The 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs have produced some very surprising results.
Eastern Conference top seed Tampa Bay was a huge -400 favorite over Columbus in the opening round but the Lightning were swept by the Blue Jackets in four straight games.
Pittsburgh was a -145 favorite over the New York Islanders, but the Penguins were also swept out of the opening round in four straight.
The defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals (-160) also lost their opening round series to Carolina, who then upset the Islanders before bowing out to Boston in the finals. Calgary (-220) was the top seed in the Western Conference and the second biggest opening round series favorite over Colorado. But Calgary flamed out in five games.
However, the biggest underdog story of the season is the St. Louis Blues. St. Louis had a record of 15-18-4 on Jan. 3 — the worst record in the NHL. As we reported a few weeks ago, Caesars was offering 250-1 odds on the Blues to win the Stanley Cup. And a remarkable turnaround followed, spearheaded by a 25-year-old rookie goaltender and a defensive revival overseen by an interim head coach.
A $400 bet on the Blues
It would take a true St. Louis fan to believe the Blues could skate their way into the playoffs — let alone make a Stanley Cup run when the calendar turned to January this year. But one year after the bets kept rolling in on the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup after opening the season at odds greater than 300-1, the Blues are in position to make history as a huge long shot to capture the Stanley Cup.
One bettor believed in his heart that the Blues could win it all. Scott Berry placed a $400 bet on the Blues at the Paris Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. At 250-1 in early January, Berry’s bet will pay off at $100,000 if the Blues can beat the Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals.
“I bet with the heart on this one,” Berry told ESPN this week. “Before I hit my flight I decided that had I been here gambling I probably would’ve lost around $500, so I pulled that out of the bank account. My max withdrawal was $500, so that was all I could take out. I put $100 on the Cardinals at 15-1 and dumped the rest on the Blues.”
Sell, Hedge or Buy on the Blues
Futures tickets can be bought and sold through a third-party online provider called Prop Swap. Berry has turned down several offers including $20,000 prior to Game 7 against Dallas. The Blues won a Game 7 overtime thriller 2-1 with Berry in attendance at Enterprise Center in St. Louis to advance to the Western Conference finals, where they just eliminated the San Jose Sharks in six games.
Berry turned down an offer of $40,000 this week, but still has some time to make a decision on whether to sell, hedge or ride out his Blues bet in the Stanley Cup finals starting Monday, May 27 in Boston.
Scott Berry (middle) got a $12,000 offer at @PropSwap for his Stanley Cup ticket. He said no. He got a $30,000 offer. He said no. Tonight, he got a $40,000 offer and he said no. His $400 ticket on the Blues to win the title is worth $100,000 if they can win four more. pic.twitter.com/qYbPZtYVkB
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 22, 2019
Berry is in position to hedge his bet on the Bruins, who are a -158 favorite over the Blues (+136) at FanDuel Sportsbook. He could also let it ride on the Blues, which is unlikely as he recalled a similar situation with a bettor not securing a profit on a longshot futures bet on Texas Tech in the NCAA basketball championship game, which they lost in overtime to Virginia.
“I heard about that Texas Tech guy [in the NCAA tournament], and that was a shame,” Berry lamented. “I don’t want to be that guy. I want this to have a happy ending.”
The Blues have never won the Stanley Cup, and St. Louis is going to the finals for the first time since 1970, when ironically they were swept by the Boston Bruins.
But if the Blues can capture the Stanley Cup, Berry won’t be the only bettor with a big payday. Berry told some people on a group text message about his bet in January, and one of the guys on the text was also in Las Vegas for a business conference. He placed a $200 bet on the Blues at 250-1 and will win $50,000 if the Blues win the Stanley Cup.
This Blues bet has become Berry interesting.