based on what happened last year. We think it’s a fair number.”

The most significant offseason change for the Knights was the trade that sent forward Reilly Smith to the Penguins for a draft pick. But Davis remains skeptical of goaltender Adin Hill, who signed a two-year contract with a $4.9 million salary cap hit after backstopping the Knights during the second half of the postseason.

The Knights have the league’s 10th-highest point total at Circa and are tied for the seventh-highest total at the SuperBook. Davis said he has the Knights as the 16th-best team in his NHL power ratings.

The Avalanche have the highest overall point total at Circa, with Davis acknowledging that Western Conference teams have an advantage playing three of the league’s worst teams (Anaheim, Chicago and San Jose) more often during the regular season. The SuperBook lists the Carolina Hurricanes with the highest total on the board at 109½ points.

“The East is definitely a conference where you’ve got some teams going up and down,” Salmons said. “You never know when these teams are going to hit the magic button like the Devils last year. All of a sudden it just clicks. There’s a lot of those teams in the East.”

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on X.

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Las Vegas handicapper Bruce Marshall is an analyst at VegasInsider.com. Each week, he provides the Review-Journal with NFL tech notes and trends.