With the 2023-24 NHL season now underway, we thought it would be fun to drill down into the odds of the Las Vegas Golden Knights repeating as Stanley Cup Champions this season (off to a good start with a 4-1 win in Game 1). Let’s start with BetMGM, the NHL’s official partner…where we find that the Knights are NOT currently favored (despite the core of the team remaining intact), sitting at 12:1 odds to repeat, with teams like Colorado, Carolina, and Edmonton ahead of them.
Since 2005 and the introduction of the NHL salary cap, only two teams (Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay) have won back-to-back championships, with teams like Chicago and Los Angeles coming close and essentially trading off wins from 2010-2015. Dating back to 1926 when the NHL officially adopted the Stanley Cup as it’s championship trophy, there are a total of 17 instances of consecutive cup wins by the same team….so I guess we are saying there’s a chance…!
So how do these odds get calculated? What data/factors do they take into account?
🏒 Historical Data – since the NHL expanded beyond 20 teams (now at 32), we’ve seen 6 instances of consecutive Stanley Cup wins over a period of 44 years (and as noted above, only twice in 18 years since the salary cap era began).
🏒 Team Strength – A strong team with minimal changes or injuries from the pervious year would have better odds of course.
🏒 Competition – How has the rest of the league improved? Who had a down year in 2022-23 that might be ready to push back in 2023-24 (i.e. Colorado)?
🏒 Subjective Analysis – While a lot of the process is driven by data, there’s also some subjectivity involved. This might come from expert analysis or insights that aren’t easily quantifiable.
🏒 Market Movements – Odds are also influenced by where the money is going in the market. If a lot of people bet on a team to repeat (even if their chances aren’t as high), the odds might be adjusted accordingly to balance the book.
Who do you have picked to win it this year? I’m of course going with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club for the 31st year in a row and will take the 40:1 odds!
Interestingly, the factors noted above are similar to what you might take into account when preparing your annual business plan and forecast. At I4C Consulting Inc, we help organizations organize assess their historical data (insights and reporting) and analyze their market data (market and customer research) with the goal of utilizing these insights to align people, technology, and process to optimize performance.