Championship series of the National Hockey League (NHL) 2011–12 season has reached its apogee with 2012 Stanley Cup Finals.
This is the first playoff series between the Eastern Conference playoff champion, New Jersey Devils, and the Western Conference playoff champion, Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings enter the game four as favorites and they could complete a sweep of the Devils at the Staples Center in front of the fans who have been waiting 45 years for this chance to celebrate. For Los Angeles team, this is the second Finals appearance, since a five-game Stanley Cup Finals loss to the Montreal in 1993.
Apparently, sweeps are hard to come by in the Stanley Cup finals. NHL squads looking to finish a series with a 3-0 lead are only 17-19 in game four in the last 10 years.
It is a challenge for the Devils to overtake the Kings, but coming back from three games down to win the Stanley Cup is not quite a rarity. However, the only time a team has rallied from 0-3 down to win the Stanley Cup was in 1942, when Toronto overtook Detroit. This is their first since the 2003 Cup win over Los Angeles’s rival Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in seven games and they have a total of five appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Devils defeated the Kings in both games in this year’s two-game regular season series, but they are the lowest-seeded team to have home-ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals, a record previously held by the Devils when they won the Cup as a fourth seed in 2000.
This combined seeds of the teams, 14, is the highest ever for a Stanley Cup Finals. Regardless of the outcome, the winner of the series will become the lowest seeded team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup.
Sports betting odds and Stanley Cup Finals
The Los Angeles Kings are -180 (risking $1.80 to win $1) favorites to defeat the New Jersey Devils at the Staples Center and bring the Stanley Cup to the West Coast. In the mean time, the Devils come back at +165. No major profits are expected from betting and the number of people willing to bet is quite low.
In 1993 there was a betting frenzy, bettors wagered on the NHL more than ever, when Wayne Gretzky led the Kings to a Western Conference Championship.
However, it is estimated that a Stanley Cup final game drawn in only a tenth compared to the number of people attracted by a NBA playoff contest.
Before the playoffs started, the Kings odds to win the Cup were 25-to-1, 10-to-1 after defeating the Vancouver Canucks, 3-to-1 after making the Western Conference finals and -170 before the series with New Jersey began. The bettors who have wagered $100 on the Kings in each of their playoff games this year, made a profit of around $1,340.
Odds for gains in single bet are noted in various formats: American format (moneyline odds), European format (decimal odds), UK format (fractional odds). Decimal odds of 2.00 are an even bet. Fractional odds of 1/1 are an even bet. US odds of 100 are an even bet.