With the 2021 season moving toward March, NHL betting is heating up, with bettors taking a longer look at Stanley Cup odds and who might hoist the trophy for the 2020-21 season.
Teams continue adjusting to new divisions, shortened schedules and other pandemic-forced adjustments, making it a year unlike any other. But games are still being played and we're gathering more information each day, with many of the favorites playing as expected, while dark horses are emerging, as well.
Let's look at the updated NHL odds to win the Stanley Cup.
Favorites to win the Stanley Cup
As of Feb. 23, the Colorado Avalanche are the Stanley Cup favorites for the 2020-21 season at BetMGM, with odds of +650. The Avs are coming off a stretch of four straight games against another Stanley Cup contender, the Vegas Golden Knights, and Colorado earned a split of those four games to move to 9-5-1-0 with 19 points.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning are the +800 co-second choice at BetMGM, with an 11-4-1-0 mark and 23 points. The Golden Knights notched a 3-0 road victory over Colorado on Feb. 22 to gain a split of that four-game set, and BetMGM's +650 preseason favorite is now knotted with Tampa Bay at +800.
Rounding out the top five on BetMGM's Stanley Cup odds board are the Boston Bruins (+850) and Toronto Maple Leafs (+900).
Odds to win the Stanley Cup
|Team||NHL Odds to win Stanley Cup (as of February 23)|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+800|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+800|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+900|
|St. Louis Blues||+2,000|
|New York Islanders||+2,500|
|New York Rangers||+5,000|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+6,600|
|New Jersey Devils||+6,600|
|Los Angeles Kings||+8,000|
|San Jose Sharks||+10,000|
|Detroit Red Wings||+50,000|
Odds courtesy of BetMGM
Stanley Cup futures action report
Biggest climb: Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins opened +1,400 at BetMGM and have made inroads the past month, thanks to a current 10-2-1-0 surge that has the Bruins at 11-3-2-0 for 24 points. As of Feb. 23, Boston is +850 to win the Stanley Cup and is a very popular play. "The team getting the most action is the Bruins by a mile," BetMGM Nevada's Scott Shelton said. "You'd think it'd be Vegas, but it's not. We do lose to the Golden Knights, but nothing like the Bruins."
Furthest fall: Washington Capitals
BetMGM's Shelton pointed to the Washington Capitals, who are more than respectable at 9-5-1-2 for 21 points, but have backslid since opening +2,000. The Caps are now +2,800, due in part to a current 3-5 stretch.
Team to watch: Carolina Hurricanes
Somewhat quietly, the Carolina Hurricanes steadily climbed up the BetMGM Stanley Cup odds board. The Hurricanes opened +2,200, then went to +1,800, +1,600 and +1,400 before arriving at +1,200 on Feb. 22. The 'Canes are 5-1-1-0 in their last seven games, improving to 12-4-1-0 overall for 25 points, third-most in the NHL, behind only Toronto's 30 and Florida's 26. Carolina is BetMGM's solo sixth choice to win the Stanley Cup.
Past Stanley Cup winners
The Tampa Bay Lightning claimed Lord Stanley's grail last season in the COVID-19 bubble. The Lightning were favorites, or co-favorites with the Vegas Golden Knights, for most of the 2019-20 season.
Here are the last 11 winners of the Stanley Cup, their odds of winning just before the playoffs began (courtesy of Sports Odds History), and the team that lost in the Stanley Cup Finals.
|Season||Stanley Cup Winners||Odds before playoffs||Runner Up|
|2019-20||Tampa Bay Lightning||+650||Dallas Stars|
|2018-19||St. Louis Blues||+1,250||Boston Bruins|
|2017-18||Washington Capitals||+1,225||Vegas Golden Knights|
|2016-17||Pittsburgh Penguins||+770||Nashville Predators|
|2015-16||Pittsburgh Penguins||+650||San Jose Sharks|
|2014-15||Chicago Blackhawks||+800||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|2013-14||Los Angeles Kings||+1,400||New York Rangers|
|2012-13||Chicago Blackhawks||+400||Boston Bruins|
|2011-12||Los Angeles Kings||+2,200||New Jersey Devils|
|2010-11||Boston Bruins||+800||Vancouver Canucks|
|2009-10||Chicago Blackhawks||+450||Philadelphia Flyers|
Format for the 2020-21 NHL season
Due to COVID-19, the NHL is changing up the format of the schedule for the 2020-21 NHL season. The league has realigned the divisions – into North, West, Central and East – and each team will play a 56-game schedule of games only against other teams in their division.
The Top 4 teams in each division will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where it will stay intradivisional as the first-place team in the division plays the fourth-place team, and No. 2 plays No. 3, and the winning teams face in the second round. The four teams that emerge as the champions of their respective divisions will play in the Stanley Cup semifinals, where each team is seeded by their points total in the regular season. Each round of the playoffs will be a best-of-seven series.
New divisions for the 2020-21 NHL season
|Calgary Flames||Anaheim Ducks||Carolina Hurricanes||Boston Bruins|
|Edmonton Oilers||Arizona Coyotes||Chicago Blackhawks||Buffalo Sabres|
|Montreal Canadiens||Colorado Avalanche||Columbus Blue Jackets||New Jersey Devils|
|Ottawa Senators||Los Angeles Kings||Dallas Stars||New York Islanders|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Minnesota Wild||Detroit Red Wings||New York Rangers|
|Vancouver Canucks||San Jose Sharks||Florida Panthers||Philadelphia Flyers|
|Winnipeg Jets||St. Louis Blues||Nashville Predators||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Vegas Golden Knights||Tampa Bay Lightning||Washington Capitals|
Understanding Stanley Cup odds
Sportsbooks will post odds to win the Stanley Cup before the season starts. These odds are constantly adjusted throughout the offseason as players get hurt, suspended or are traded. Once the regular season begins, title odds will change daily as teams win and lose games and as more players get hurt, suspended or traded. Sportsbooks will also adjust the NHL futures odds based on handle and liability to certain teams.
Stanley Cup odds will usually look like this:
- Colorado Avalanche +750
This means that on a $100 bet, you'll stand to win $750 if the Avs win the Stanley Cup. If it's close to the end of the regular season or even during the playoffs and the NHL has a very dominant team, you might see that a team is has a minus sign (-) ahead of its odds.
- Tampa Bay Lightning -120
This means that you would need to bet $120 to win $100 on a Lightning Stanley Cup win.
Above we have posted the American odds for the Stanley Cup. However, these are easy to convert to decimal odds or fractional odds with our odds converter tool.
Where can I bet on Stanley Cup odds?
You can bet on Stanley Cup odds and NHL futures at every online and casino sportsbook. Find ratings and reviews for the best sportsbooks for betting on NHL futures your area.