GOLDEN KNIGHTS “CINDERELLA STORY” ENDS ON SAD NOTE, BUT NOT FOR VEGAS CASINO SPORTSBOOK’S!

NHL EXPANSION KNIGHTS FALL SHORT OF TITLE, SAVING MILLIONS FOR VEGAS CASINO SPORTSBOOK’S IN FUTURES PAYOUTS!

Well living in Vegas and being a Pro Sports Bettor for over 3 decades has allowed me to make many wagers that most folks just aren’t offered. This past October, Vegas was given our first Pro Franchise to actually play a real Home game in this city itself. Before the season, the odds for the Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup was in the 500-1 range. Many times I take fliers on big odds teams in all sports, but this one I didn’t run to the window to make. No expansion team had ever won a Title and it surely didn’t seem like Vegas had any shot of being the first. I didn’t even buy season tickets ahead as I figured by a month or two into season, and a new team not doing too great, seats would be easy to get. I’ve never been so wrong on a prediction in my life. Heck I made one $50 bet on the Knights to win the Cup at 200-1 odds, and that was only to put on a framed jersey I was going to make to put on my sports room wall. Never did I feel I’d even sniff cashing that ticket in.

From day 1 this expansion Knights team did well, and never once playing like an expansion club. Dubbing themselves the “Golden Misfits”, they never once played a long period as if they were a brand new team of players that other teams didn’t even want.

This team didn’t just make the Playoffs with a sneak in entry. They finished in first place in their Division, and proved they could compete with any team in the league.

They went out and got that first Playoff win, then Playoff Series win, then a Western Conference Title and a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. They even got that first ever Stanley Cup victory, to add to their Storybook Season. Sadly the dream season ended on a sad note, as the folks of Las Vegas had become what seemed like every person in town. You couldn’t walk down the street or the Mall without seeing a sea of black and gold jerseys, shirts and hats with the Knights on it. The support was the best possible, heck nobody alive could’ve predicted the Knights would sell out every Home game, and even get maximum amounts allowed in the “Standing Room Only” area.

The fans here ended with a sad and bitter ending to a story I really even didn’t seeing this ending. It just seemed this team would never lose, and it was a Hollywood Movie in the makings of our Olympic Team that won Gold and dubbed “Miracle on Ice”. They were an expansion team, but not once did it have the feel of one. Everyone rooted them on, with victory in the Finals assuring the coolest Parade down the Las Vegas Strip ever.

The fans are still in somewhat shock with the final results, but the Las Vegas Casino Sportsbooks and Owners were quietly jumping for joy, as the payoff to those bravely betting a future bet on the Knights were set to cash in many millions off the Casino’s with the Cup Finals win. The Vegas Sportsbook’s had already been beat down the entire season by tons of new Knights fans betting every game they played, and cashing way more times then they lost. William Hill Sports Head/Director Nick Bogdanovich said a Knights Cup win would’ve been his biggest liability since they opened in 2012. Betting handle on NHL this year was up 36% overall, mainly from all the new Knights fans, many making their first ever NHL wagers and many making their first ever Sports wagers of any kind.

The Vegas Casinos dodged a big bullet, but they also gained a larger betting base due to the teams insane fast success. The team has already built a fan base for likely years to come.

The story didn’t have the perfect Dream ending, but it’s a story no Vegas resident will forget for a lifetime. Now it’s wait til next season time when the team will have another chance to make that coveted run for a Stanley Cup win.

Who will be next years Cinderella story team? Can’t wait to find out.

LAS VEGAS SPORTS HANDICAPPER GARY GREENE

@VEGASGARYGREENE