Panthers went from -3000 odds to win Stanley Cup to a coin flip in 9 days


Florida Panthers fans might not be as plentiful as some of the more historic NHL franchises, but they do exist. And they’ve waited since the franchise began play in 1993 to experience a Stanley Cup win.

A little more than a week ago, celebrating that franchise looked like a sure thing. The Panthers led the Stanley Cup Final 3-0, and we all know by now that’s close to a lock in historical terms. And somehow, those Panthers fans who were getting ready to celebrate their team’s first Stanley Cup win are now sweating out Monday night’s Game 7 against the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton won three games in a row, including Game 5 at Florida, to force the winner-take-all game.

Also, those bettors who had tickets on the Panthers to win it all at BetMGM are wondering what happened.

There are plenty of ways to illustrate how unbelievable it would be if the Panthers lost the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, but a stroll through the way the odds at BetMGM have shifted the past nine days is as shocking as any.

Here are how the odds on the Panthers to win the Stanley Cup have shifted since the start of the Stanley Cup Final:

Before Game 1: -130 (bet $130 to win $100)

Before Game 2: -250

Before Game 3: -550

Before Game 4: -3000

Before Game 5: -1200

Before Game 6: -350

Before Game 7: -110

When the Oilers and Panthers started Game 4 on June 15, Florida led the series 3-0 and you would have had to bet $3,000 to win $100. The implied odds of a -3000 favorite winning are 96.7%, and that seemed low for a team up 3-0 in a playoff series.

Florida Panthers fans react at the end of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)Florida Panthers fans react at the end of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Florida Panthers fans react at the end of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

When the Stanley Cup odds were first released before the season, the Panthers were +1800 to win it all. When the playoffs started, they were +700. There wasn’t a ton of faith in the Panthers — only 4.6% of bets were on Florida to win it all — but those who held any Panthers tickets had to feel really good about it after Florida went up 3-0. And now those bets are 50/50. The Oilers and Panthers have matching -110 odds to win Game 7 at BetMGM.

You’ll hear the history during the broadcast, and maybe plenty about it after the game is done, but here is a list of all the teams that have lost a series in the major American sports leagues after taking a 3-0 lead:

NBA: Never

MLB: 2004 ALCS, Boston Red Sox over New York Yankees

NHL: 1942 Stanley Cup Final, Toronto Maple Leafs over Detroit Red Wings

1975 quarterfinals, New York Islanders over Pittsburgh Penguins

2010 conference semifinals, Philadelphia Flyers over Boston Bruins

2014 first round, Los Angeles Kings over San Jose Sharks

That’s it — five times over hundreds of postseasons. According to Yahoo Sports AM, teams that take a 3-0 lead in a series are 206-4 in the NHL, 157-0 in the NBA and 39-1 in MLB. That’s 402-4 overall before the Panthers grabbed that 3-0 lead. And it has happened only once in a championship round, all the way back in 1942 when only seven NHL teams existed.

So, from a 99% historical trend, the Panthers are down to a coin flip to win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history. You might not know any dedicated Panthers fans, but if you do, wish them well today. They might never recover from seeing their team blow this series.



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