Golden Knights Advance to Stanley Cup Finals in First Season: Promise $50K Payout to Early Futures Bettors

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The Las Vegas Golden Knights are defying all the early skepticism, first with the suggestion that they could never build a big enough fan base in a city better known for its out-of-towners (they already have one of the most devoted followings in the National Hockey League in only their first year).  Now the Golden Knights advance to the Stanley Cup Championship in their first season after being listed with the longest odds (500-1) early on.  The payout potential is $50,000 on a $100 wager and one can only imagine, being that this is Las Vegas, more than a few folks placed bets on the new franchise.

Currently those odds sit at +110 or slightly better than EVEN.  You can bet $100 to win $110.

The Golden Knights defeated the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Sunday afternoon, becoming the first expansion franchise to reach the Stanley Cup Final in their debut season since the 1967-68 St. Louis Blues.

"We don't have high expectations for this year," owner Bill Foley told ESPN in August. "We're going to be competitive. If we're going to lose a game, we'd like to lose by a goal or two, not lose by five or six. We don't want to be a walkover team. We want to be competitive, we want to be entertaining on the ice, we want to score some goals."

Foley, who paid a $500 million fee for expansion, also said in August: "We'll be pretty good in three years and we'll make a run in five or six."


Early last month, the Las Vegas Weekly discussed the phenomenon that is the rabid Golden Knights fan base after mention of what was supposed to have been the inevitable: Mounting losses for an expansion team and the Vegas locals boredom and lack of desire.

But a funny thing happened on the Knights’ way to NHL ignominy: A cast of castoffs gelled and began winning like no other expansion team in sports history. It started on opening night—a 2-1 come-from-behind victory in Dallas—and it never really stopped.

Along the way, this community came down with a serious case of VGK fever. We saw it in grocery stores and gas stations, in schools and office buildings, in restaurants and bars—with each passing month, the number of locals proudly sporting Golden Knights gear seemed to grow tenfold. And to be certain, it cast a wide net: men, women, children, seniors—you name it, they had it. It even spread beyond Southern Nevada’s borders, as evidenced by this statistic: The Knights rank No. 1 among NHL teams in jersey sales. Ditto for caps.

We also saw it at T-Mobile Arena, where as of late March, the Knights were averaging 18,011 fans per game—in a venue whose fixed seating capacity for hockey games is 17,367. Meaning, on average, nearly 650 fans stood on their feet for the entirety of a two-and-a-half-hour game.

Dave Caldwell of Forbes.com has confirmed at least one early futures bet on the Golden Knights.

Among those who bet before the National Hockey League season on the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup, 99.99% simply wanted the ticket as a keepsake from the team’s inaugural season, says Jim Murphy, the oddsmaker at sportsbettingexperts.com.

“I know a guy who is a big hockey fan and Knights season ticket holder,” Murphy told me this week. “His original plan was to collect a bunch of memorabilia to hang on the wall in his office. Now he’s got a ticket with a potential six-figure payday.”

Even if the books were taking in small stakes, the payout could be extraordinary.

A $20, for example, at 500-1 odds on Vegas to win the Cup, and it happens, the payout would be $10,020.

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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