Not everyone loves an underdog, especially when they are the big, bad Philadelphia Flyers.
But it’s more than the surly reputation of the Eastern Conference champs that has made the Chicago Blackhawks huge favourites heading into the Stanley Cup final, which gets under way this Saturday in the Windy City.
According to on-line bookmaker, Bet365.com, the Hawks are listed at odds of 4/11 meaning a $100 wager would return you a profit of $36.36. The Flyers, meanwhile are at 9/4 meaning that same $100 “investment” would return a profit of $225 or more than six times what the Hawks return.
Bookies (and no doubt bettors) were impressed by the Hawks’ run, which included wins over Western Conference powerhouses San Jose and Vancouver. The Flyers, meanwhile, just squeaked into the post season and defeated relative lightweights Montreal and Boston after an opening-round triumph over New Jersey.
It’s not as if an Eastern Conference ‘dog hasn’t won the Cup before, however. The Red Wings were heavily favoured last spring before falling in seven games to Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Both teams were considered decent prospects at the stasrt of the season. The young and improving Hawks were listed at 12-1 while the Flyers were 15-1.