I’m pleased to introduce our resident sports gambling writer: Capper Dan. I have known Dan for a long time and he will gamble on just about anything. He is also a massive Canucks fan and a voice of authority on the subject of sports gambling. Enjoy!
The NHL season is fast approaching and for gamblers like me, it not only marks the beginning of another hopeful deep Canucks run but also means something else besides football and baseball that I can bet on.
I am one of those gamblers that bets with my heart and not my head. This is one reason why I try to have no allegiance to any MLB, NBA or NFL teams (except maybe Steve Nash teams and now the Seahawks, but I digress). The team I like is the team that is making me money (maybe that’s why I like the Seahawks so much, they have been cashing in huge lately). When it comes to NHL though, I stick with my local team which happens to be the Canucks. Come good times or bad, I’m betting with them.
The term “public team” is used in sports gambling to refer to teams that are popular and that the public loves to bet on. There are different reasons for this, it may be that they are a big market team, they may have some superstars or they might have a storied winning tradition. In the NBA, the Lakers are a perfect example. Big city, superstars and winning tradition. MLB has the Yankees. The NFL has many public teams like Patriots, Steelers, Cowboys and Packers. I’ve always wondered who the public teams are in the NHL, because they’re less obvious. Of late, Pittsburgh could be classified as public team because of their big stars, high scoring and level of success.
For some reason, the Vancouver Canucks fall into the category as a public team in the last five years. The public loves them and in result Vegas adjusts the line to this. Some public teams like the Penguins make you money and others like the Lakers last year will hit your wallet hard.
Like most sports gamblers, I seem to lose more than I win especially when you take into account the juice. Seeing how I bet on my Canucks a lot, I decided to break down the numbers and see if they were a profitable public team.
Do the Canucks make you money?
The Canucks finished last year 26-22. You would assume that if you bet on them every game that you would make a small profit or at least break around even. This was not the case. Out of those 48 games, they were favoured in 40 of them, small dogs in 6 and even money in 2. If your unit size bet is 100 (so all your bets were to win 100 or as a base of 100) and you bet on every Canucks game you would have lost $385 in the regular season and $860 including playoffs (down 3.85 units or 8.6).
When compared to other teams with similar records, you can surmise that the Canucks were overrated in the gambling world. If you were to have bet on the Washington Capitals every game last season, you would have profited 475 (4.75 units) including the juice. I also tallied up the Maple leafs who are Canada’s biggest market team and although they did overachieve last season, their fans are the most delusional and often have unrealistic expectations. In any case, they would have profited you 570 (5.7 units).
Now, why is this? Why is Vancouver a public team? Why do they continue to get support even though they are a west coast team, they have not won a cup and don’t have the likes of Crosby or Ovechkin on their roster. I think it’s fair to say Vancouver is overrated and winning two Presidents’ Trophies and being in an easy division has had something to do with that. They have a large fan base and veteran teams often get more support than up-and-coming teams. Those high flying years where they were piling up goals helped their cause as well.
After doing all this research, you would figure I would never place a bet on the Canucks ever again. Wrong. I think the public has given up on the Canucks and I see good value in them now. At 3.75 to 1 to win the division, I think it’s worth a couple of units. The Kings are good but I don’t think they will be motivated over an 82 game season when they know all they need to do is make playoffs to win cup. After the Kings, the division is pretty thin. Would you believe the Maple Leafs are lower odds to win the cup this year than the Canucks? The Leafs are about 15-1 at most books where the Canucks are about 17-1 at most books. Unfortunately (or fortunately one day) it looks like I will be destined to bet on the Canucks every year to win the cup until they do so. This might mean I will go to my grave a very poor man.