While the Vegas Golden Knights continue to be one of the fan favorites to win the Stanley Cup in this shortened season, there are lots of reasons why you shouldn’t put your money down on Sin City’s golden boys.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are off and running, and – as is tradition nowadays – the Golden Knights have the world’s newest die-hard hockey fans abuzz with anticipation of their team making another deep postseason run. In the true Las Vegas spirit, plenty of fans might be looking to get a little extra juice riding with their team, but unfortunately for the Golden Knights faithful, this is probably not the year to be taking a futures ticket on a VGK playoff run.
Currently, the Golden Knights sit somewhere in the +600 range in most sportsbooks around town (for those who might not be all that familiar with gambling, +600 means that betting $100 dollars will win $600). Despite losing 1-0 in the first game of the playoffs to the Minnesota Wild in heartbreaking fashion, this price has stayed fairly steady throughout the entire NHL season.
So why should you be hesitant to head to the window and get yourself a Golden Knights futures ticket? Simply put, at +600 there is just not enough value to be had betting on this team to win it all.
Yes, the Golden Knights came within a hair of hoisting the President’s Trophy, and they have looked downright phenomenal throughout most of the season. But failure to capture the 1-seed has forced the Golden Knights into a first-round matchup with a Minnesota Wild team that has had their number this season (the Knights were just 2-3-1 against the Wild in the regular season, their worst record against any divisional opponent). On top of that, should the Golden Knights survive the series, their second-round opponent will almost assuredly be the Colorado Avalanche, who could be an even more difficult opponent.
When betting the futures market, you would like to see better odds than +600 on a team whose road to the Stanley Cup involves going through two incredibly difficult opponents in the first two rounds.
However, if you’re a Golden Knights fan who still wants to ride with the team, consider taking them on a game-by-game basis. They will need to win at least one game on the road to take the series and be an underdog in some road matchups.
If you’re not a VGK die hard, and you’re on the hunt for some value plays this postseason, here are a few teams that may still be worth a look:
Pittsburgh Penguins – +1200
The Penguins currently sit at +1200 at BetMGM and are coming off a Game 1 loss to the Islanders. But the Pens won a very tough Eastern Division this season. Deciphering division strength is more difficult this year due to teams only playing against their own division, but the Pens managed to come out on top of the Bruins, Capitals, and Islanders. At 12/1 odds, you can do worse for your money than a team this battle-tested.
Florida Panthers – +1800
The Panthers came into the postseason on a six-game win streak, and have a considerably easier road than some other competitors, especially the ones in the double-digit odds range. This pick isn’t about picking the best team, it’s about picking a team that has the most realistic chance to get there for their odds range.
Toronto Maple Leafs – +700
Of the top-seeded teams, the Maple Leafs are a good bet when it comes to a team with an easy path. They struggled this season at home (10-18 ATS), but their road to the Stanley Cup is considerably easier than other top teams, and they find ways to win close games. If they can make quick work of the Canadiens, they have a chance to grab a few days of rest before facing the winner of the Jets/Oilers matchup. I also like betting on Austin Matthews, who is quite good at hockey.