The best part about sports is the sheer unpredictability of them. That's also what makes them so fun to bet on.
If you bet on the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup Final, you're experiencing this first hand. In their inaugural season, the Golden Knights were offered as long as 500-1 odds to win the Cup. I'm not a math genius, but I believe that means that if you placed just a $20 bet on Vegas, you would win $10,000.
So, with the Golden Knights beating the Winnipeg Jets in five games on Sunday to advance to the Stanley Cup Final, you can bet there are some bettors who are holding their breath right now.
“It could still end up being the biggest futures loss in Las Vegas history,” Jim Murphy, the oddsmaker at sportsbettingexperts.com said. “In my experience, it’s unprecedented. I’d have to go back to the 2011 Daytona 500, where Trevor Bayne won at 80-1 odds to find anything remotely close, but even so restrictor-plate racing produces longshot winners now and then."
In other words, the Golden Knights are a sportsbook's worst nightmare.
But, upsets happen in sports. Recent years have taught us as much. This year, the UMBC Retrievers opened as 40-1 underdogs against No. 1 Virginia in the NCAA tournament and promptly blew the Cavaliers out. In 2017, Howard University beat UNLV football 43-40 as a 45-point underdog. And the most impressive, Leicester City faced 5000-1 odds to win the 2016 English Premier League title before the season. And that's exactly what they did.
Even if the Golden Knights don't win the Stanley Cup this season, they've already revolutionized the mindset of future expansion teams. But as they fight for the championship, let's remember how unlikely their season truly is.