- The Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lighting are now neck and neck as Stanley Cup championship favorites.
- The Lightning eliminated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 in their second round series. They now await the outcome of the New York Islanders/Boston Bruins series.
- The Golden Knights hold a 3-2 edge over the Colorado Avalanche with Game 6 scheduled for T-Mobile Arena on Thursday. The winner of this series will take on the Montreal Canadiens.
Depending on which sportsbook you check the NHL Stanley Cup Futures odds favor the Tampa Bay Lighting and/or Vegas Golden Knights. They’ve emerged as the clear favorites over the other three remaining teams–the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins who are currently contesting their second round series along with the surprising Montreal Canadiens who swept Winnipeg to win their second round assignment.
At the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas, the Golden Knights are the +175 favorite to win the Stanley Cup. That’s just ahead of the Lightning at +200. Most other sportsbooks have the two teams flipped flopped giving the Lightning a slight edge over VGK. Westgate vice president of risk Jeff Sherman explained the reasoning for installing Vegas as favorites to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“We have the Knights -360 on the series price (over the Avalanche), and whoever wins the series is going to be favored over any team remaining. When you add up the recent liability we’ve had on the Knights, we just feel they should be the favorite at this point.”
Not a huge surprise that bettors in Southern Nevada have been pounding the hometown Golden Knights, much to the chagrin of sportsbooks. William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich told the LVRJ that his shop suffered six figure losses on each of the two Vegas home victories over the Colorado Avalanche:
“They just pounded them in Games 3 and 4. It’s been a bloodbath the last two games.”
Bogdanovich’s comments came before Game 5 and it’s unlikely that outcome was good for the house either. He expected money to come in on the Knights who made a furious third period comeback and prevailed in overtime:
“They’ll bet the Golden Knights, for sure. The masses. Why wouldn’t they? You’re getting a plus price, and they dominated three of the four games.”
At BetMGM, Tampa Bay is +200 to defend their Stanley Cup Championship with Vegas just behind at +225. At Circa and William Hill, Tampa Bay is +190 with Vegas at +200. A similar dynamic was found at BallyBet in Colorado no significant increase in support for the hometown Colorado Avalanche. Interestingly, the biggest liability for BetMGM and several other books in the futures market is Colorado. Vegas is the only other scenario that would produce a loss at most books in Nevada and Colorado but only a small one.