Westgate adds Golden Knights props
September 19, 2018 3:01 AM
by Dave Dye
The betting options continue to expand for the Vegas Golden Knights as they enter their second season in the NHL.
The self-proclaimed misfits aren’t so anonymous anymore after shockingly winning the Western Conference championship and going to the Stanley Cup Final before losing to Washington in five games.
As a result, sportsbooks are adding to the ways you can wager on the Knights, including several player propositions.
“We’ve got a year of experience seeing what this is all about,” said Jeff Sherman, one of the oddsmakers at the Westgate SuperBook. “It’s a lot more comfortable now with known-vs.-unknown doing something like this. It would have been difficult going into the first year to map these type of things out.”
But with the interest generated during last season’s magical run expected to carry over to this season, the Westgate decided to dig a little deeper. Here are some of the player props being offered by the SuperBook prior to the Oct. 4 regular-season opener:
• Total goals by William Karlsson (over/under 32.5): Wild Bill is coming off a 43-goal breakout season after scoring a combined total of 15 the previous two years with Columbus.
• Total goals by Jonathan Marchessault (over/under 30.5): Scored 27 last season. His season-high was 30 with Florida in 2016-17.
• Total goals by newcomer Max Pacioretty (over/under 30.5): Coming off a mediocre 17-goal season in 64 games with Montreal after averaging 32 goals the previous three years.
• Total points by newcomer Paul Stastny (over/under 50.5): Totaled a career-best 53 points in 82 games last season split between St. Louis and Winnipeg.
• Total points by Erik Haula (over/under 50.5): Didn’t have more than 34 points in previous three years with Minnesota, but Haula jumped to 55 with the Golden Knights.
• Total points by Reilly Smith (over/under 63.5): Smith never had more than 51 points, including 37 the previous season with Florida, before surging to 60 last season in just 67 games. William Hill, by the way, put his total at 65.5 points.
• Total points by Alex Tuch (over/under 45.5): Westgate quickly took money on the over after opening at 44.5 points. Tuch finished with 37 points in 78 games a year ago, his first full season in the NHL.
• Total wins by goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (over/under 30.5): This prop also was hit with money on the over after opening at 28.5 victories. Fleury had 29 wins in 46 appearances while missing considerable time because of a concussion last season. He averaged 36 wins over three seasons from 2013-14 to 2015-16.
“We’ve got experience on making player season-long props like this from baseball,” Sherman explained. “Anytime you look at making a number, you usually want to err on the lower side because these guys always, at some point in the season, miss games due to injury.
“Fleury, God forbid, we hope it doesn’t happen. If he gets another concussion, after what he went through, it could be longer next time. You just have to account and relax it a bit for things like that, just from the injury factor.”
Westgate, meanwhile, had Vegas at -350 (bet $350 to win $100) to make the playoffs. The take-back on “won’t make the playoffs” was +275 (bet $100 to win $275).
After opening Vegas’ season point total at 98.5, the SuperBook has moved it to 100.5. That was eighth-highest in the league behind Tampa Bay (107.5), Toronto (106.5), Winnipeg (106.5), Nashville (105.5), Pittsburgh (102.5) Boston (102.5) and San Jose (101.5).
The San Jose total opened at 97.5 points but went up significantly following last week’s trade to acquire standout defenseman Erik Karlsson from Ottawa.
In a betting oddity at the Westgate, even though San Jose’s point total was higher, the Golden Knights remained a slight favorite to win the Pacific Division at +175 compared to +225 for the Sharks.