NHL Playoffs 2018: If Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup, Vegas sportsbooks are big losers

The Vegas Golden Knights, understandably, entered the NHL season as the biggest long shot to win the Stanley Cup. They were a new franchise with a roster of supposed misfits, and at one point they were at 500-1 odds to win the championship. Fast forward to the end of the season and they're in the Stanley Cup Final -- four wins away from defying the odds in every sense of the expression.

The Golden Knights cast aside the Winnipeg Jets in just five games in the Western Conference finals, once again silencing their doubters. They've looked unstoppable this postseason, slashing the odds as they've gone along. However, should they win the Stanley Cup against the winner between the Lightning and the Capitals, Las Vegas bookkeepers are still on the hook for some big money.

The biggest single payout would be $120,000 for a $400 bet made when the Golden Knights were at 300-1 odds, according to Westgate Superbook spokesman Jay Kornegay, via USA Today. 13 bets were made when the Golden Knights were at 500-1, but they were what Kornegay referred to as "grocery money" last month -- not necessarily enough to make a dent.

According to Jim Murphy of Sports Betting Experts, most people bought their tickets in order to remember the Golden Knights' inaugural season. Now, however, the Golden Knights stand to hand sportsbooks what may be the biggest loss in their history.

"It could still end up being the biggest futures loss in Las Vegas history," Murphy said, via Forbes. "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."  

The Golden Knights can take the continued disrespect, and bookkeepers can handle the loss. As Kornegay told the L.A. Times last month: "Business will take care of itself." After all, the worst-case scenario for Las Vegas is that its home team hoists the Stanley Cup in its inaugural season. That's a pretty cool worst-cast scenario to have.

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