- The Las Vegas Golden Knights, an expansion team that started the season with 200-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup, are now co-favourites.
- The Golden Knights success as an expansion franchise has been historic, and it would be unprecedented for them to win a championship this year.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights have had an unbelievable season as an expansion team. One useful metric to show how shocking the team has been, in true Vegas fashion, is gambling odds.
According to the Westgate Sportsbook, and as reported by Emily Kaplan of ESPN, the Golden Knights now have 4-1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup – after starting the season at 200-1 odds. The Golden Knights are also co-favourites with the Nashville Predators to win it all.
The Golden Knights became co-favourites after they swept the Los Angeles Kings, becoming the first team to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Of course, this could be because a lot of Las Vegas locals have rushed to place bets on their home team (and the only major pro team in Vegas) out of excitement rather than a genuine belief that the Golden Knights might actually win the Stanley Cup.
Still, it underscores just how extraordinary of a story the team has been all year, from scoring its first official goal moments after honouring victims of the Las Vegas shooting, to setting an NHL record for wins by an expansion team. And as Kaplan wrote, “Vegas became the first franchise in NHL history to sweep a postseason series in its inaugural season.”
And of course, if the Golden Knights do go on to win the championship in their inaugural season, that would be unprecedented in a major North American sports league.**
**The Chicago Fire did technically win the MLS Cup as an expansion team, although the league itself had only started play in 1996, so it could hardly have been considered a “major league” at the time.
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