Kings' crazy playoff run makes bettors' cups runneth over
The Los Angeles Kings are staring hockey history in the face, up 3-0 against the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Kings’ improbable run as a No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs is one of the most unbelievable stories in NHL lore and could tie the legendary 1988 Edmonton Oilers for the greatest postseason run with one more victory. Los Angeles, at 15-2 in the postseason, can match former King Wayne Gretzky, who led Edmonton to a 16-2 mark en route to a Stanley Cup victory in ’88.
Not only is L.A. rewriting the NHL history books, but it’s also having a lasting impact at the sportsbooks. Its 15-2 record has produced a stunning 13.34 units during the postseason, including more than 11 units on the road where Los Angeles is a perfect 10-0.
The Kings opened the playoffs as a +2,500 long shot to win the Stanley Cup. But after shocking top-seeded Vancouver in five games, they quickly jumped up the futures board. They knocked off No. 2 St. Louis in four games and trumped the Phoenix Coyotes in five to win the Western Conference title.
They entered the Cup final as -185 series favorites and now sit at -3,300 to win the franchise’s first championship heading into Wednesday’s Game 4. With the sweep in reach, Los Angeles could continue to dish out the big paydays. It opened the Stanley Cup Final at +800 to win the series in four straight games.
The Kings opened as -160 home favorites for Game 4, while the Devils are priced at +135. Los Angeles took the first two games in the Garden State, winning both 2-1 in overtime. It rolled over the Devils, 4-0, at home in Game 3 Monday.
The chances are slim for New Jersey, who entered the final as a +165 series underdog. Only three teams in NHL history have come back to win after trailing 3-0 in a series - 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, 1975 New York Islanders, and the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers. The ’42 Maple Leafs were the only ones to do so in the Stanley Cup Final.