NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting
The NHL season is almost over – and what a year it’s been! Several young players have speckled the NFL league as up-and-coming stars, including Cale Makar, Victor Hedman, and Quinn Hughes, as well as fresh blood like Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider.
More experienced hands have also been making waves. In Toronto, Auston Matthews made
Maple Leafs history when he became only the third player in the history of the team to score more than 100 points in a single season. Meanwhile, Colorado broke its own record for most wins in a single season, surpassing a previous record of 52.
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting: The Favourites
With the NHL regular season verging on a wrap, it’s time to focus on the playoffs. The contenders for the biggest prize in hockey will get down to business on May 2, just three days after the end of the regular season.
Ahead of the players taking to the ice, you might be wondering which way to bet on the NHL at the pointy end of this season. Fear not, Bodog bettors, because we’ve been taking a solid look at the Stanley Cup state of play, determining which teams are looking strongest, and whether the legendary trophy will be coming home for the first time since Alanis Morrissette was the world’s most famous Canadian. (That’s way back in 1993, for the littlest of our jagged pills.)
Colorado Avalanche (+350)
As we’ve already witnessed, the Colorado Avalanche have enjoyed a record-breaking season. They clinched a playoff spot early on after building a comfortable lead at the top of the Western Conference.
The Avalanche haven’t won the Stanley Cup since the 2000-01 season, and this is only their third division championship in all the years since. They have, however, been gradually improving each year that Jared Bednar has been in charge as Head Coach. This year, they’ve even managed their best win-loss ratio of his tenure.
This stunning performance has been a real team effort, but several big names have really shone through this season, particularly Mikko Rantanen and Andre Burakovsky, as well as Canadian stars Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and Nazem Kadri.
2021-22 really could be the year for Colorado. They’ve shown they have what it takes to win consistently right from the beginning of this season, so provided they can keep that up into the playoffs, the title could be theirs.
That’s precisely why the Bodog sportsbook has given the team the best Stanley Cup playoffs betting odds at +350, a sizable distance from the second-placed team.
Florida Panthers (+500)
Right behind Colorado are the Florida Panthers: the team with the best record in the entire NHL this season with more points, more wins, and considerably more goals.
How does the south do it? Well, we may have tossed them some talent along the way… Despite them being quite a long way from home, the team is dominated by Canadian talent, with eight of the top-ten scoring Panthers coming from north of the border. Of these, one Canadian in particular has stood out this season. If the name isn’t already escaping your lips, then you heard it here first: Jonathan Huberdeau. You’ll want to pop him in your NHL player rolodex for future reference, because the 28-year-old smashed through the 100 points barrier this year, with several games to spare, and still scored on at the same impressive rate.
In the last few years, the Panthers have been on a resurgence, making consistent playoff appearances after a three-year drought, and 2021-22 is the biggest step forward yet. That’s all despite the difficulties the team has faced away from the ice which finally resulted in Andrew Brunette stepping up into the role as interim manager in late October.
If anything, Brunette’s leadership has helped the Panthers to take their games to the next level, and this could be invaluable in the playoffs.
As the second favourite with Stanley Cup betting odds of +500, the Florida Panthers are a team you can’t discount.
Calgary Flames (+800)
Back in the Western Conference, the Calgary Flames are heading up the Pacific Division, though they sit a long way behind the Avalanche and the Panthers. That’s still been enough to secure a playoff spot and the third-best Stanley Cup betting odds.
The Flames have had a mixed record in recent years, sometimes winning the division, sometimes scraping through into the playoffs, other times missing out entirely. This has been partially down to a turbulent period off the ice, but with the departure of some big names from the roster, and from the administrative ranks, a new era has begun in Calgary.
Even without a captain, Darryl Sutter has quickly made an impression in his second tenure as the head coach. 2021-22 is his first full season back in charge so a decent playoff run would be a great success.
Gaudreau and Tkachuk have shone brightly this season, with both players getting more than a century of points with Lindholm not far behind. They could be key figures in the playoffs, especially if they can keep this performance up.
Tampa Bay Lightning (+1000)
The team with the fourth-best NHL odds for taking the Stanley Cup this season is the Tampa Bay Lightning. Although they’ve been fighting with the Maple Leafs and the Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division behind the Panthers, all three have secured spots in the playoffs.
As the winners of the last two Stanley Cups, you might expect the Lightning to be a little higher up the list. After all, they’ve proven themselves more than capable in recent years. But, history is a stubborn thing, and it’s decidedly against the Lightning if its own internal laws of repetition hold true, and that’s because no team has won three consecutive Stanley Cups since the New York Islanders in the 1980s. But then, you might argue, that’s a precedent in itself. Never mind the superstition.
On paper, the Lightning are still a force to be reckoned with, but they struggled in their games in March and early April, losing to most playoff-contending teams. Things have picked up more recently, however, with a convincing 8-1 win against the Maple Leafs and an 8-4 win against the Florida Panthers.
Tampa has one of the most experienced teams in the playoffs, with names like Stamkos, Hedman, and Kucherov who have all been there and won on multiple occasions. That will give them an advantage over just about all of their competitors, and could make their +1000 odds an absolute steal.
With the playoffs just days away, the road towards the Stanley Cup is on a home stretch. And with several strong contenders in the field, there are plenty of great NHL betting opportunities to consider, and excellent returns to be had with a savvy pounce on these favourable early odds. That’s an invitation: the betting rink is officially open for business.