Four teams remain in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Tampa Bay Lightning are the new favorites to win the 2021 Stanley Cup by the NHL futures odds at the top US sportsbooks.
Below, we track the Stanley Cup odds and tee up all the second-round matchups with our team-by-team NHL futures report. Our live odds feed gets you the best price on each remaining team.
If you are looking for live lines on individual NHL postseason games, head over to our NHL playoffs odds page.
2021 Stanley Cup odds
Here are current futures odds on which team will raise the Stanley Cup this summer.
NHL futures report
Odds shown are the best available prices from top US sportsbooks.
Tampa Bay Lightning (): The Lightning handled the Carolina Hurricanes in five games in Round 2. They opened as heavy favorites against the New York Islanders and can put them away Wednesday night.
Vegas Golden Knights (): Game 5 will obviously be pivotal for the Golden Knights, who have a legit series on their hands with the surprising Canadiens.
Montreal Canadiens (): The Canadiens stormed back from a 3-1 series deficit to the Toronto Maple Leafs to advance to the second. They then swept the Winnipeg Jets in Round 2 to be the first team to advance as North Division champions. Montreal is proving to be no fluke as they tied up their series with Vegas.
New York Islanders (): The Islanders pulled upsets in each of their first two playoff series. Veteran G Semyon Varlamov was the star of Round 2, as he returned to the crease to stymie the Boston Bruins. The road only gets tougher with a third-round date against the Lightning.
Best NHL betting sites
Those betting using mobile options can simply navigate to the hockey section of the betting app to find Stanley Cup futures.
Bettors looking to place those Stanley Cup wagers may want to check out the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. The site offers plenty of options in betting for the Stanley Cup winner as well as wagering on individual matchups.
DraftKings Sportsbook also offers a nice betting experience and all the futures action a hockey fan might want. For both sites, simply click on “hockey” and then the “futures” tab to make a selection. There are some great bonus offers at both FanDuel and DraftKings for those looking to get in on the action.
If sports betting isn’t legal in your state yet, daily fantasy sports is another great way to have some skin in the game. Sign up for an account at DraftKings and get $25 free.
How to bet the NHL
Betting on the NHL, and hockey, in general, is somewhat of a cross between baseball and basketball betting. It’s similar to basketball in that it can be slightly more predictable, particularly over the long term when looking at the proper statistics and trends. It leans toward baseball in following suit with generally modest odds and lines, and like with starting pitchers, the lines hinge on the projected starting goaltenders. The terms and bet types remain the same as in the other main sports.
- Moneyline: The most straightforward and common bet type; pick the team to win the game, either in regulation, overtime or a shootout. Odds will generally range from -250 to +250 but can extend closer to -500 or +500 in rare cases. A late goalie swap can drastically change the odds, and likelihood of a team winning.
- Puck line/Spread: Much the same as run lines in baseball betting, the standard puck line is set at +/- 1.5 goals. The favorite must win by at least two goals; the underdog needs to stay within one in a loss or win outright. Any game going to overtime would be a win for the underdog regardless of the final outcome.
- Total: The total, or Over/Under, is most commonly set at a base of 5.5, though as with all hockey odds, the projected goalie matchup is the biggest factor. A pair of backups starting against each other would usually boost the line to 6.5; a pair of elite goaltenders could drop the number to 4.5.
- Alternate lines: The alternate betting lines are more valuable in hockey than nearly all the other main sports. Buying yourself a goal against either the spread or total can greatly raise your chances of earning at least a small profit. Boosting your odds to a puck line of -2.5 or a total of 7.5 can return a much great profit with the increased risk.
- Props: Hockey prop bets range from which team will score first to whether or not certain players will score a goal in the game. Rather than backing an underdog on the puck line in what’s expected to be a tight game, look for whether or not the game will go to overtime. This will often offer more profitable odds.
- Futures: Stanley Cup futures typically come out immediately after the prior NHL season wraps up in June. Odds are regularly adjusted from then until the trophy ids awarded. Team expectations, performance, and public betting action all influence the odds. Injuries, trades and winning or losing streaks also carry great weight. Be sure to incorporate advanced statistics and know which teams are over-performing. Others could enjoy a late-season surge in order to capitalize on long odds. Futures are also available for player awards and stats, and conference and division winners.
How do Stanley Cup futures odds work?
First, let’s define a futures wager. These are made on the result of certain events or contests to happen in the future.
Fans enjoy these wagers because they offer a chance to cheer for a team (or a few) in the long run. They also have a chance at a nice payout for a smaller wager. In this case, a bet on a certain team to survive the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup.
In the NHL, eight teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs. Making a futures wager on one of those 16 teams is easy, both in a live sportsbook and online.
A sportsbook in a casino will have futures odds usually listed on a large screen somewhere in the sportsbook. These should be easy to find, but staff at the betting windows can help.
Let’s look at an example using a $100 futures wager:
- FanDuel Sportsbook opened the Tampa Bay Lightning as the favorite to win the 2020 Stanley Cup at +195. A bettor putting $100 on Tampa would have won $195 (and get the original $100 bet back).
Why do Stanley Cup odds change during a season or in the playoffs?
While a team might start off with certain odds, they can change at any time. The Dallas Stars may start as +2200 underdogs (with a $100 wager to win $2,200), but that can change later. Several factors could be in play to make those lines move.
- Futures odds are a fluctuating market. A team may have a surprising Round 1 upset victory and played well. That may spur oddsmakers to move those lines down.
- Odds are adjusted based on a team’s performance, injuries, opponents, and more during the season and postseason.
- Sportsbooks also adjust odds based on betting patterns. A large amount bet on a certain team may force oddsmakers to lower odds to reduce exposure to potential losses should that team pay off.
NHL futures betting history
Winning the Stanley Cup isn’t easy. Teams must survive three playoff rounds before battling it out in the Stanley Cup Final. That comes after the 56-game regular season with plenty of skating, checking, and road trips.
The goal is to be one of the eight teams in the postseason from each conference and then see what happens. The Vegas Golden Knights made a historic run to the Cup Final as an expansion team in 2018. But who were some of the biggest long shots in history to win the Cup?
- 2012 – The L.A. Kings entered the playoffs as an eighth seed and were 20-1 to take home their first title in 44 years. As the L.A. Times notes, the team caught fire “… thanks largely to their remarkable 10-1 road record, tying a league record for the most road wins in a postseason. And while winning 16 of 20 playoff games, the Kings outscored their opponents by an impressive 57-30.”
- 1995 – The New Jersey Devils were a fifth seed when the playoffs started. They struggled during a regular season shortened to 48 games due to a lockout. The Red Wings looked like an unstoppable force and few in the media predicted Jersey would win. But the Devils completed an unlikely 4-0 sweep.
- 1986 – With a team full of rookies including goalie Patrick Roy and forward Claude Lemieux , the Montreal Canadiens shocked the hockey world with a 4-1 finals victory over the Calgary Flames.
No doubt, bettors took home a nice score on these futures wagers.