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03-17-2004, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by s7ark
Try to peddle those wares in Vegas, and see if you get 1/16 for any team. This is what we're talking about. Someone obviously has to be favoured, but we won't all agree with it. I'll only go so far as to say that the winner of the East will probably win it. That is, unless they are too broken...
Whether it would fly in Vegas is hardly the point. What Vegas does is set lines and odds that (to a large degree) reflect popular rather than expert opinion on who the favorites and who the underdogs are. The goal for them is to get as much money wagered on the number 8 seed as on the number 1 in each bracket.

Having said that, it's probably an overstatment to say each team has a 1/16 shot at the cup. I would bet that a review of past playoffs would show that, statistically, the lower seeds are less likely to get the hardware for a variety of reasons, including the lack of home ice advantage. Still, the point is a good one: it is a new season of sorts, and once you're in it, anything can happen. And "anything" does happen, regularly it seems: ask Buffalo, Anaheim, Carolina and Minnesota. They didn't win the cup, but they were close. And in each of those years there were about a dozen playoff teams eliminated which everybody agreed were "contenders", while the team that went to the final was labelled a "pretender".

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