The Western Conference first-round NHL playoff series between the Pacific Division champion Calgary Flames and wild-card Dallas Stars begins tonight in Calgary, and while the Flames are -350 favorites on the series line, one bettor at Caesars Sportsbook would win close to $300,000 if the Stars can pull off the upset.
Said bettor this week placed both wagers at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and put down $50,000 on Dallas at +290 on the series line for a win of $145,000 as well as $50,000 on Dallas at +275 for a win of $137,500. That's a total potential win of $282,500. Why not just place the full $100,000 on the longer odds of +290? I can't answer that. The Stars are currently +280.
Dallas is the only team in the Stanley Cup playoffs with a losing road record at 19-20-2 and obviously would have to win at least one game in Calgary to take the series. The Flames were 25-9-7 at home.
This will mark only the fourth playoff series in the past 25 years to feature at least four 40-goal scorers: Dallas' Jason Robertson (41) and Calgary's Elias Lindholm (42), Matthew Tkachuk (42) and Johnny Gaudreau (40). Gaudreau (+64), Lindholm (+61), and Tkachuk (+57) finished the regular season first, second, and third in the NHL in plus/minus. Dating to the 1990-91 campaign, Gaudreau's +64 and Lindholm's +61 are the highest two in a single season.
The Stars reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2020 and beat Calgary in six games in Round 1 of those playoffs in the Edmonton bubble, but Dallas missed last year as did the Flames.
Calgary won two of three regular-season meetings, including the most recent 4-2 at home on April 21 to clinch the Pacific title.
Flames No. 1 netminder Jacob Markstrom was 1-0-1 in the series with a 3.33 GAA and .878 SV and 37-15-9 overall with a 2.22 GAA and .922 SV along with nine shutouts. Stars counterpart Jake Oettinger was 30-15-1 with a 2.53 GAA and .914 SV with one shutout. He was 0-2 vs. Calgary with a 3.56 GAA.
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