Are fans and supporters of Golden Knights being short-changed?
August 27, 2018 7:31 AM
by Nick Pellegrino
When Nevada sports books recently released NHL Point Totals for the upcoming 2018-19 season, the hometown heroes – which earned a remarkable 109 points in their debut campaign – were listed at a mere Over/Under total of 96.5 points.
Considering All-Star goalie Marc-Andre Fleury missed two months of the season and only participated in 46 games (barely over half of an 82-game slate), some were projecting a total of more than 110 with ‘Flower’ Power in the net for 60-plus games, not a decrease by some 11 percent.
So we tested the hypothesis: How did NHL teams do in the season after accumulating 109 or more points.
It was already well-known that clubs always dropped the following season – with the exception of the extraordinary run by the Detroit Red Wings at the top of the century. Among the other 29 clubs (VGK didn’t exist then), there were 40 which achieved 109 points, yet none improved the following year.
Yes, 0-for-40... so why should the Knights be the exception?
Sure, three teams came close – twice by St. Louis (missing by two points on both occasions). Conversely, seven clubs suffered a free-fall of at least 20 points, including a record drop of 33 by Chicago last season.
Still, the average margin of drop was, indeed, 11 percent – talk about the bookies taking the safe way out of a possible public relations nightmare with the public!
Meanwhile, the “smart” money people didn’t even blink.
In addition, that infamous margin of 11 percent figures to drop in ensuing seasons. Because Vegas joined the league – and the Seattle Totems entry early next decade – the league’s schedule expanded by 41 games. That’s an additional 92 (not 82) points or so, since 24 percent of all games reach overtime or a shootout, each issuing an extra point in the standings.
The result is simple for bettors of the Golden Knights. If you believe the club will come anywhere close to matching their debut campaign, the Over is the way to go – with a built-in, 11 percent safety margin.