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

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NHL favorites went 22-0 over the weekend as bettors dealt an historic blow to sportsbooks.

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

“Sunday was ugly,” BetMGM vice president of trading Jason Scott said. “The worst day we have ever had in hockey.”

Station Casinos also took a hit.

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

The Calgary Flames were the heaviest favorites at -600 before they crushed the Arizona Coyotes 9-1 on Saturday.

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

“You’ll see it in other sports, too, like if there’s a week or two in baseball where favorites are running rampant. This always happens every year. But I’ve never seen an undefeated streak for favorites to this extent.”

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

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

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

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

“And the Knights weren’t involved, so that takes away the local business.”

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

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at [email protected]. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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