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Hundreds of thousands of people in the St. Louis area are pulling with their hearts for the Blues to win the Stanley Cup. Scott Kramer is one of them, but he also has a big additional rooting interest — a financial one.

Kramer, who works in marketing for Enterprise car rental, was planning a family trip to Las Vegas in late December when the Blues were wallowing in the dregs of the NHL standings. He said he and his brother-in law, Craig Steckler, were discussing bowl wagers to place while at a Christmas Day gathering. Kramer was looking at betting lines on the app for the Westgate “SuperBook,” one of the biggest and most popular sports betting shops in Vegas.

“He said, ‘What are futures on the Stanley Cup?’ and I mentioned some of the teams,” Kramer, 49, said. “He said, ‘What are the Blues?’ I almost dropped the phone. ‘I said, ‘Oh my God, they’re 300-1.’ His jaw dropped, he started reeling off (players’ names) — Tarasenko, O’Reilly, ‘Petro.’ He says, ‘This is crazy, they’re a lot better team than this.’ We started doing the math. All they have to do is make the playoffs, then anything can happen. At 300-1 odds, it was ‘We have to throw something on this.’ We agreed we’d each throw 10 bucks on it.”

So if the Blues win the Cup, their $20 ticket will be worth $6,020 — the payout for the huge odds plus the return of the stake.

“Our feeling was, at those odds, if we didn’t put anything on them and this was somehow the year they made the run and won it, we’d probably regret it the rest of our lives,” Kramer said.

He’s gotten a lot of mileage out of this already.

“In January when I got back to work I told people I had bet on the Blues, and most were shrugging me off and laughing,” Kramer said. “As the months went by, they kept coming by saying, ‘You took the Blues to win, right?’ All of a sudden everybody started getting interested in the story. ‘Can I see a picture of the ticket? Oh my God, that’s cool.’”

By the way, Kramer already is a winner on the Blues.

“When I got to the Westgate I saw they were 150-1 to win the West, so I threw another $10 on that,” he said.

That was worth a $1,500 profit. But an even bigger payday now is possible.

“It’s been crazy but fun,” Kramer said. “Even if they don’t win, the fun we’ve had on a $10 bet for each of us for the last six months has been well worth it just for the hope, the ride we’ve had.”

PREGAME PARADE

Because of Blues mania, Fox Sports Midwest is doubling the length of its pregame program to an hour for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Final. Shows Sunday, and Wednesday if Game 7 is needed, begin at 6 p.m.

KSDK (Channel 5), which shows the games, has its lead-in shows at 6:30 p.m., though an earlier start is possible. NBCSN and NHL Network have two-hour productions beginning at 5 p.m.

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Blues Fans at Hotshots Fenton during Stanley Cup Final Game 5
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Blues Fans at Hotshots Fenton during Stanley Cup Final Game 5
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Blues Fans at Hotshots Fenton during Stanley Cup Final Game 5
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Blues Fans at Hotshots Fenton during Stanley Cup Final Game 5
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Blues Fans at Hotshots Fenton during Stanley Cup Final Game 5

Dan Caesar is the sports media critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.