Sportsbooks Clean Up on Lightning & Penguins Early NHL Exits
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A quarter of the money already taken in by the massive Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, on Stanley Cup betting futures, is already safely deposited in house coffers.
So says Westgate vice president of race and sports operations, Jay Kornegay, who said a full quarter of all Cup winner futures bets were placed on the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins.
“That was the combined take,” Kornegay said.
Over at FanDuel in New Jersey, no bettor took the Columbus Blue Jackets at +4500 to sweep before the series started, FanDuel Director of Publicity Kevin Hennessy told Bookies.com.
”We did have some customers place bets on Columbus to win the series before Game 1 and quite a number more placed bets at +134 after Columbus took a one-game lead,” he said.
Twenty-five ercent of the money taken by PointsBet in New Jersey were on the Lightning to win the Cup, according to some reports.
That the Penguins got so much action against the Islanders probably is a function of having a larger national casual fan base, not to mention three Stanley Cups since 2009. The Penguins were only modest favorites, at -148 at BetAmerica, yet, the Islanders were the higher seed and swept Pittsburgh with relative ease.
Lightning the Biggest Shocker
But the result that still has the hockey world in shock is the Lightning collapse. Jeff Sherman, VP of risk management at SuperBook USA, said the Lightning garnered the biggest handle of any team to win the Cup, with the local Vegas Golden Knights second.
“Ten percent of tickets to win the Stanley Cup are on the Lightning at our book. We had small liability on the Lightning to win the Cup,” Sherman told Bookies.com.
Sherman added that compared to last year at this time, the handle for NHL betting at his sportsbook has increased 18 percent.
A key to that number increasing even more might lie with the fortunes of the Golden Knights, who continue to be the darlings of the locals in Vegas. The Golden Knights currently are up 3-1 in their first-round series with San Jose and currently are tied with defending Cup champion Washington as the new Stanley Cup favorites at +550 with 888Sport.
Tampa Bay opened as -430 favorites to win the series before Game 1, with Columbus available at +320, Hennessy said. The Lightning were +900 at the beginning of the season and +195 just before the playoffs began, he added.