Should New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup Bettors Be Worried?
When the New Jersey Devils selected Jack Hughes with the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft, when they acquired P.K. Subban from the Nashville Predators and when they got word that Taylor Hall was back to full health, there was quite a run to the window by NHL betting enthusiasts about their dark horse Stanley Cup chances.
Yesterday: Draft Jack Hughes With The 1st Overall Pick In The #NHLDraft— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) June 22, 2019
Today: Trade For 2012-13 Norris Trophy Winner P.K. Subban😯
New Jersey Devils Odds To Win The 2019-20 Stanley Cup: +5000 👀#NJDevils Making MOVES! https://t.co/o2FTCVi4G7
The bookmakers no doubt are feeling very good about that right now.
The Devils enter Thursday for a home date against the rival New York Rangers as the NHL’s only winless team, at 0-4-2. Not only are the Devils not winning, they are committing the biggest sin of all in the New York/New Jersey media market: They’re boring to watch.
Why did so many people bet on the Devils -- according to DraftKings they garnered 29% of all bets to win the Stanley Cup -- prior to the season? One of the biggest reasons has to do with the fact that New Jersey was the first state outside of Nevada to legalize sports betting in mobile form.
Just like the Vegas Golden Knights draw more of the overall hockey betting handle because of their location (not to mention, a very good team), Devils fans no doubt felt more emboldened to take a chance on their team winning the Cup, because they could and the opportunity was available. The Devils have a built-in sportsbook at the Prudential Center, through William Hill, that reportedly has done a brisk business as well.
It’s been well established by now that fans want to bet on their own team when they feel there is a chance.
Devils Disappointing Backers
But so far, that chance looks to be zero. The Devils allowed 29 goals in the first six games, while scoring only 13. Hughes, who was the consensus No. 1 pick among hockey scouts, has no points in those six games, with a minus-4 defensive rating.
Subban, long considered one of the better offensive defensemen in the league, has just two assists in the six games. The Devils have missed the playoffs six of the last seven seasons and have won only one playoff game since 2012. This is a franchise that won three Stanley Cups from 1995-2003, with Hall of Fame players such as Martin Brodeur and Scott Stevens.
Fitzgerald: “Now we’re trying to find solutions from within to help right this ship.” pic.twitter.com/dYoKCcrzQe— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) October 16, 2019
Hall, the NHL’s Hart Trophy winner two years ago, is in the final year of his contract and can be an unrestricted free agent next summer. There is growing speculation that he may want to test the market when the contract expires. He has said he wants to extend his career in New Jersey, but so far those appear to be just words to placate the fans. The rubber meets the road only when a player puts pen to paper.
The Devils have plenty of time to get things together and give their large number of Cup bettors hope. But the way things are going, their longshot Cup betting tickets are looking more like just a lot of wasted paper.