LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The long wait is over, hockey returns Sunday afternoon.
But it’s not only fans who will be rejoicing when the Vegas Golden Knights take the ice at T-Mobile Arena to face off against the Arizona Coyotes in the first game of the NHL preseason (1:30 p.m. on KTNV-TV Channel 13), hockey bettors throughout the valley will be keeping a keen eye as they not only learn for the season ahead -- and try to make a little money on the side as well.
You will be able to bet on the games, but check as not all of them will offer preseason action — William Hill, Station Casinos and Boyd Gaming Casinos are some that will be taking bets. The hometown Golden Knights are favored in Sunday’s contest at a consensus price of -170 at time of writing, which means you would have to risk $170 to win $100 if VGK wins (Don’t worry, you don’t have to wager as much. With a phone app, you can wager as little as $2 depending on which operator you choose to go with). The over/under for the game is currently at 6 with prices varying per shop.
With teams experimenting with their lineups and strategies, the handle for preseason games is a fraction of what comes in during the regular season.
That said, some bettors will be studying the action because it could help them form an opinion about other bets currently available.
Almost all of the books around town also offer odds to win the Stanley Cup (VGK is available at 7/1 at most shops), odds to win the conference (VGK to win West is commonly available at 4/1 or 3/1 odds, so look around if you are interested), and how many regular season points will teams win.
With most bettor’s attention focused on other fall sports, notably football and baseball, sports books haven’t seen much hockey action ahead of Sunday’s preseason opener. So if you have a strong opinion about the Golden Knights - or dare I say it, any of the other 30 teams in the NHL - this may be the time to check out the betting markets to get good odds.
But remember, last year’s champions St. Louis Blues were available at 250/1 in January due to their poor first half of the season, so watch the preseason action carefully and bet wisely.