The game of hockey is often referred to as the "coolest game on earth", but in the past there haven't really been too many hockey props offered in Vegas. Hockey used to be considered a niche sport in Nevada, but with the Golden Knights becoming the first professional sports team in Vegas the sport has become very popular. Sure making it to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season has helped, but they were already selling out from the get go, and Vegas fans have really taken a liking to the team. There were almost 19k in attendance the other night for a preseason game. Yes you heard that correctly 19k at a preseason hockey game in Nevada. Never thought I see that. I'm even seeing a lot of fans up here in Reno. They actually black out the games here, even though we have no local coverage, which kind of pisses me off, as Center Ice isn't cheap.
With that said, and with the start of the NHL 18/19 season just around the corner, books here in Vegas are posting up a lot of props on hockey compared to what I'm used to seeing. Most of the props have to do with the Golden Knights, but the Westgate is putting up quite a few. The one I really like is, is betting on who will win the Rocket Richard (pronounced Rocket Re-shard for those that don't follow hockey)
For those that don't follow hockey the "Rocket Richard" trophy is awarded to the player that has scored the most goals at the end of the season. Theres no nominations, it's clear cut... you score the most goals you get the trophy. I have made a prop bet on this, I'll list who and the price and the pros and cons of my bet.
The player I picked Is Ilya Kovalchuk, and I got him at 200 to 1. That's 1k on 5 dollar bet or 20k on a 100 dollar bet if you were to bet this.
The Pros: Kovalchuk has won this award before. He's been in the running for this award almost every season he's been in the NHL, scoring 40 goals or more in 6 seasons and over 50 goals in one season. To put that in perspective Ovechkin won the award last season with 49 goals. Kovalchuk won the scoring award last season in the KHL which is 2nd to only the NHL in talent and pays million dollar salaries like the NHL. He will now be on a line with Anze Kopitar, a future hall of famer, and one of the best assist guys in the league. And of course the best pro.... is its 200 to !
The Cons: Alexander Ovechkin has won the this award close to 70% of the time since he's been in the NHL and is showing no signs of slowing down. (His current odds at Westgate are 6 to 1) Vegas doesn't have Kovalchuk ranked that high, and Vegas usually knows what they are talking about. Kovalchuk has not played in the NHL since 2012. This might seem worse than it is, as he's still in his prime and chose to play in homeland Russia for big money. I'm a Kings fan, and he's on my favorite team so I might be blinded here with homerism.
Other notable players odds:
McDavid 7 to 1
Crosby 20 to 1
Stamkos 40 to 1
Tavares 20 to 1
Matthews 7 to 1
If anyone else has a player they want to know odds on, I'd happily look it up. Also I'd like to hear anyone else's thoughts on this prop or other NHL props they have a bet on this season.
Good luck everyone. I'm looking forward to a great hockey season.