The 2021 NHL season is a month and a half old, and even in a campaign unlike any other due to complications surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the action on the ice hasn’t missed a beat.
So, which teams have the likeliest chances to go all the way? At online sportsbook Bovada, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the sole +700 favorites, followed by the Colorado Avalanche (+725), Tampa Bay Lightning (+750), Vegas Golden Knights (+750) and Boston Bruins (+850) at the top of the Stanley Cup odds list.
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New to betting on hockey? We have a great NHL betting tutorial to assist you in placing a wager on Stanley Cup odds. To find the sportsbook that’s right for you to get some money down on the ice, head over to our Sportsbook Review page.
Stanley Cup Odds
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+700|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+750|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+750|
|St. Louis Blues||+1800|
|New York Islanders||+2500|
|New York Rangers||+6600|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+7000|
|New Jersey Devils||+9000|
|Los Angeles Kings||+10000|
|San Jose Sharks||+20000|
|Detroit Red Wings||+50000|
Odds as of February 25 at Bovada
Leafs Grab Top Spot on the Oddsboard
Last week, the Golden Knights, Lightning and Avalanche were all sitting as the co-favorites to win Lord Stanley’s holy grail. But the Maple Leafs have overtaken all three clubs since then to grab the top spot on the board thanks to a red-hot start to the season.
Toronto sits atop the North Division with a sparkling 15-4-2 record. The Maple Leafs have clearly enjoyed facing off against their fellow Canadian competition, and Toronto doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.
The duo of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner has been lights-out as always, as Matthews (18 goals, 13 assists) leads the team in points, with Marner (nine goals, 21 assists) right behind him.
Freddie Andersen has been stellar in between the pipes for the Buds. The Dane’s 11-3-2 record ranks as the best in the North for goaltenders.
Slumping Canadiens Fire Julien
The free-falling Canadiens were in need of a shakeup, and that change came in the form of a new coach when Claude Julien was fired on February 24. In his place, Dominique Ducharme takes over as the interim bench boss for the Habs.
Montreal started off the season with a bang, opening with a 7-1-2 record, but the team has gone just 2-4-2 since. Carey Price (5-3-3, 2.95 GAA, .893 SV%) is off to the second-worst start of his career, and the offense has struggled badly to find the back of the net in recent weeks.
The Habs are still in a good position to make the playoffs, but they’re going to need to turn things around quickly under Ducharme. Montreal’s Stanley Cup odds have fallen from +1200 to the current +1400 price since last week.
What is a Futures Bet on Stanley Cup Odds?
Before hockey season starts, oddsmakers will release their lines on each team’s chance of winning the shiny championship trophy. If you were to place a wager at any point before the Stanley Cup Final, you would be making a futures bet. This is a bet that deals with events that will happen in time. For instance, you could bet on the Detroit Red Wings to win the Cup in September, but you would not see the results of your bet until the postseason.
How to Read NHL Stanley Cup Odds
At your sportsbook of choice, you’ll see Stanley Cup odds listed like this:
Tampa Bay Lightning +300
Toronto Maple Leafs +450
Vegas Golden Knights +500
Boston Bruins +800
Unlike a moneyline bet where there is a clear favorite and underdog, for an NHL futures bet, you would consider the team with the lowest odds as the fave. In this case, it’s Tampa. The team with the highest odds would be the dog. For this example, it’s Boston.
Let’s say hockey season is about to start and you’ve done your research. You believe that it’s Toronto’s year, so you lay down $40 on the Leafs to win the Cup. If they do win it all, you’d see a payout of $220 – your original $40 is returned along with your winnings of $180.
When it comes to futures, get in on the action early. The closer it gets to the NHL playoffs, the more the odds will shift. Oddsmakers update the lines for these bets frequently as teams slip and fall in the standings. Injuries, trades and coaching changes will affect a team’s odds of making it to the Cup Final, and those who set the lines take that into consideration when updating the odds.
As mentioned above, it’s important to keep in mind that when you make your NHL futures picks, you won’t see a return until Lord Stanley’s Cup is awarded to the winner.