The Stanley Cup is one of the most iconic trophies in the world of sports. It’s what every team in the league strives for 365 days a year — and especially for the seven teams who call Canada home base.
What do the odds for the Stanley Cup look like this year? What kind of Stanley Cup bets can you make? With legal sports betting in Canada on the rise, it’s a perfect time to dive in.
Here’s a complete look at betting on the NHL Playoffs including live Stanley Cup odds from top online sportsbooks.
Stanley Cup playoff odds
Futures odds for teams to make the playoffs and hoist the Stanley Cup when all is said and done are posted all year round at online sportsbooks. Below we’ve got real-time Stanley Cup odds from the top sportsbooks, including Toronto Maple Leafs odds, Calgary Flames odds, and more. Click on any odds to go right to the online sportsbook.
How to bet on the Stanley Cup online in Canada
Private online sportsbooks are being embraced wholeheartedly and will be a boon to Canadian online sports betting.
The flexibility of being able to bet when and where you want and on one simple bet (rather than being forced to make a parlay bet) is tough to beat. Sportsbook apps from the top sportsbooks are filled with features.
You can check the latest lines, make a deposit, and get in your bets all with just a couple of clicks.
After the games get underway, the app makes for a great betting tool as well. You can check how you’re doing on your pregame bets, look for potential cash-out opportunities, and explore what’s available in live betting markets.
See our full list of legal online sportsbooks in Canada.
How to open an online betting account:
When it’s time to get set up to play online or with your phone, the entire process is quick and painless. From start to finish, you’re looking at a few minutes. Here’s a step-by-step guide on what you need to do.
- Click through on our exclusive links on this page
- Follow the prompts and enter your information as requested
- Enter a user name, create a password, etc.
- The site will ask for details such as address and date of birth
- If any problems are verifying your identity, you may have to upload an ID
- Once the process is complete, accept the terms and conditions and continue
- You’ll be logged into your new sportsbook account
- Download the sportsbook app directly from the sportsbook website
- Log in on the app for the first time
- Claim your bonus offer
- Make a deposit
- Begin studying the lines
- Get ready to bet
What are the main Stanley Cup playoff bets?
There are several different ways to bet on the Stanley Cup and the NHL Playoffs. For starters, let’s take a closer look at the futures market. In our odds feed up above, you can customize to see the current state of the market for:
- Stanley Cup winner
- Division and conference winners
For futures betting, there are odds listed for all available choices, typically listed out with the favourites on top and the long shots at the bottom. As an example, the odds to win the Stanley Cup at DraftKings Sportsbook in Canada might look like this.
- Colorado Avalanche +500
- Tampa Bay Lightning +600
- Vegas Golden Knights +750
- Toronto Maple Leafs +900
Naturally, the goal is to nail the winner, but you’ll also want to find your selections at the best possible price. To that end, line shopping is the way to go. With the live odds feed, you can compare the latest numbers from the top shops at a glance.
Once the Stanley Cup finals roll around, you’ll be able to place your bets on the winner of the series and each of the individual games. For the Series winner, the odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook in Canada might look like this:
- Colorado Avalanche -130
- Toronto Maple Leafs +120
You may also see variations of this wager, such as either team to win the series in a certain numbers of games, i.e. Avalanche in five or Maple Leafs in six. For the individual games, the average listing at Caesars Sportsbook Canada may look something like this.
- Tampa Bay Lightning -115 -1.5 (+125) O 5.5 (-110)
- Vegas Golden Knights +105 +1.5 (-135) U 5.5 (-110)
To the right of the two team names are the odds and lines for the three main bet types for NHL wagering: moneyline, puck line, and totals. Here’s a peek at how they work.
- Moneyline: Pick which side you think will win. Odds are negative for the favourite and positive for the underdog.
- Puck line: The side you choose has to cover the puck line. For NHL, it’s generally set at 1.5, but many operators also offer alternative lines.
- Totals: This revolves around the total number of goals scored in the game. Oddsmakers set the bar with an estimate, and bettors then get to pick Over or Under.
Last but not least, you can also bet on each game of the series in real-time. Live betting makes it possible. This is a fast-paced market in which the odds and offerings will vary depending on what’s happening on the ice. Examples of what you’ll see include:
- Updated live odds and lines for moneyline, puck line, and totals
- Wager on individual periods – team to win, total goals, etc.
- Various player props – to score a goal, record a point, etc.
In short, you won’t be lacking for options when it comes to Stanley Cup betting. The NHL is one of the most popular sports for betting at legal sportsbooks, and operators aim to please with plenty of different markets and bet types made available.
What are the biggest factors in Stanley Cup betting?
The intensity level kicks up dramatically in the NHL when it’s time for the postseason. While the regular season is wildly entertaining as well, there’s more of a sense of urgency on the ice when the stakes are higher. That said, you can still rely on standard handicapping principles. While doing so, spend some time on the following four areas.
- Current play vs. season-long performance
- Talent and depth
- Goaltending and defence
- Playing style and matchups
For hockey fans, it just doesn’t get any better than the NHL Playoffs, and even the casual fans who don’t pay much attention all year round can be drawn into the excitement. The same holds at the betting window. Regardless of where your experience level may stand, be sure to take the time to do your due diligence with handicapping.
Betting on Stanley Cup favourites
When betting in the Stanley Cup futures market, making the right call can be quite lucrative — even if it happens to be on the favourite. If we go back to our earlier example, the Avalanche are listed at Stanley Cup betting odds of +500. If you place a $100 bet on them and they go on to win, the return is a whopping $500.
For the games, it’s a little different. The hockey betting odds will vary for each matchup, and there won’t always be fantastic value to be found. When scrolling through the lines for the games, keep the following points in mind.
- The returns on a big moneyline favourite won’t be great. Once you get past -200 on the favoured side, you’re looking at a potential return on investment of less than 50%. If you like the favourite, you’ll likely find more value on the puck line.
- Speaking of the puck line, the default for NHL is 1.5. If you’re betting on the favourite, you should be confident about the outcome as they’ll have to win by two or more. When a game looks like a toss-up, the underdog plus the number can make sense.
- You should be studying the line moves for all bets, but pay particularly close attention to where things stand with totals. Many games will be set at 5.5 goals, but movement in the lines on either side is a clear indicator of which way the money is headed.
Whenever you bet on the NHL or any other sport, it’s important to treat each game as an event in which anything can happen. Favourite and underdog status points to the most likely outcome, but there are plenty of games that break differently than most are expecting. If you can learn to spot those instances, you’ll be in great shape.
Betting on Stanley Cup long shots
The deeper we go down the odds board in the Stanley Cup futures market, the more profit potential we find. To demonstrate, let’s consider the odds for teams five through eight over at BetMGM sportsbook Canada.
- Carolina Hurricanes +1200
- Washington Capitals +1200
- New York Islanders +1400
- Montreal Canadiens +1800
If you place a $100 bet on the Canadiens and they go on to win the Cup, a profit of $1,800 is coming your way. To win your futures bets, you have to be spot on with your calls, but there’s a lot of potential value to be found.
When the playoffs get underway, the same can be said for the individual games. Here are some keys to consider when it comes to betting on the underdog side.
- Underdogs on the puck line for games that appear to be tight can be the way to go. That said, many other bettors will see the same thing, leading the lines to move to a level in which the value is gone.
- On the moneyline, you’ll be getting positive odds, but don’t let the potential returns steer you towards upsets that aren’t there. When examining a slate, circle the potential upsets and spend extra time handicapping them to confirm suspicions.
- For a bet on an entire series, recent play can trump the overall record in the playoffs, so keep that in mind as you break down the matchups. If you have a hot team that’s the underdog facing off with a cold club that killed it earlier in the season, make note.
As for totals, we mentioned earlier the importance of keeping an eye on line moves. The same holds for seeing how the series as a whole develops. If it has been particularly chippy — lots of penalties, etc. — then some offensive fireworks could be coming if the same pattern holds. Meanwhile, tight defensive affairs might lead to more of the same.
Stanley Cup prop bets
There will also be plenty of prop bets to consider as the Stanley Cup Playoffs play out. The biggest market is for the winner of the Conn Smythe award, which goes to the player who is deemed to be MVP of the postseason. For the individual games, you’ll find various props by clicking through on the individual game listings, including:
- Player to score goal or record a point
- Over/Under on shots on goal by player
- Team to score first and win
You’ll also find plenty of other wagers offered, including 60-minute lines (regulation only) and alternatives for the puck line and totals. The betting menu for the NHL at online and mobile sportsbooks runs incredibly deep. That being the case, there’s a really good chance that you’ll find an opportunity that’s right up your alley for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
How do the NHL Playoffs work?
Beginning with the 1979-80 NHL season, the Stanley Cup Playoffs were expanded to include 16 teams. It has remained that way to this day, but there have been some variances in seeding arrangements through the years. At the end of the 2019-20 campaign, there was even a play-in tournament to determine the final qualifiers.
For the 2020-21 season, the league will once again have 16 teams in the postseason tournament, but the divisions have been temporarily realigned. Here’s what that will mean come playoff time.
- The top four teams in each division — North, East, Central, and West — qualify for the playoffs based on points standings. If two teams are tied in points, tiebreakers will be implemented, such as head-to-head record.
- Playoffs will be four rounds as per usual with each series a best-of-seven affair.
- The four qualifiers from each division will be seeded one through four based on points with the higher seed getting the home-ice advantage. In the opening round, it’s 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3. Winners advance to the second round and face off with each other.
- The winners from the second round advance to the Stanley Cup semifinals, where they will be reseeded based on points.
- Winners of the semifinal series advance to face off for the Stanley Cup.
While the divisional alignment is new for this season, the structure of the postseason tournament will be familiar to longtime NHL fans. From the expansion of the field to 16 teams into the early 1990s, the playoff draw was division-based. For a team to make it to the conference finals, they had to prove themselves as the division’s finest.
That’s what we have to look forward to this year as well. It sets the stage for even more thrilling rivalry games as it all plays out, which is never a bad thing as far as postseason hockey is concerned. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are always a good time, but the stage is set for quite the wild ride next time around.
How to stream NHL playoffs in Canada
You can find the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the usual homes for hockey in Canada. Sportsnet and the TSN family of networks are the top spots with CBC, RDS, and TVA Sports chipping in. The channel that’s broadcasting the game will typically have an online or mobile feed available, but valid sign-in credentials from your provider will likely be needed.
NHL.tv is also available. This is a subscription service that carries all of the games, but local blackout rules apply. For example, those in the Toronto viewing area won’t be able to stream Maple Leafs home games, but they can pick up other contests. Over the two months of the tournament, you’ll have little trouble finding hockey on the tube.
Stanley Cup betting quick hits
The Stanley Cup Playoffs is arguably the most entertaining postseason tournament in all sports. It’s two months of high-intensity hockey that gets capped off with a victory lap around the ice with Lord Stanley’s Cup for the winner. The chance to bet on the games legally and safely is a huge bonus. Here are a few more NHL Stanley Cup betting nuggets to consider.
What’s the worst team to ever win the Stanley Cup?
It’s tough to call any team that wins 16 playoff games a bad one. Teams that didn’t do all that great in the regular season can catch fire in the playoffs and outperform even the wildest expectations. That scenario came to pass emphatically back in 2012. The Los Angeles Kings entered the postseason as the 8th seed in the Western Conference.
They proceeded to take down the top three teams in the conference to make it to the Stanley Cup finals. The clock didn’t strike 12 as the Kings took down the New Jersey Devils in six games to win all of the marbles. While they can technically be deemed the ‘worst’ team to win, the Kings had themselves a run for the ages.
What’s the best team to not win the Stanley Cup?
There are a lot of clubs that crushed it during the season before coming up short in the playoffs, but a pair of squads stand out: the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning and the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings. Both clubs were stellar during the season, notching 62 wins, which is tied for most all-time in league history.
The Lightning ran into a buzzsaw known as the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round. They not only lost but were swept out the door in four games. The Red Wings managed to make it to the Western Conference finals before falling to the Colorado Avalanche in six games. Regular season supremacy is far from a guarantee of a Stanley Cup victory parade.
What’s the home-ice advantage worth in the playoffs/Stanley Cup?
For a seven-game series, the team with home-ice advantage gets the luxury of playing four of those games at home, including a potential seventh game. For the most recent fully completed NHL regular season, home teams won at a .533 clip. Naturally, some teams are more dominant on the home ice than others, but that’s about the league average.
In the postseason, data from Hockey Reference says that of all series to go to a Game 7, the home team has a mark of 105-76 in those decisive contests, a winning percentage of .580. Interestingly, when the final game has gone to overtime, the home side is just 23-22 for a winning percentage of .511.