The Tampa Bay Lightning doubled down on why they are one of the greatest NHL teams in history by winning back-to-back Stanley Cups. Tampa easily dismissed the Montreal Canadiens in July’s Cup Final, winning the series 4-1. While the Lightning will remain a juggernaut in the 2021-22 season, they are not the standalone favorite to hoist the Cup next June.
The Colorado Avalanche opened as the 2022 Cup favorite at most sportsbooks the morning after Tampa closed out the Canadiens. Colorado was +475 at DraftKings Sportsbook on September 15, with the Lightning checking in at +700.
Below are odds to win the 2022 Stanley Cup. Click on the price you like to bet now.
2022 Stanley Cup odds
Here are futures odds from the top US sportsbooks on which team will raise the Stanley Cup.
NHL Futures Report: August 27
Colorado Avalanche (): They might be the cup favorite in 21-22, but the Avs made a lot of changes that could be a concern. Out are forwards Brandon Saad, Joonas Donskoi, defenseman Ryan Graves and goalie Philipp Grubauer. The Grubauer loss could be the biggest one, as the Avs replaced him with Darcy Kuemper, coming off an injury-plagued and overall down season.
Tampa Bay Lightning (): The two-time defending champs finally paid the price for their success, as their longstanding salary cap crunch forced them to see their highly-effective third line of Yanni Gourde (Seattle), Blake Coleman (Calgary) and Barclay Goodrow (New York Rangers) disperse. Their physicality will be especially missed in the playoffs. The rest of the team remains mainly intact, but the departure of the entire third line is a tough pill to swallow.
Vegas Golden Knights (): Out is fan favorite and Vezina trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury (Chicago), officially making this Robin Lehner’s crease. This is what the management and coaching staff seemed to have been wanting to happen for a little while now, but Fleury’s terrific season along with a Lehner injury delayed it. If Lehner stays healthy, the Golden Knights remain one of the best teams in the West. If he gets hurt again, the fans will be disappointed to see their perennial contender slip a bit.
Carolina Hurricanes (): Surprisingly optimistic odds for a team that completely revamped its goaltending and let their premier puck-moving offensive defenseman walk. Out are goalies Alex Nedeljkovic (Detroit), Petr Mrazek (Toronto), and James Reimer (San Jose). In are Frederik Andersen from Toronto and oft-injured Antti Raanta from Arizona. Is that an upgrade? Not sure about that one. What’s not an upgrade is Dougie Hamilton leaving for New Jersey and replacing him with the controversial Tony DeAngelo.
Boston Bruins (): Another upper echelon team that will have a new face patrolling the crease. The Bruins signed Linus Ullmark from Buffalo, who has shown promise over the years for a struggling team. The biggest loss for the Bruins in the offseason was second-line center David Krejci returning home to the Czech Republic to finish his playing career. That could have a trickle-down effect and test their depth at center, especially if first-line center Patrice Bergeron (now a sneaky 36 years old) were to go down at any point.
Toronto Maple Leafs (): The perennially playoff-disappointing Maple Leafs did it again last season. Did they make the right changes for 21-22? They lost winger Zach Hyman to Edmonton, and he played well on the top line with star Auston Matthews and the highly-criticized, underappreciated, and overpaid Mitch Marner, so they’ll have to find a suitable replacement. The goaltending looks like a solid one-two punch with Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek, but the key to this team is second-line center John Tavares elevating his game. He was good last season, but they need him to be great (and healthy) if they hope to get over the hump.
New York Islanders (): Speaking of perennially, the perennially underrated New York Islanders once again feel like they are being a little overlooked. They beat the Bruins pretty convincingly in the playoffs last season, and yet find themselves with worse odds. Sure, they lost Jordan Eberle in the expansion draft to Seattle, but his average top-line production can be replaced by youngster Oliver Wahlstrom. The strength of the team (defense, goaltending, and especially coaching) remain intact.
Pittsburgh Penguins (): Another team the Islanders dispatched of has strikingly similar odds. The Penguins were done in by poor goaltending (which they did not address), aging stars (not getting any better or younger), and average at best depth (which lost two solid pieces to Seattle in Jared McCann and Brandon Tanev). Color us skeptical.
Minnesota Wild (): One of last season’s biggest surprises, the Wild might have overachieved. Rookie of the Year Kirill Kaprizov won’t sneak up on anybody this season, but this is still a playoff team on paper. Can they contend for the Stanley Cup? They’ll need career years from multiple players and that’s a tough ask.
Florida Panthers (): Last season’s other big surprise, the Panthers look primed to make a run at the Cup. They traded for Sam Reinhart, who has been consistently good for bad Sabres teams. While they lost goalie Chris Driedger to Seattle in the expansion draft, his role in the goalie tandem will be filled by Spencer Knight, who looked NHL ready in his few appearances last season.
New York Rangers (): For the Rangers to have slightly worse odds than the Panthers is quizzical. The Panthers had the 4th most points in the NHL last season and did not get worse in the offseason in our opinion. The Rangers, on the other hand, were middle of the pack in points last season and proceeded to trade a 26-year-old winger in Pavel Buchnevich, who was one of their best players in an otherwise disappointing year. They made a few moves to get grittier and tougher (Barclay Goodrow from the Lightning and Ryan Reaves from the Golden Knights), along with signing a few defensive defensemen, but it doesn’t really move the needle overall.
Washington Capitals (): It’s pretty much status quo for the Caps this offseason. They even got their Seattle expansion draft pick back as goalie Vitek Vanecek was sent back to Washington after Seattle signed Grubauer in free agency. Except for a little shuffling on the blue line, it’s the same Caps team again, and they were handled easily in the playoffs by the Bruins. Not exactly an encouraging course.
Montreal Canadiens (): Last season’s Stanley Cup finals loser may seem appropriately priced. However, while they added a few interesting pieces, (including all-power-play and not much else winger Mike Hoffman from St. Louis and rugged defensive defenseman David Savard from Tampa) a shift back into the Atlantic division with Tampa, Florida, Boston and Toronto makes a playoff berth tougher to come by this season.
Edmonton Oilers (): The Oilers’ offseason had a busy offseason. They signed Zach Hyman to likely play on Connor McDavid’s wing. Hyman was very effective running mate alongside Auston Matthews in Toronto, so this should give the Oilers some much needed help on the wing. On defense, they added Duncan Keith from Chicago while losing Adam Larsson to Seattle, a net loss at this stage in Keith’s career. Bottom line on the Oilers? They’ll score a lot, but unless Mike Smith posts another surprisingly strong season at 39 years old, they’ll likely give up a lot to. Playoff team, yes. Cup contender, unlikely.
Philadelphia Flyers (): It was a big makeover on the blue line for the Flyers after a disappointing season. Half the defense was shipped out, and the incoming half of Ryan Ellis from Nashville, Rasmus Ristolainen from Buffalo, and Keith Yandle from Florida brings a little bit of everything. Does it make them better? Well, it can’t get any worse. Same goes for goalie Carter Hart, who should rebound after a poor season. On offense, Jakub Voracek was sent to Columbus straight up for Cam Atkinson. A good deal for both sides that should give the Flyers offense a little more life.
St. Louis Blues (): These are long odds for a team not even three years removed from winning it all. Do they have a shot? The offense should be rejuvenated with the additions of Pavel Buchnevich from the Rangers and Brandon Saad from Colorado, but the defense and goaltending remain the same and don’t elicit much excitement.
Winnipeg Jets (): They swept the Oilers out of the playoffs last season, yet their odds are quite a bit worse. What gives? Their offense looks the same, having only lost Mason Appleton to Seattle in the expansion draft. They’ve improved a long-maligned blueline with Brendon Dillon from Washington and Nate Schmidt from Vancouver. If Dillon remains a steady stay-at-home defenseman, while Schmidt rediscovers his play from Vegas from just before last season, the Jets seemed primed for another playoff run. If goalie Connor Hellebuyck stays healthy, this team has a chance to make some noise.
Dallas Stars (): Who are the real Dallas Stars? The team that made the Stanley Cup finals in 2020? Or the team that missed the playoffs in 2021? Having Tyler Seguin back for the entire season will give the team a boost. Ryan Suter is a solid signing and should fit seamlessly onto the Stars’ 2nd defensive pair. The goaltending picture is muddy, however, and unless Anton Khudobin returns to his 2020 playoff form or Ben Bishop gets healthy and finds his old form, Dallas’ peak doesn’t seem to be much higher than just a playoff team.
Calgary Flames (): Stuck in neutral it seems, the Flames can’t seem to decide what direction they want to go. They have talent, but it’s clear that it’s not enough to make them a real contender. At the same time, they haven’t made any drastic moves to shake things up, so it seems they are just going to be middling for the time being.
Nashville Predators (): Unlike Calgary, the Preds recognized they weren’t good enough and made several changes to shake things up. Are they better? Doesn’t seem like it. The return they got for trading defenseman Ryan Ellis to Philadelphia seems underwhelming. They moved winger Viktor Arvidsson for picks in fear of losing him for nothing in the expansion draft, and while injury prone he’s still an effective player. Things are trending down in Music City.
Chicago Blackhawks (): You can’t say the Blackhawks aren’t trying. They made big splashes in the trade market, giving a little hope to a team that’s been trending down for a while. Maybe they want to give stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews one more run at the Cup while they are still there (each is under contract for another two seasons). Trading for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury from Vegas gives this team a big upgrade in net, even if he doesn’t match last season’s success. Their acquisition of defenseman Seth Jones (and signing him to monster long-term contract) could look bad down the road but should help in the short term.
Vancouver Canucks (): Another team that made big moves this offseason, it’s likely the Canucks got better in the short term. The long term…well that will be another GM’s headache most likely. They shipped out a few expiring contracts and acquired underrated and effective winger Conor Garland from Arizona. It also meant acquiring the massive contract of defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and the six years left on his deal. If he can regain any semblance of his prior all-star form, they’ll be willing to deal with the salary-cap hell it will put them in down the road to get back into the playoffs.
Seattle Kraken (): Vegas made the finals in their inaugural season, so why not Seattle? Their roster doesn’t look like it has the offense to be a real contender, but nobody looked at the Golden Knights’ initial squad and thought much of it, either. The defense and goaltending looks competitive, and they are in the weakest division in the league. So why not?
LA Kings (): For a few years now, the Kings have been said to have the best prospect pool in the NHL. Is this the year things start to come to fruition? In addition, the Kings acquired winger Viktor Arvidsson from Nashville, signed center Phillip Danault from Montreal, and defenseman Alex Edler from Vancouver. It seems that, much like Chicago is trying to do, the Kings are giving their veteran players that helped win them Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014 another shot at a playoff run.
New Jersey Devils (): The Devils had a splashy offseason, signing big ticket free-agent defenseman Dougie Hamilton to a huge contract. They also quietly traded for defenseman Ryan Graves from Colorado. That has the makings of a good top pairing, instantly bolstering the blueline. Is there enough offense on the roster, though? They signed Tomas Tatar from Montreal to help and with a healthy Nico Hischier, the squad should be much improved after last season’s struggles.
Columbus Blue Jackets (): The Jackets acquired Jakub Voracek from Philadelphia for Cam Atkinson this offseason. Voracek has a way of bringing out the best in his linemates, and the hope is that pairing him with sniper Patrik Laine will unlock Laine’s potential to become a consistent lethal scorer instead of a inconsistent streaky one. An admirable goal, but there isn’t much else about the Jackets to look forward to this season.
Arizona Coyotes (): There will be a lot of new faces in the desert this season for the Yotes, including a goaltending duo of Carter Hutton from Buffalo and Josef Korenar from San Jose, both making the league minimum. It’s going to be a long season for them.
Anaheim Ducks (): The Ducks didn’t make much of a splash this offseason, although rumors still have them as a destination for Buffalo center Jack Eichel if a trade were to ever come to fruition. The Ducks have a lot of young and promising talent and some should start to become regulars in the NHL lineup, giving it an injection of energy that it’s been lacking. The results on the ice will come eventually, but probably not this season.
San Jose Sharks (): It’s been a steep fall for the Sharks since they made the Western Conference Finals in 2019, and while they’ve made a few changes to right the ship (buying out goalie Martin Jones and replacing him with underrated Adin Hill from Arizona and James Reimer from Carolina), it won’t be enough to make the team a contender. The defense is aging and saddled with bad contracts, and the offense just lacks the firepower that it once had.
Ottawa Senators (): Once the worst team in the league, the Senators have some hope now as some of their young players have shown signs that they are ready to take the next step. Making the playoffs will be a tough ask considering their division, but things are looking up for a team that was the laughingstock of the league not long ago.
Buffalo Sabres (): Sabres fans deserve better. We’ve all seen Bills Mafia and the broken tables. Buffalo fans might be the best. Go watch any Sabres’ playoff overtime winning goals on YouTube and you’ll see the best crowd pops. For whatever reason, the past decade the Sabres have just not been able to put together a winner. There is talent, but it fails spectacularly. Their best player (Jack Eichel) wants out, their second-best player (Sam Reinhart) was traded to Florida, and despite having high draft picks time and again, it hasn’t led to any semblance of hope, and this season is going to be another long one for the loyal Sabres fans that are sticking with them through this.
Detroit Red Wings (): Trust what Steve Yzerman is doing. It won’t be this season, but they’ll get back in the mix in due time. He took over the Tampa Bay Lightning when they were in the dumps as well, and he is the one most responsible for making them what they are today. The Red Wings won’t be a playoff team this year, but they are improving in every facet of the game.
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 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.
|Team||July 8, 2021 Odds|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+600|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+800|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1400|
|New York Islanders||+1600|
|New York Rangers||+2000|
|St. Louis Blues||+3000|
|San Jose Sharks||+10000|
|New Jersey Devils||+10000|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+10000|
|Detroit Red Wings||+20000|
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.