Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports.
Considering the incredible story surrounding the Golden Knights and the magnitude of the series, we can expect a lot of people who don’t normally bet on hockey to get in on the Action for the Stanley Cup Final between Vegas and Washington. In fact, we tracked 20,450 bets on Game 1, which was the only NHL game to eclipse 20,000 tickets this season. Compared to football, basketball or baseball, hockey is the least popular sport among gamblers and thus, the market is a little less efficient than say that of the NFL.
Using Pinnacle’s closing line, the Golden Knights closed Game 1 at -152 and the Capitals were priced at +137.
To offer some context on that, the Capitals were +120 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning spent much of the season as the Stanley Cup favorites. They are objectively a better team than Vegas.
It has to be noted that the Caps closed +175 (win), +167 (win) and +137 (loss) in Games 1, 2 and 5 at Tampa Bay, but still, it’s pretty wild to see the Capitals as bigger underdogs against Vegas than they were against a team that many considered to be the best in the league.