With the Washington Capitals all but assured a division title, the top seed in the East and, almost certainly, the Presidents’ Trophy, our thoughts can stray from questions of lineup construction and power-play strategy and onto more important matters. Cash, for example.
Like many of you, I’ve been wondering exactly how much money loyal fans could have extracted from this 47-12-4 team, simply by betting on the Caps to win every game during this historic season. You know, if loyal fans lived in Nevada and went to regulated sports books to place above-the-board and legal wagers on their favorite hockey team three or four times a week.
Let’s assume our theoretical bettor was on the Caps starting with the first game of the season. Let’s assume he wagered $100 on the Caps to win every game, straight up. Let’s assume that these Covers.com moneyline odds are reasonably accurate.
The team’s 16 losses (12 in regulation, three in overtime and one in a shootout) would have cost our bettor $1,600. The team’s 47 wins — often at very no-good and terrible odds — would have netted our bettor $3,176.66
$5,581.30. That means our Nevada-living regularly-betting Caps-loving friend has already made $1,576.66 this season, merely by having a bit of faith in his team. That would help him pay off the increase in his season tickets, assuming he kept them when he quit his government job and moved to Vegas to work in a grocery store while betting on sports.
(If you’ve never bet on sports but are still actually reading this item, a brief explanation. When you bet on the favored team to win a moneyline bet, you will win less than you’ve wagered. Facing the monstrously bad Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, the Caps were listed at -267 favorites, meaning you would have had to wager $267 to win $100. So our friend the Caps gambler would have scored just $37.45 by betting on the Caps to win against Toronto. Absurdly — at least according to Covers.com — the Caps have had negative moneyline odds in 59 of their 63 games, severely depressing the payouts for our dear Nevadan friend, who really should be up like $4,000 or $5,000 this season and planning a lovely offseason trip to the Greek isles.)
Meanwhile, in other entertaining-but-meaningless numbers, the Caps are now the ninth NHL team to have won at least 44 of their first 63 games. Of the previous eight, six wound up winning the Stanley Cup. The Caps are tied with the 1995-96 Red Wings with 47 wins through 63 games; those Red Wings lost in the conference finals. And yes, the elimination of the tie means modern teams have far more chances to win than their ancient predecessors.
NOTE: The profit number in this item was originally wrong, because the author of this item is an idiot.