NHL favorites go 22-0, hand out BetMGM ‘worst day ever’ in hockey

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The NHL favorites went 22-0 over the weekend as bettors dealt a historic blow to sports betting.

The favorites went 2-0 on Friday, 14-0 on Saturday and 6-0 on Sunday, when BetMGM bettors won big.

“Sunday was lousy,” BetMGM vice president of trading Jason Scott said. “Worst day we’ve ever had in hockey.”

Station Casinos also took a hit.

“It was the worst three-day streak I can remember in the NHL,” said Red Rock Resort sportsbook manager Chuck Esposito. “The punters did extremely well over the weekend. There’s not a lot of parity right now.

The Calgary Flames were the big favorites at -600 before crushing the Arizona Coyotes 9-1 on Saturday.

“I can’t remember a streak like this 22-0 in any sport,” said Adam Pullen, assistant trading manager at Caesars Sportsbook. “You always get that late in the year, with some teams out of the race and others playing for something. It’s usually built into the price. You’re going to see favorites a bit higher than they normally would be. Now, it doesn’t matter what you put them in. They can’t get high enough, it seems.

“You’ll see it in other sports too, like there’s a week or two in baseball where favorites run rampant. It still happens every year. But I’ve never seen an unbeaten streak for favorites at this point.

The Colorado Avalanche were the biggest favorite this season with -700 against Arizona on Jan. 14 in a 4-3 shootout victory. The Avalanche were -650 favorites on Feb. 1 when they were upset by the Coyotes, who won 3-2 in a shootout as +450 underdogs.

“In years past, you didn’t see a lot of three-dollar (-300) favorites in the NHL,” Pullen said. “But this year it just seems normal to see those kinds of awards. So maybe the disparity between good and bad teams is much bigger this season than it has ever been.

With NHL betting lighter than NFL, NBA and MLB, not all books suffered a noticeable loss over the weekend.

“It wasn’t a big deal for us,” Westgate SuperBook vice president of risk Ed Salmons said. “Fortunately, a lot of people don’t bet on hockey. If it was just hockey and basketball, it would have been more important. But when baseball starts, they default to baseball over hockey. Hockey is third.

“And the Knights weren’t involved, which takes away from the local business.”

The Knights were overlooked by the Oilers in Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Edmonton.

Contact journalist Todd Dewey at [email protected] To follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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