Should Bettors Buy Low on the Golden Knights in Game 2?
James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
It took one minute for Winnipeg to grab a lead in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The Jets never looked back as they defeated Vegas, 4-2, to grab a 1-0 series lead.
The expansion team’s loss not only put the Knights in an early hole in the series, it also hurt casual bettors. Vegas received a majority of moneyline tickets as a +131 underdog. The public, after being burned in Game 1, is fading the Golden Knights – 68% of moneyline dollars are on Winnipeg -150.
Squares are hitting the panic button, but should savvy bettors buy low on the Golden Knights?
Following this strategy, bettors wager on road teams off a loss when the line moves against them: go from +140 to +150 for example. This system is 70-63 (52.6%) straight-up, and $100 moneyline bettors would have returned a profit of $4,177 since 2006 playing the game matches.
This approach to betting hockey is profitable because it includes a number of contrarian angles:
- Buying low on a team after a loss
- Betting underdogs (80% of game matches are dogs)
- Inflated lines
That last piece, inflated lines, is key, and is applicable to tonight’s Jets-Golden Knights matchup. As mentioned above, most bettors were backing Vegas in Game 1 but are now on Winnipeg. The Jets closed the first game of the series as -145 favorites. They opened Game 2 at -141 and have been bet up to -150.
So, casual bettors are buying Winnipeg at a higher (inflated) price, which creates value on the Golden Knights. Despite heavy betting on the Jets, no bet signals have been triggered, meaning this is public money moving the line. When the puck drops at 8 p.m. ET tonight I’ll be playing the Golden Knights. Viva Las Vegas!
Pictured: Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury