The 2021 season is now into March, so NHL betting is heating up on the ice, as bettors take a longer look at Stanley Cup odds and who might hoist the trophy for the 2020-21 season.
It’s been a bumpy ride at times, with a sometimes quirky schedule and teams playing around postponements. But the games keep rolling on, with many of the favorites as good as expected, while dark horses are emerging, as well.
Let’s look at the updated NHL odds to win the Stanley Cup.
Favorites to win the Stanley Cup
As of March 7, the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning are short +500 favorites at DraftKings. The Lightning put together a six-game win streak before falling to the surging Chicago Blackhawks on March 5, helping Tampa Bay get out to a 17-4-1-1, good for the NHL’s second-best point total at 36.
But there’s a newcomer to the highest reaches of the Stanley Cup odds board: the Toronto Maple Leafs, who at 18-6-2-0 lead the league with 38 points. The Leafs are the +550 second choice at DraftKings, despite cooling off a bit with back-to-back losses at Vancouver.
The Colorado Avalanche are now the +800 third choice, with a 13-7-2-0 mark for 28 points, followed by the Vegas Golden Knights (16-4-0-1), who have won six straight and 11 of 14 and are +900 to win the Cup. Rounding out the top five on DraftKings’ Stanley Cup odds board are the Carolina Hurricanes at +1,100.
Odds to win the Stanley Cup
|Team||NHL Odds to win Stanley Cup (as of March 7)|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+500|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+550|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+900|
|New York Islanders||+2,200|
|St. Louis Blues||+3,200|
|Los Angeles Kings||+6,500|
|New York Rangers||+7,500|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+10,000|
|San Jose Sharks||+10,000|
|New Jersey Devils||+12,500|
|Detroit Red Wings||+100,000|
|Detroit Red Wings||+50,000|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
Stanley Cup futures action report
Biggest climb: Toronto Maple Leafs
There hasn’t been a lot of room for the Maple Leafs to move up, but they’ve made significant headway, just the same. Toronto opened the season +1,800 at DraftKings, sat at +1,000 a month ago, and was still +1,000 two weeks ago. The Leafs have since cut those odds nearly in half, sitting at +550 on March 7, thanks to a 7-1 surge prior to the aforementioned Vancouver losses.
“There’s been steady play on the Leafs,” said Johnny Avello, DraftKings’ director of sportsbook operations. “We don’t have a liability on them, but we welcome the added money to the overall futures pot.”
Furthest fall: Dallas Stars
It’s hard to argue against keeping the Dallas Stars in this category for a second straight week. Last season, Dallas reached the Stanley Cup Final, losing to Tampa Bay in six games, and the Stars opened this season 4-0. But it’s been a precipitous drop since then.
The Stars are 2-7-2-1 in their last dozen games, and at 7-8-2-2 overall, Dallas has just 18 points, fifth-worst in the league. The Stars opened the season +2,000 and a month ago were +1,900. As of March 7, Dallas is +5,500 to win the Stanley Cup.
Team to watch: Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota Wild hit a little speed bump over the past week, but they’re still 7-2-1-0 in their last 10 games, including a six-game win streak to start that stretch. At +1,900, the Wild are eighth on DraftKings’ Stanley Cup odds board as of March 7, after opening the season a lengthy +5,000 and still sitting at +4,000 two weeks ago.
“The Wild and the Hurricanes are a couple of teams having good seasons, who opened much higher and haven’t been taken that seriously yet,” Avello said.
Past Stanley Cup winners
The Tampa Bay Lightning claimed Lord Stanley’s grail last season in the COVID-19 bubble. The Lightning were favorites, or co-favorites with the Vegas Golden Knights, for most of the 2019-20 season.
Here are the last 11 winners of the Stanley Cup, their odds of winning just before the playoffs began (courtesy of Sports Odds History), and the team that lost in the Stanley Cup Finals.
|Season||Stanley Cup Winners||Odds before playoffs||Runner Up|
|2019-20||Tampa Bay Lightning||+650||Dallas Stars|
|2018-19||St. Louis Blues||+1,250||Boston Bruins|
|2017-18||Washington Capitals||+1,225||Vegas Golden Knights|
|2016-17||Pittsburgh Penguins||+770||Nashville Predators|
|2015-16||Pittsburgh Penguins||+650||San Jose Sharks|
|2014-15||Chicago Blackhawks||+800||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|2013-14||Los Angeles Kings||+1,400||New York Rangers|
|2012-13||Chicago Blackhawks||+400||Boston Bruins|
|2011-12||Los Angeles Kings||+2,200||New Jersey Devils|
|2010-11||Boston Bruins||+800||Vancouver Canucks|
|2009-10||Chicago Blackhawks||+450||Philadelphia Flyers|
Format for the 2020-21 NHL season
Due to COVID-19, the NHL is changing up the format of the schedule for the 2020-21 NHL season. The league has realigned the divisions – into North, West, Central and East – and each team will play a 56-game schedule of games only against other teams in their division.
The Top 4 teams in each division will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where it will stay intradivisional as the first-place team in the division plays the fourth-place team, and No. 2 plays No. 3, and the winning teams face in the second round. The four teams that emerge as the champions of their respective divisions will play in the Stanley Cup semifinals, where each team is seeded by their points total in the regular season. Each round of the playoffs will be a best-of-seven series.
New divisions for the 2020-21 NHL season
|Calgary Flames||Anaheim Ducks||Carolina Hurricanes||Boston Bruins|
|Edmonton Oilers||Arizona Coyotes||Chicago Blackhawks||Buffalo Sabres|
|Montreal Canadiens||Colorado Avalanche||Columbus Blue Jackets||New Jersey Devils|
|Ottawa Senators||Los Angeles Kings||Dallas Stars||New York Islanders|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Minnesota Wild||Detroit Red Wings||New York Rangers|
|Vancouver Canucks||San Jose Sharks||Florida Panthers||Philadelphia Flyers|
|Winnipeg Jets||St. Louis Blues||Nashville Predators||Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Vegas Golden Knights||Tampa Bay Lightning||Washington Capitals|
Understanding Stanley Cup odds
Sportsbooks will post odds to win the Stanley Cup before the season starts. These odds are constantly adjusted throughout the offseason as players get hurt, suspended or are traded. Once the regular season begins, title odds will change daily as teams win and lose games and as more players get hurt, suspended or traded. Sportsbooks will also adjust the NHL futures odds based on handle and liability to certain teams.
Stanley Cup odds will usually look like this:
This means that on a $100 bet, you’ll stand to win $750 if the Avs win the Stanley Cup. If it’s close to the end of the regular season or even during the playoffs and the NHL has a very dominant team, you might see that a team is has a minus sign (-) ahead of its odds.
- Tampa Bay Lightning -120
This means that you would need to bet $120 to win $100 on a Lightning Stanley Cup win.
Above we have posted the American odds for the Stanley Cup. However, these are easy to convert to decimal odds or fractional odds with our odds converter tool.
Where can I bet on Stanley Cup odds?
You can bet on Stanley Cup odds and NHL futures at every online and casino sportsbook. Find ratings and reviews for the best sportsbooks for betting on NHL futures your area.