The Vegas Golden Knights are an expansion team in their FIRST season, so they were BIG long shots to win hockey's Stanley Cup this season.
But they're in the Finals against the Washington Capitals. Both teams have won ONE game in the best-of-seven series, so Vegas is three wins away.
If they prevail, they'll be the first expansion team in the four major sports to win a title in their first year. Believe it or not, they're already the first expansion team to just finish their first season with a WINNING RECORD. They were 51-24-7.
Naturally, Vegas fans are thrilled. But some in Vegas are rooting AGAINST the Golden Knights: The SPORTSBOOKS.
The Golden Knights had the longest odds to win at the start of the season. Most oddsmakers had them at 200-to-1 . . . twice as long as the next worst teams, the Colorado Avalanche, the Detroit Red Wings, the New Jersey Devils, the Arizona Coyotes, and the Vancouver Canucks, which all started at 100-to-1.
The "Sporting News" says that some new Golden Knights fans bought in early, mostly just as a SOUVENIR for their first season. But now, they're lottery tickets.
Las Vegas experts estimate that the city's collective liability is between $5 million and $7 million if the Golden Knights win the Cup, and that could be the city's biggest loss on futures betting ever. And that's just in Vegas.
Obviously, each person's winnings depend on the bet and the odds at the time. If you bet $100 at 200-to-1 odds, you'd stand to win $20,000.
There may be hundreds or even thousands of similar tickets out there. One sportsbook had the odds of the Golden Knights winning at 500-to-1 at one point before the season, and they say there are 13 wagers out on that.
There are no specifics on the bets or what the payouts would be.
One oddsmaker said, quote, "It started out, okay, new team, what're they going to win? Fifteen games? Didn't even think about it . . . [now] we average losing about $25,000 a game [on the Golden Knights].
"[But] it's worth it. Everybody's happy. What am I going to tell ya?"