Governor Phil Murphy bets on the New Jersey Devils to kick-off legalized sports gambling in the state by taking them to capture the 2019 Stanley Cup.
On May 14, the United States Supreme Court lifted a federal law that prohibited sports gambling, a law in place since 1992.
With the ban being lifted in a 6-3 decision, states who want to allow for gambling on sports may do so.
On Thursday, New Jersey became the first state to officially authorize betting and there to make the first bet was Phil Murphy, the Governor of New Jersey.
Murphy placed $20 on Germany (7-2 odds) to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup which began today in Russia.
Murphy also placed $20 on the state’s hockey team, the New Jersey Devils (40-1 odds), to win the 2019 Stanley Cup.
The Devils are coming off their first playoff appearance since 2012 when they went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. Although they did make the postseason, they only managed one win in a five-game, first-round exit against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
This past season, Taylor Hall and their youth led the Devils to a 44-29-9 (97 points) record, good for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
In his second season with the Devils Hall shattered career-highs, scoring 39 goals and 93 points in 76 games.
Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt and Will Butcher led the youth movement for New Jersey. Hischier, the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, finished second on the team in scoring (20 goals and 52 points) in his first NHL season.
At 28-years-old, Kinkaid played in a career-high 41 games (38 starts), going 26-10-3 with a 2.77 goals against average, a .913 save percentage and one shutout.
Given it takes 16 wins to capture the Stanley Cup and the Devils won just one game this past postseason, it seems easy to count the Devils out. However, they’re a team on the rise. They’ve got solid goaltending, a young forward group that will continue to improve, and a strong defensive core.
And at 40-1 odds, putting down $20 to potentially win an additional $780 isn’t a bad deal for Murphy.