Stanley Cup Odds - Where Do Surging Rangers Land?

NHL futures odds and strategy

1

After the NHL’s return from their extended holiday break, there are still more questions than answers at the top of the league, with standings in chaos and teams trying to figure out how good they really are. That makes it a great time to look at the futures market, and see who’s up, who’s down, and who’s fighting to stay alive in the race for the Stanley Cup.

Stanley Cup odds

Here are Stanley Cup odds from the top US sportsbooks on which team will win it all next June.

NHL Futures Report (January 19)

Favorites

Colorado (): Best in the West by Points% and sporting 17 points in their last 10 games, the Avalanche are exactly as good as the Presidents’ Trophy winning team they were last year. Whether they can finally come through in the playoffs is another story, but impressive wins over Toronto and Winnipeg in recent weeks cement them as favorites.

Tampa Bay (): A 6-2 record in games decided in overtime and a worse goal differential than the third place Leafs indicate that the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions are slightly playing above their heads. That said, playoff experience and elite goaltending is a key in the spring, both of which Tampa has in spades.

Toronto (): The Leafs have blown multi goal leads in 4 of their last 5 games and lost to a tanking Arizona team. Optimists will point to their superior goal differential to Tampa and the fact that they’re finally healthy, but if they can’t keep surrendering multi goal leads, none of that is going to matter in the spring against better competition.

Florida (): Winners of 8 of their 10 games after the break, Florida’s offense has been on fire, with them scoring 4 of more goals in 9 straight before running into Calgary this week. First in the Atlantic and currently on track to avoid one of Toronto and Tampa, the Panthers are in a prime position to make a run.

Vegas (): Assuming Jack Eichel can find something approximating his form from his Buffalo days once he returns to the ice, a solid Vegas squad will be even stronger when the time comes. 4-4-2 in their last 10 is a concern, but a weak division and a star in the wings mitigates those concerns.

Contenders

Minnesota (): 4-4-2 in their last 10, the Wild are still second in the Central by Points%, but with an ever increasing gap on Colorado, their road to the Cup will have to go through Denver. Without reinforcements on the backend, they’ll struggle in the playoffs.

Washington (): 3-9 in games decided after regulation, Washington is better than their record, and on the backs of an elite offense led by Alexander Ovechkin, the team’s right in the thick of it in the difficult Metro. If they can avoid Carolina in Round 1, they could make a real run.

Carolina (): If Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta can make it to – and through – the playoffs healthy, then the Canes – sporting a best in the league Points% – will make a deep run. If their injury prone goalies continue their trend, then it could be an early out for the current Eastern best team.

Pittsburgh (): With their team about to be fully healthy, Pittsburgh is going to be looking to avoid the Wild Card and stay in the 3 seed in the Metro. If they draw New York to start the playoffs, they could easily find their way into a deep run again.

Boston (): The worst team of the East’s clear Top 8, the Bruins will likely make the playoffs, but having to play three rounds without home ice advantage, especially starting with one of Carolina or Florida on current standings, means that the Bruins have to be considered heavy underdogs to even win a round.

Edmonton (): Everyone is miserable in Edmonton, who have won 2 of their last 14 games and are apparently considering adding Evander Kane into the mix. With both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in media maelstroms recently, the team is in trouble unless they can find some wins, or some better goaltending than their motley crew of incumbents.

Calgary (): Second in the Pacific in Points% and third in the league in Goals Against Average, the Flames might be able to take advantage of a weak division, and if Jacob Markstrom can excel in the playoffs, they could easily beat a Vegas team that’s shown their ability to get beaten by elite goaltending in the playoffs.

New York Rangers (): Igor Shesterkin and the Rangers are sporting the second best Goals Against Average in the league, and their elite goaltending and stout defense has them primed for a run, especially if New York they can stay above Washington and have home ice in a first round matchup.

St. Louis (): Sporting the second best goal differential in the West, the 2019 Cup Champions have made a real run at contention again after barely making the playoffs in the shortened 2021 season. That said, Jordan Binnington as a playoff No. 1 goalie is a real concern.

Nashville (): A two game losing streak has hampered the Predators, who still hold the first Western Wild Card and should be able to keep up with their competition. Sixth in the conference by goal differential, Nashville’s should be a playoff team, even if they’ll be having to make a run without home ice.

Dallas (): Waiting for the Stars to make a run has become an annual tradition, with shaky goaltending and stars not performing well enough making the team a contender more in theory than in practice. Losing to the Habs this week highlights their pretender status well.

Longshots

Anaheim (): Hit badly by COVID absences to Trevor Zegras and goalie John Gibson, Anaheim has tumbled down the standings, but remain right in the thick of the Western Wild Card race.

Winnipeg (): Fifth in the Central and in the second Western Wild Card, it’s only the weakness in the Pacific Division keeping Winnipeg in the playoffs right now. Shaky offense can only go so far, even with an elite goalie.

New York Islanders (): In last place in the Metro but only fifth by Points%, a Boston collapse could see them get back into the Wild Card race, but to do so they’d need to take advantage of their home-heavy closing stretch.

Los Angeles (): Currently in a playoff spot by points%, the Kings are still more likely than not to miss the playoffs, as inexperience costs them games down the stretch. Any move by Edmonton to revive their fortunes will presumably mean their playoff spot comes at the expense of the Kings.

San Jose (): Freed of the Evander Kane distraction (and with a notable increase in cap space), the Sharks could potentially look to make moves this year, especially given their spot 1 point out of a playoff spot.

Vancouver (): After riding a new coach bump, reality has hit for the Canucks, who sit in seventh in the Pacific by points%. A point per game pace won’t be enough, and with so many teams to jump, the Canucks horrible start looms large.

Detroit (): After initially outperforming expectations, the Red Wings have settled into their position in the 9 seed in the East. Barring a Boston collapse, they’ll find themselves on the outside looking in.

Philadelphia (): Last in the Metropolitan by Point%, Philly has 1 win in their last 10 games and have conceded the fifth most goals in the league.

Chicago (): Taking 9 points in their last 5 games is impressive for the inconsistent Blackhawks, but with a Point% under .500, they’ve got no hope of making a run at the playoffs.

Seattle (): The Kraken finally broke their 9 game losing streak with a shootout victory over the Blackhawks, but the expansion franchise still remains in last place in the Pacific.

Columbus (): A dominant victory over the Hurricanes and then a humiliating defeat against the Panthers in their next game exemplify the inconsistent Blue Jackets, whose inability to string together wins will cost them a chance at the playoffs.

New Jersey (): A young team, the Devils will be spending the rest of the season trying to find chemistry moving forward, given any chances of a playoff run this year are seemingly remote.

Ottawa (): An Alberta sweep has buoyed the mood in Ottawa, but with the top 8 Eastern teams solidified as they are right now, Sens fans will have to once again hope that a potentially good second half leads to success next year.

Montreal (): A loss to the Coyotes confirms that despite their miracle run to the Stanley Cup last year, the Canadiens are still very, very far away from relevance, but they’ll get a high pick at least.

Buffalo (): Winners of only one of their post-break games, the Sabres are showing why they were expected by so many to be the pre-season favorite for the worst record in the league.

Arizona (): The Coyotes managed to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in Arizona last week, which despite the fact it might qualify as their Stanley Cup, is about as good as their season will get.

Best NHL betting sites

RANK
OPERATOR
BONUS
INFO
ACTION
1
UP TO $1,050 FREE
New User Bonus. T&Cs Apply.
Special for bets on NFL Playoffs
Bet $5 & Win $280
$50 Free Bet on Deposit
Up to $1,000 Deposit Bonus
To Claim: Click Bet Now
3
$1,001
First Bet Match
Up To $1,001 First Bet Match
Opt In for a Free NBA Jersey
Weekly Betting Promos
Use Promo Code: LEGALRF
5
$1,000
Risk Free Bet
Special for bets on NFL Playoffs
Bet $5, Win $150 In Cash or
Up to $1,000 Risk Free Bet
To Claim: Click Bet Now
7
$500
Risk Free Bet
Exclusive Offer
$500 Risk Free Bet
Use Promo Code: BETBONUS

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 the odds are changing: NHL Futures

We look at how odds are changing from when they were initially posted on July 8, 2021 at DraftKings Sportsbook to Opening Night of the 2021-22 season and during the 2021-22 NHL campaign.

TeamJuly 8 OddsOct. 11 OddsDec. 22 Odds
Colorado Avalanche+500+550+400
Tampa Bay Lightning+600+650+400
Vegas Golden Knights+800+700+2000
Boston Bruins+1000+1400+5000
Carolina Hurricanes+1200+2300+650
Toronto Maple Leafs+1400+1100+500
New York Islanders+1600+1500+28000
Washington Capitals+2000+2400+1600
Pittsburgh Penguins+2000+2100+2900
New York Rangers+2000+2400+2200
Minnesota Wild+2000+2700+1700
Florida Panthers+2000+2200+750
Philadelphia Flyers +2500+2900+28000
Montreal Canadiens+2500+5000+28000
St. Louis Blues+3000+4100+5000
Edmonton Oilers+3000+2900+5000
Winnipeg Jets+4000+4100+28000
Vancouver Canucks+4000+7000+28000
Nashville Predators+4000+8500+7500
Dallas Stars+4000+2800+17000
Calgary Flames+4000+4800+2100
LA Kings+6000+8500+28000
Chicago Blackhawks+6000+4100+28000
Arizona Coyotes+6000+10000+28000
San Jose Sharks+10000+8500+28000
Seattle Kraken+10000+4800+28000
Ottawa Senators+10000+10000+28000
New Jersey Devils+10000+4800+28000
Columbus Blue Jackets+10000+15000+28000
Anaheim Ducks+10000+10000+28000
Detroit Red Wings+20000+10000+28000
Buffalo Sabres+20000+15000+28000

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 Colorado Avalanche as the favorite to win the 2022 Stanley Cup at +650. A bettor putting $100 on Colorado would win $650 (and get the original $100 bet back) if the Avs were to pull it off.

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 82-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 noted, 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.