The Boston Bruins are bigger favorites than I expected against the New York Islanders.
Oddsmakers opened Boston around a -200 betting favorite in its second-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series against New York. That implies a 66% chance of probability that the Bruins eliminate the Islanders and advance to the next round. And guess what? The initial money move still showed for the B’s.
Las Vegas sportsbooks apparently believe in the Bruins more than most. Circa Sports bumped their series price to Bruins -235 (70% implied probability) and the Westgate SuperBook is even higher at -245 (71% implied probability).
Bruins series prices vs. Islanders
-215 William Hill
-220 South Point
-235 Circa Sports
-245 Westgate SuperBook
“We’ve talked for months about how much we respect the Bruins,” Rampart Casino race and sports director Duane Colucci told NESN. “They were plus-money only a few times all season. If you make a team the favorite in 85 percent of the games, you clearly respect them as a bookmaker.”
That respect has ramped up even more considering how swiftly the B’s put away the Washington Capitals in Round 1. Boston found its stride and clipped the Caps’ wings behind a 200-foot game plan packed with skill, speed and style.
It also helps that the B’s have the ever-precious Game 7 on home ice at The Garden.
And who has been better in between the pipes than Tuukka Rask? The Bruins netminder stopped 40 of 41 shots in the Game 5 clincher against the Capitals and finished the series with a .941 save percentage and 1.81 goals against mark.
I still wouldn’t lay this series price on the Bruins before Game 1 because it’s too expensive. I really like their chances to advance, but I refuse to risk $215 or $235 to win $100. Some of us are invested on the B’s at 14-to-1 or higher to win the Stanley Cup. When your bread is already buttered, you tend to stay on the sidelines when other prices get too expensive.
Boston’s prices to win the Stanley Cup have been slashed a ton since the playoffs began. You would be lucky to find anything higher than 5-to-1 across the country. DraftKings has the lowest available odds on the B’s at +450, so $100 wins $450 there. Multiple sportsbooks have 5-to-1, but that appears to be the ceiling at this point in time.
One option I’m keeping close tabs on is the potential to sell one of my tickets with our friends at PropSwap — a company that allows you to buy and sell legal sports betting tickets.
“We are a secondary market for sports bets,” PropSwap co-founder Ian Epstein told NESN. “Bets made at any legal sportsbook can be posted for sale on our site at a price the seller sets. Buyers can come and purchase it. It’s like eBay for sports bets. It’s up to the seller how much they want to walk away with.
“The point is that you are not tied to your bet anymore,” Epstein continued. “Before we existed, you made your bet and either won or lost. We are trying to bring this ‘buy low, sell high’ mentality to the fold. And the idea is that you’re not stuck with your bet anymore. You can cash out for a profit.”
So what about my 14-to-1 Bruins ticket? How much is it worth?
“This Bruins team is a perfect example of ‘buy low, sell high,'” Epstein opined. “They just ripped off four straight wins and embarrassed the Capitals. And now they’re 5-to-1 to win the Cup. A $400 ticket right now would sell for $1,000 on PropSwap. If the Bruins advance to the next round, the value increases to around $1,500. So you’ve got options.”
Yes I do.
For now, I’m going to hold the line and keep the ticket. I love the Bruins’ chances to bounce the Isles and continue the chase for their first Stanley Cup in a decade.
But there could come a time when the money becomes too hard to pass up.