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What are the Knights odds to repeat as Stanley Cup champions?

Updated April 19, 2024 - 12:45 pm

Only two teams have repeated as Stanley Cup champions in the 21st century: The 2016-17 Pittsburgh Penguins and 2020-21 Tampa Bay Lightning.

What are the odds that the Golden Knights will join them? They’re 10-1 at the Westgate SuperBook — the same Stanley Cup odds they had last season when the playoffs started.

The team began its championship run by losing its opener to the Winnipeg Jets. The Knights locked in from there to win the next four games of the series. They then defeated the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars in six games each to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. The Knights then beat the Florida Panthers in five games to win the franchise’s first title.

Things are different this postseason. The Knights enjoyed home-ice advantage in every series last season. This time, the team, which started 11-0-1 before finishing 45-29-8, will begin the playoffs as +110 series underdogs on the road against the top-seeded Stars.

“The bad news is they’re playing a really good team right off the bat,” SuperBook veteran oddsmaker Ed Salmons said. “The good part is if they can somehow get through that first series, I think they’re poised to make a huge run.

“If the Knights win that first-round series, their odds are going to get slashed pretty good.”

The Oilers are the +350 favorites to win the Western Conference, followed by the Stars and Avalanche at 4-1. The Knights are 5-1.

“The Knights are as dangerous as anybody out West,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “They’re the defending champs, so everybody else is going to be gunning for them. But they’re a team that’s built for the postseason.”

Books on hook again

Nevada sportsbooks lost $6.6 million on hockey bets in June when the Knights won the Cup. That shattered the state’s monthly record for largest hockey loss.

Books are on the hook for another huge loss if the Knights become champions again. They’re the clear ticket and money leaders to win the Stanley Cup and the books’ largest liability.

“(People) always bet the Knights,” Salmons said. “This year is more of a loser than last year.”

MGM Resorts director of trading Lamarr Mitchell said BetMGM took several large five-figure bets on the Knights at 10-1 as well as 12-1, their current odds at the book.

“There’s no question that their games, on a nightly basis in the postseason, will have the largest ticket counts of any game in the Stanley Cup playoffs,” Esposito said. “Like usual, we may find ourselves rooting for them from a fan standpoint but rooting against them from a business standpoint, especially on the (-1½) puck line when they’re at home.”

Salmons said the Knights have what it takes to repeat.

“This team has so much talent. I think they’re a better team than last year,” he said. “One difference this year from last year is (defenseman Alex) Pietrangelo. He missed four or five weeks with (an illness). Obviously, it’s more than a cold. They need him to come back. He’s probably the one guy they’re most dependent on, as far as leadership and experience.”

Stanley Cup favorites

The Carolina Hurricanes are the clear 6-1 favorites to win the Stanley Cup, followed by Florida and Edmonton at 7-1. Dallas and the Colorado Avalanche are each 8-1.

“Carolina has paid its dues and been through the wars, just like the Knights. They just haven’t been able to get over the hump,” Salmons said. “This could be the year they finally push through. Florida is a team we’re all aware of, getting to the Final last year against the Knights. They’re a real solid team.”

The New York Rangers are 10-1 to win the Cup. The Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs are each 15-1.

“The Eastern Conference is loaded from top to bottom,” Esposito said. “The Hurricanes are a scary good team.”

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

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