Betting Public Suffers Amid Bruins, Avalanche NHL Playoff Exits
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The best NHL regular season team of all-time and the reigning Stanley Cup champions fell in back-to-back Game 7s on Sunday night and the betting public suffered heavily from the early exits.
At DraftKings, the Bruins and Avalanche made up about 60% of the total money in the futures pool. The Bruins alone were about 46% of all the money in the pot after setting the NHL record for most wins (65) and points (135) in a single season.
“We’ve seen lopsided splits like this before but not for a team eliminated this quickly,” said DraftKings’ director of trading Johnny Avello.
Boston had a 3-1 series lead on the Panthers before losing three straight. In Game 7, they led 3-2 with less than a minute remaining but allowed an extra attacker goal to tie the contest. The Panthers’ Brandon Montour scored in OT to seal Boston’s fate.
Meanwhile, the Avalanche faltered to the Kraken — during the expansion franchise’s second-ever season — in seven games.
DraftKings said Monday afternoon that the Rangers also have 15% of their total handle. New York plays a Game 7 against the Devils on Monday night for the right to advance. Should the Rangers falter, approximately 75% of DraftKings’ NHL futures pool could be chalked away as profit before the second round even begins.
At BetMGM, the Bruins were about 43% of the total liability.
“Entering the playoffs, the Bruins were the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup and a significant liability for the sportsbook,” said MGM sports trader Seamus McGee. “Boston losing in the first round was a good outcome for the sportsbook.”
These numbers are incredibly high for a single team — even heavy favorites. Entering the NBA playoffs, the highest handle at BetMGM was on the Celtics — with just 16% of the money.
For additional reference, entering the NFL postseason, the Bills were the public’s best bet to win the Super Bowl with just under 17% of the total handle.
Boston opened the season at 25/1 to win it all, but quickly shortened after starting the season 20-3. Some sportsbooks made the adjustment quicker than others.
“The Bruins were pretty much the favorites (along with the Avalanche) for much of the season,” said SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay. “They were at low odds, so despite their popularity and the amount wagered on them, we were going to be a small loser if those teams won the Cup.”
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