In Big Play
Warren Foegele (37) of the Edmonton Oilers, is shoved in front of the net by Brayden McNabb of the Las Vegas Golden Knights in Game 4 of the second round of the NHL playoffs at Rogers Place in Edmonton on May 10, 2023. Photo/Postmedia

So, it’s back to square one.

Not surprisingly, the second-round, best-of-seven playoff series between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Edmonton Oilers is tied at two games each after the Oilers drilled the Golden Knights, 4-1, on Wednesday night.

Oddsmakers adjusted the line accordingly for that game. They made the Oilers a heavy -180 favorite with the VGK +160, and the total at 7. Truly optimistic Knights bettors could have found them on the reverse puck line at +320.

Before the game, the series price before Game 4 shifted to Knights -140 and Oilers at +120.

In fact, if you have been betting the well-known Zigzag Theory — on-again, off-again, usually applied to the NBA — you have been doing exceedingly well. That is, the Knights took Game 1, the Oilers rebounded in Game 2, the Knights won Game 3, and the Oilers rebounded again in Game 4.

“The Oilers are the most dynamic offensive team and we want to take that away from them,” VGK coach Bruce Cassidy told the Edmonton Journal prior to Wednesday’s game. “I don’t know if we’ve seen a game yet where both teams want to be the best version of themselves and they are that.”

Regardless, Game 5 is Friday back in the fan-friendly confines of T-Mobile Arena. And the Knights are +110 to +115 with the total at 7. Covers noted 54 percent of the betting interest is on the VGK. The Knights are +240 on the reverse puck line.

But the series price now has the No. 1-seeded Knights at +150 with the No. 2-seeded Oilers at -170. Odds to win the Stanley Cup also favor the Oilers. They are generally +350 to +400 to win it all while the VGK are in the +600 to +650 range.

The puck drop before what will surely be a packed house at T-Mobile is at 7 p.m.


— NBA playoffs: The Boston Celtics are still favored to win the NBA title after forcing a Game 7 with a 95-86 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. Both BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook have them at +185 and +170, respectively.

But the Denver Nuggets are now +225 at both books after the Nuggets dismantled the Phoenix Suns, 125-100, on Thursday in Game 6, to win their Western semifinal series. The Nuggets were +1900 at the start of the season.

After the win, Nuggets coach Michael Malone told reporters the team wasn’t “celebrating and popping champagne and throwing water over each other because our goal wasn’t to get to the Western Conference finals.”

The resilient Miami Heat are now +1600 and +1800, respectively at the two books and lead the New York Knicks, 3-2 in their series. They are -5.5 vs. the Knicks in Game 6 on Friday. They opened the season at +850.

— UFC Fight Night: UFC fighters move from the Apex facility in Las Vegas to the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday night for a heavyweight bout between Jailton Almeida and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

Almeida, 18-2-0, is a heavy favorite in the -490 to -550 range. You can find Rozenstruik, 13-4-0, at about +400. Oddsmakers don’t expect a long fight. The total on rounds is 1.5, and under is -200.

— College football futures odds: Even though baseball season is just getting rolling, basketball is in the midst of playoffs and other paid professional athletes are chasing a vulcanized rubber object three inches in diameter and one inch thick over ice, some bettors are beginning to think football. No, really.

And if you want to take a shot on UNLV winning the national championship, you can find futures odds at about +200000. (UNR has the same price.) If all those zeroes appear to run together, that’s 2,000-1.

In fact, the Rebels’ first game is less than four months away on Sept. 2 when they host the Bryant Bulldogs at Allegiant Stadium. Their second game is a week later at the University of Michigan. That game may bring any faint hopes of a national championship back to Earth even though new coach Barry Odom is on record as saying this is a “win now” program.

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