Linus Ullmark has led the Boston Bruins to a historic start this season, and it has bookmakers nervous for what may come at season’s end.
In the midst of Boston’s 17-3-0 start to the season, Ullmark has been leaned upon heavily to carry the Bruins in net. Jeremy Swayman, whom many thought Ullmark would split time with throughout the season, suffered an injury that kept him out of the lineup for a few games, which only gave the Swedish-born goaltender more time to establish himself as Boston’s top man in the crease.
In 14 starts, Ullmark is 13-1-0 and has put together some absurd statistics. The 29-year-old leads the NHL in goals against average (1.96), save percentage (0.935) and wins (13), among all goaltenders who’ve started more than 10 games. Naturally, that has rocketed him up the Vezina Trophy odds board at BetMGM:
Vezina Trophy Odds
Igor Shesterkin: +500
Jake Oettinger: +550
Linus Ullmark: +600
Ilya Sorokin: +600
Connor Hellebuyck: +700
Andrei Vasilevskiy: +900
Among the players listed, no one is more terrifying to sportsbooks than Ullmark.
Ullmark entered the season with +8000 odds to take home the Vezina, slowly working his way up the list to +1500 last week. While he made his way up, bettors caught on to the type of season he was having and placed a lot of wagers, worth a lot of money, on the Bruins’ goalie. Ullmark has commanded 11.9% of the bets (second most) and 19.4% of the handle (second most) on the Vezina trophy so far this season. Given those numbers, books had no choice but to improve his odds drastically over the last week.
The combination of low odds and a high ticket/handle count makes Ullmark the biggest liability for sportsbooks. Jake Oettinger, the only man to have higher ticket (15.1%) and handle (30.5%) numbers, came into the season with +1800 odds but has been sitting in the +550 range for multiple weeks.
If the Bruins and Ullmark continue their pace, there’s no doubt he’ll take home the Vezina. There are a couple of other trophies they’ll likely have a good chance of nabbing as well.