We don’t talk about futures a massive amount at GBT, primarily for the reason that our approach is to turn over the same money multiple times to earn a higher ROI, shout out to the Kelly Criterion.
But if you have those funds tied up for 6 months at a time on a futures bet, then you obviously cannot do this.
As a result, your EV has to be a lot higher to accommodate for that delayed cashback.
In this case, it is.
The context, perceptions, biases, situations and matchups all point to this being an incredibly good time to make this position for a very large wager, but first a tiny bit of back-story.
Over the past 4 years, we’ve made 7 Stanley cup bets.
Unfortunately, we’ve only been fully correct once (Capitals).
The good news (although heartbreaking at the time) is we’ve had 3 finalists and 3 losers to the eventual winner in the other 6 bets.
For those who were in GBT premium this time last year, you will remember our Stars and Bruins futures that ended in heartbreaking fashion…..
Anyway, enough bitching.
This year there’s something that looks very similar to the year the Capitals won it all and how things are shaping up.
Of course, this is so far away, but for the price, we need to discuss now and make our wagers in the next 3 days (Explained in the timing section).
There are 3 core areas to this reasoning;
- This price is ridiculous due to perceptions and biases involved
- This looks like what happened in the Capitals situation.
- Matchups, timings etc.
The Bet Itself
Essentially what we’re getting at here is this price (screenshot below) is utterly ridiculous.
It’s only +1100 in other places, +1200 in some but at BetOnline, for some unknown reason, it’s +1600… The date for reference is 2nd December 2019.
So as you can see, they are saying that the Lightning has the same probability of winning the Stanley Cup as the Islanders and marginally a better chance than the Yotes, Oilers and Jets.
Is that a joke?
Reasoning Element 1; Recency Bias & Perceptions
TB Lightning opened at the start of the season around +900 to win it all.
They were BY FAR the best team last season and in something that was not far off crazy they lost 4-0 in the first round to a stone-cold CBJ with Bob being insane.
Couldn’t see that coming, anyone who said they could, you are lying sir.
Anyway, now we are 20 something games into the season, they sit currently in 12th in the conference (what…) and 6TH (yes 6th!) in a division that includes 2 of the 3 worst teams in hockey.
So given the above, why am I mid-rant about how much of a joke this price is?
Stating the obvious for a minute;
- They are 4 points behind 2nd.
- Only played 24 games versus 27/27/28/26.
- They actually have the second-best differential.
- Second best goals against.
- Proportionally second-best offence on games played.
Can we see where this is going already?
But there’s quite a bit more;
The last 3 games;
That’s a loss against the Blues (fair, just a close game they lost), a point in Washington that could have gone either way, which they probably should have won actually if they learnt how to penalty kill, and then a 3-2 loss to Carolina (a team that out-shoots oppositions 1.5-1 usually with this box-score);
So, in short, my point is this: Recency bias based on results only is impacting this price FAR MORE than it should be.
The Bruins being crazy good and topping the entire league at the moment is adding up this bias too.
Another part of the argument:
We are SO early in the season.
If you remember last year the eventual winners had a shocking first half and I think were +10000 to win it all going into January/Feb.
But then, new goalie got hot and they ended up easily third in the Western with a relatively favourable first round against the Jets.
AKA: Prices move too much based on perceptions and recency bias.
Reason 2; This looks a lot like 2018
In the 2017-18 season, the Capitals won the cup, the year before the Penguins did.
Every year it seemed one of these two teams would win, and worse they would meet so early due to this crazy playoff structure (looks more like Lightning and Bruins nowadays but I think I’m potentially joining too many dots here).
In 2016-17 Washington was incredible, first in the entire league and (as per usual) not getting it done – Penguins go on to win it.
Come 2017-18 season, midseason NO ONE was talking about the Caps (more imaginary line drawing to the Lightning happening here).
They had a pretty average season compared to the year before, but finished 8-2 in their final 10 games to finish very strong, sixth in the league, third in the conference and importantly away from the top 2 giants fighting it out (*cough* sounds f*cking familiar), setting up a good first-round matchup against Columbus.
Finally getting through the Penguins and somehow getting through the Lightning 4-3 in the conference final… Which will bring me to another point that I really hate using but;
Lightning has been the best team 2 years running to not even reach a Stanley Cup final.
Reason 3; Injuries & Timing
So we get to yet another massive point.
Lightning have had their top 2 and arguably their top 3 players injured for a mixed amount of time in November.
Although all coming back, there’s always an ease back into it approach with these players, especially someone like Stamkos and the issues he’s had with injuries.
And hence the timing of this could not be any better (potentially one more game as they are dogs after that) but now is when they start a run in my opinion and this could be their entire season-high for winning the cup.
Obviously having your money tied up for such a long period of time is a bit of a pain, but in a month I think this price will be back down to +900 and in two months, Lightning and Bruins will likely share the favourite spot around +750/800 range.
Lightning play tomorrow night away in Nashville, a pretty tough game that they are dogs in.
After this, the schedule starts to get a lot easier: 10 home games and 3 away in December, including Sens and Red Wings at home (currently 2 of the 3 worst teams in the league).
As a result, come 1st of January, this crazy price will likely be long gone.
The optimum spot is probably either today or after this Nashville game, although in case Lightning gets the win, I’d recommending taking the +1600 now.
Size of Bet & What We’re Personally Taking
So how big of a bet size we talking here?
The reason isn’t due to any confirmation bias after just writing a pro-Tampa article for the past 30 minutes, instead it’s the fact we can always hedge out of this.
I don’t know when this price will ever be this low for the lightning again.
If come March you don’t like them, maybe they are set-up for a matchup against Leafs or Panthers in round 1 and you don’t like that, then you can hedge out of this very easily for a profit in an exchange or just manually hedge the playoff spots.
For me personally I’ll be taking this heavy today (apologies if this price is no longer there) and all the way down through +1200 over the next week or so.
I was going to write this same post for +1100 that you can get in most places now but this BetOnline price just made it crazy.
If Tampa loses tomorrow, you should be able to get this +1100/+1200 price for another week or so.
Everything seems right for this from the context, public perceptions, biases, silly BetOnline prices all the way through to what happened last year and how teams tend to shape up when this happens early on.