Stanley Cup Odds 2020

NHL futures odds and strategy

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected all sports leagues, including the National Hockey League. With just over three weeks left in the regular season, the NHL announced on March 12 that the 2019-20 season would be suspended until further notice.

Then, on May 26, Commissioner Gary Bettman revealed a plan to forego the remainder of the regular season and restart the league with 12 teams from each conference in a playoff format starting in July. The top four teams in the East and West earned first-round byes and will face the winners of the five-game qualifying round series.

Below you’ll find the updated odds to win the Stanley Cup playoffs, along with information about how to bet legally on the best US sportsbook apps.

NHL Stanley Cup odds 2020

Stanley Cup Winner

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Boston
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+650
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+600
Tampa Bay
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+700
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+600
Vegas
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+800
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+850
Colorado
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+900
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+750
Washington
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+900
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+900
Philadelphia
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+1000
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+1100
St. Louis
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+1000
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+1000
Dallas
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+1400
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+1500
Pittsburgh
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+1700
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+2000
Edmonton
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+2300
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+2300
Toronto
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+2700
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+3000
Calgary
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+3200
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+3500
Vancouver
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+3200
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+3500
NY Islanders
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+3500
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+4200
Nashville
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+3500
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+4200
Carolina
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+4000
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+4200
Minnesota
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+4000
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+4000
Arizona
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+4000
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+4500
NY Rangers
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+4000
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+4000
Winnipeg
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+5500
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+5500
Columbus
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+6000
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+6500
Florida
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+6500
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+6500
Montreal
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+7000
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+10000
Chicago
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+7500
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+10000

NHL Futures Report: June 2020

Favorites

Tampa Bay Lightning (+650): The 2019 Presidents’ Trophy winners remain at the top of the odds board as they had through much of the regular season, despite last year’s first-round playoff collapse. C Steven Stamkos (abdomen) and D Victor Hedman (lower body) had been sidelined at the time of the pause but should be ready to return by late July. G Andrei Vasilevskiy has received plenty of rest after starting 52 of Tampa Bay’s 70 regular-season games

Boston Bruins (+700): The Bruins have swapped in-and-out of the favorite’s spot with the Lightning most of the season but have taken just a slight dip since play was halted. They claimed the de facto 2019-20 Presidents’ Trophy with 100 points through 70 games, despite going 0-7 in shootouts. RW David Pastrnak tied for third in the points race (95 in 69 games) and tied for first in goals (48), while Gs Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak took home the William M. Jennings Trophy for the fewest goals against.

Vegas Golden Knights (+800): The Pacific Division champs were red-hot through early March, having won eight of 10 games before the break. RW Mark Stone (lower body), LW Max Pacioretty (lower body), and C Chandler Stephenson (upper body) are all expected to return from injury. Vegas is also one of the few teams that could have a home-ice advantage through the playoffs as a potential hub city.

Colorado Avalanche (+900): The Avs led the Western Conference and ranked third in the league with a plus-46 goal differential. C Nathan MacKinnon (lower body), RW Mikko Rantanen (upper body), C Nazem Kadri (lower body), RW Andre Burakovsky (lower body) and G Philipp Grubauer (lower body) are all expected to be back for the new postseason.

Washington Capitals (+900): The Caps finished atop the Metropolitan Division for the fifth straight year, but they were slumping ahead of the break having gone just 4-3-3 in their final 10 games. LW Alex Ovechkin shared the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy with Pastrnak and D John Carlson led his position with 75 points in 69 games. Gs Braden Holtby and Ilya Samsonov could continue splitting time in the crease as Washington heads toward Round Robin play for first-round seeding.

Philadelphia Flyers (+1000): Philly secured a Qualification Round bye by going 9-1-0 over its final 10 games. The bye has helped the Flyers retain the same odds as they had on March 8. LW James van Riemsdyk (finger) will be their biggest injury returnee and sophomore G Carter Hart will have benefited from the break in his first full NHL season.

St. Louis Blues (+1000): The defending Stanley Cup champs took home the Central Division crown. The return of RW Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder), whose availability for the originally-scheduled NHL playoffs had been in question, will represent one of the most-important re-additions around the league.

Contenders

Dallas Stars (+1400): The Stars didn’t make it into the favorites tier despite being the eighth team with a bye. They finished the regular season third in the Central Division, but they’re fourth in the Western Conference by points percentage with 82 through 69 games. They had lost six straight games prior to the pause with two of those coming via shutout.

Pittsburgh Penguins (+1700): The shortened regular season prevented the Penguins from making a run to a top-four seed, finishing third in the Metro Division after going 3-7-0 across their final 10 games. Needing to play a Qualification Round series (against the Montreal Canadiens), has raised Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup odds from +1200 on March 8. LW Jake Guentzel (shoulder) is now fully expected to return from what was once a season-ending injury.

Edmonton Oilers (+2300): The Oilers are the favorites among the six Canadian teams to qualify for the postseason, doing so for just the second time in the last 12 years. LW Leon Draisaitl led the league in both points and assists, with C Connor McDavid finishing second in both categories. Having played two more games than the Stars in the regular season, the Oilers finished with more points, but they miss out on a first-round bye due to points percentage.

Toronto Maple Leafs (+2700): The Maple Leafs had been +2000 on March 8 before play was suspended. They’ll face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Qualification Round as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. Heavily-used starter Frederik Andersen will be one of the main beneficiaries of the prolonged hiatus.

Calgary Flames (+3200): The Flames are one of the biggest fallers from the early March odds, dropping from +2300. They’re the first of just six teams to make the postseason despite a negative goal differential (minus-5). Their 6-1 shootout record was the best in the NHL, but they’ll lose that advantage with standard playoff overtime rules in effect.

Vancouver Canucks (+3200): Odds remain the same for the Canucks. They join the Oilers and Maple Leafs as long-shot Canadian candidates to be a hub city, providing a potential boost via home-ice advantage. G Jacob Markstrom (lower body) will be back in net when play resumes.

Nashville Predators (+3500): The Preds’ outlook has improved considerably from their +4000 odds on March 8. Thirty-seven-year-old G Pekka Rinne has received a rare mid-season rest after posting a career-worst .895 save percentage through 36 games. Head coach John Hynes can have his first “training camp” with the team after replacing Peter Laviolette in early January.

Longshots

Arizona Coyotes (+4000): The Coyotes went just 5-5-0 across their final 10 games as part of a much greater second-half collapse. They went 8-13-4 since Jan. 9 and were outscored 73-62.

Carolina Hurricanes (+4000): The Hurricanes were priced at +2400 to win the cup on March 8, representing one of the biggest falls of the 24 playoff teams. D Brett Pesce (shoulder) will remain sidelined, but D Sami Vatanen (lower body) is expected to return.

Minnesota Wild (+4000): G Devan Dubnyk has been very vocal about not wanting to risk the health of himself or his family with a return to play. G Alex Stalock could be the top starting option for the 10th-seeded Wild.

New York Islanders (+4000): The Islanders had dropped seven in a row prior to the break for the longest active losing streak in the league. They’ll play the Florida Panthers in the Qualification Round as the higher seed, but they opened as the betting underdogs.

New York Rangers (+4000): The Rangers finished seventh in the Metropolitan Division and are the 11th-seed in the Eastern Conference. It’s unknown how the goaltending trio of Alexandar Georgiev, Henrik Lundqvist and Igor Shesterkin will split work.

Florida Panthers (+5000): The Panthers’ odds have improved considerably from +6500 on March 8 when they seemed destined to miss the postseason. They’ll be hoping for a fresh start from G Sergei Bobrovsky, who had struggled to a .900 save percentage and 3.23 goals against average through 50 games.

Winnipeg Jets (+5500): Likewise, the boost into the expanded playoffs has improved the odds for the Jets, who were 37-34-6 through 71 games and fourth in the Central. D Dustin Byfuglien has since parted ways with the team and won’t be providing a much-needed boost on defense.

Columbus Blue Jackets (+6000): The Blue Jackets will be hoping Columbus is designated a hub city, as they went 20-16-4 at home this season but just 13-21-11 on the road. The goaltending tandem of Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo will be put to the test against the high-scoring Maple Leafs offense.

Montreal Canadiens (+7000): The Canadiens were nearly eliminated from playoff contention at the time of the break, as they held odds of +35000 to win the cup. LW Jonathan Drouin (ankle) will return, and G Carey Price will look to improve on his .909 regular-season save percentage.

Chicago Blackhawks (+7500): Chicago creeps into the postseason as the 12th seed in the Western Conference and will face the Oilers. The Blackhawks’ 72 points through 70 games were worse than all playoff teams but the Canadiens.

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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, while 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, while 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 at much more profitable odds.
  • Futures: Stanley Cup futures typically come out immediately after the prior NHL season wraps up in June. From then until the trophy is awarded the odds are regularly updated based on team expectations, performance, and public betting action. Injuries, trades and winning or losing streaks also carry great weight. Be sure to incorporate advanced statistics and know which teams are overperforming and who 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 work?

First, let’s define a futures wager. These are made on the result of certain event or contest 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 Stanley Cup at +195. A bettor putting $100 on Tampa would win $195 (and get the original $100 bet back) if they won the title.
  • If the DraftKings book had the Dallas Stars with futures odds of +400, it actually pays at 4 to 1 (400 to 100). So a $100 wager on the Stars in this scenario would win $100. It’s that easy.

Why do 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 Colorado Avalanche may start as a +2600 underdog (with a $100 wager to win $2,600), but that can change later. Several factors could be in play making 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. As teams are eliminated in the playoffs, futures odds can be adjusted.
  • 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 finals. That comes after an 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 an historic run to the finals as an expansion team in 2018. But who were some of the biggest longshots 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. The team struggled a bit during the regular season, which was 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.