There’s a belief in sports that the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win. After a grueling and physical regular season, teams must win four best of seven series in the playoffs to hoist the Cup.
Bringing the Cup home this season will be no easier or any less taxing, even if it involves a shortened regular season and realigned divisions. The league will play a 56-game season against only divisional rivals, which will create a playoff atmosphere from the jump as rivals go at each other every night.
Here are the best and easiest ways to bet on the NHL playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final in New York/New Jersey.
2021 Stanley Cup and Playoffs odds
Sixteen teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They all have one goal: win 16 more games and be the last team standing. Below you’ll find current futures odds for betting on the Stanley Cup winner this year direct from online sportsbooks. Click on any odds to go directly to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and get your bets in. User the drop-down menu to see other team and player odds. When the playoffs start you’ll find real-time game and series odds instead. Note: Until NY online sportsbooks are live this feed will show odds from NJ online sportsbooks.
How do the NHL playoffs work?
The NHL will have a different playoff format for the 2021 season due to schedule limitations. This season, the top four teams in each division will make the playoffs. From there, the playoffs will remain in the division.
- The No. 1 seed in each division will play the No. 4 seed of their division.
- The No. 2 seed will face-off against the No. 3 seed of their division.
The winners of both matchups will then play each other. All series will be best of seven games.
Once there is one team left standing in each division, the NHL will re-seed the four remaining teams based on their regular-season record. From there, the best remaining team will play the worst. The second-best remaining record will match up against the third-best remaining record.
The two winners will play each other in the Stanley Cup Final. Home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs will be awarded to the higher seeded team. Seeding is determined by the regular-season record.
If there are tie-in points between two teams with an equal number of games played, the first tiebreaker is regulation wins. If that is still tied, the second tiebreaker is regulation, and overtime wins (non-shootout). The third tiebreaker is total wins. If a fourth tiebreaker is necessary, it will come down to a head-to-head record.
In the 2020 NHL postseason tournament, the NHL included a play-in qualifying round for seeds 5 through 12 of each conference. The league has no plans to continue that format this season.
Types of Playoffs/Stanley Cup bets
The NHL playoffs are a fun and exciting time for all. It also means there’s great excitement around NY sports betting on the postseason affairs. There’s plenty of ways to get involved if you want something extra to root for come playoff time.
- Futures: You can make futures bets basically at any time. Odds are usually released in the off-season and then you can bet then, throughout the regular season and into the playoffs. You might bet a team to win the Stanley Cup, a team to win its conference, or its division. The earlier you get involved, the better chance you have of getting more advantageous odds. Above, you can check out the NHL futures feed so you can get ahead of the game.
- Individual game bets: You can bet on playoff games just like you would any normal hockey game. There are three major betting markets in hockey: the moneyline, the puckline, and the total. When you bet the moneyline, you’re simply betting on which team you think will win the game. Odds are set based on the probability of each team winning a given game. Puckline betting requires a bit more nuisance, as you’re betting on whether you think the favorite can win by at least two goals, or whether the underdog can either win the game or keep it close. Total betting is simple. You’re betting on whether the two teams will combine to score more or fewer goals than the listed number.
- Series bets: A series bet is self-explanatory. You are betting on which team you think will win the series. Individual games don’t matter as long as the team you bet on to win the series advances to the next round. This is a way to bet on a team to advance without worrying about game-to-game swings.
- Live betting: If the game has already started, it doesn’t mean it’s too late to get in on the action. With live betting, you can bet on games with the sports odds having been adjusted for what’s already happened in the game. This is a great opportunity to maximize your profit if you’re calculated.
You can find out more about these types of bets and others at our NHL betting page.
2021 Stanley Cup favorites
Here are three teams many expect to compete for the Stanley Cup come June.
- Colorado Avalanche: The Colorado Avalanche made it to the Western Conference Semi-Final last year despite injuries to their two top goaltenders. The team responded by trading for top-four defenseman Devon Toews and top-six forward Brandon Saad. Toews and Saad join a young and dynamic core that includes Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Cale Makar. As the young core continues to grow, there’s reason to believe the Avalanche will be a consistent contender for years to come.
- Vegas Golden Knights: The Vegas Golden Knights took the NHL by storm when they entered the league as an expansion team in 2017. In their first season, they made it to the Stanley Cup Final. They’ve maintained their status as one of the elite teams in the league since that time. Over the past few seasons, Vegas has added elite players such as Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Alex Pietrangelo, and Robin Lehner. This team has the star-power and depth to make serious noise.
- Tampa Bay Lightning: The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup last season, defeating the Dallas Stars in six games in the Stanley Cup Final. In 2018-19, the Lightning had a record-setting regular season. They feature one of the more dynamic offenses in the league, led by Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point. On defense, Victor Hedman is considered one of the best in the league. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy consistently finds himself at the top of the league when it comes to goalie statistics. It’d be no shock if the Lightning repeated as champions.
2021 Stanley Cup longshots
While the top teams in the league will always draw the most attention, here are two under the radar teams with enticing Stanley Cup odds that can make some noise:
- Montreal Canadiens: Montreal barely snuck into the NHL postseason tournament last season as the 12 seed in the Eastern Conference. They eliminated the Penguins in the qualifying round before losing to the Flyers. Those who watched that series would agree Montreal deserved a better result, and that was a theme to their whole season. Montreal is one of the better puck possession teams in the league. With the addition of goal scorers like Tyler Toffoli and Josh Anderson, Montreal hopes to turn that possession into goals. Expect Carey Price to rebound in net after a subpar season as well.
- Calgary Flames: The Calgary Flames won the Western Conference in 2019, but had an uneven and unimpressive 2020 season. In 2021, they have a chance to make some noise in the wide-open all-Canadian North Division. Expect their top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan to rebound after a disappointing season last year. Calgary also upgraded in goal by signing Jacob Markstrom away from the rival Vancouver Canucks. There’s no reason Calgary can’t return to their 2019 form.
How to bet on NHL playoffs in NY/NJ
Sports betting is now widely available and legal in the state of New Jersey. The industry grows every month as the state is seeing a record amount of bets. The reason for the popularity of the industry is how quick and easy it is to get involved. You can bet right from your computer and smartphone without having to leave your couch.
Stanley Cup betting via your favorite NY sportsbook app is a great convenience, as you can bet on the NHL playoffs from wherever you are within the state of New Jersey. You can manage your account itself, however, including deposit, cashouts, and betting research from New York. You only need to cross the border to make your bets.
How to register a new sportsbook account
To register a new account with a sportsbook, you must first decide which sportsbook you’d like to use. On this page, you’ll see odds and promotions that you can use to help make your decision. Once you’ve found a sportsbook that interests you, click any of the links on this page.
Once you’ve done that, you need to register an account. Enter your email address and select a secure password. Don’t forget to input any necessary information such as your birthday.
Once you’ve registered an account, head over to the app store and download the app for the sportsbook you signed up with. These apps make it easy to bet wherever you are in the state.
Once you’ve signed up and downloaded the app, make sure to claim any free bets or bonuses that you are eligible for. Free money or better odds is awesome!
If you need to deposit money into your account, use any of the available deposit methods to fund your account. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to place your bets!
Biggest tips for NHL playoff betting
- Don’t be afraid to bet underdogs. Unlike sports like football and basketball where big upsets are rare, they happen all the time in hockey. The Tampa Bay Lightning had a record-setting regular season in 2019, losing just 20 of their 82 games. They were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets, a team that barely qualified for the playoffs. While it may not feel great betting against the elite teams, you have a chance to get a major payout.
- Don’t overvalue home-ice advantage. Sure, it’s a positive thing to be in your building and in front of your fans. That advantage is already included in the odds. Don’t add even more value on top of the value the sportsbook is already giving a home-ice advantage. Road teams win games all the time and if you pick the right spot, you can make good money.
- Game Seven scoring is hard to come by. Teams are afraid to make mistakes and play safe, defensive-minded hockey. These players know that one mistake could cost them their season in a win-or-go-home game. Unders in Game Sevens hit at a very high rate.
What is the lowest seed to ever win the Stanley Cup?
The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup as an No. 8 in 2012. They barely qualified and were the last team in the Western Conference playoff field.
Los Angeles then proceeded to eliminate the Western Conference Champion and Presidents’ Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks in five games in the first round. The Kings then swept the two seed, St. Louis in the Conference semi-final.
In the Conference Final, Los Angeles made quick work of the Phoenix Coyotes, eliminating them in five games. In the Stanley Cup Final, Los Angeles beat the New Jersey Devils in six games.
How to stream/watch the Stanley Cup playoffs
The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is broadcast on both national TV and regional networks. If the Devils, Rangers, or Islanders make the playoffs, you can watch their games on MSG Networks. You can also stream the games on the MSG Go app if you login with your cable provider credentials.
After the first round of the playoffs, the remaining rounds are broadcast nationally on the NBC family of networks. Games are broadcast on NBC, NBC Sports Network, and USA Network. You can stream those games through the NBC Sports App and Peacock App.
Stanley Cup results for last ten years
Here are the results of the Stanley Cup Final over the past 10 seasons:
|2019-20||Tampa Bay Lightning||Dallas Stars||4-2|
|2018-19||St. Louis Blues||Boston Bruins||4-3|
|2017-18||Washington Capitals||Vegas Golden Knights||4-1|
|2016-17||Pittsburgh Penguins||Nashville Predators||4-2|
|2015-16||Pittsburgh Penguins||San Jose Sharks||4-2|
|2014-15||Chicago Blackhawks||Tampa Bay Lightning||4-2|
|2013-14||Los Angeles Kings||New York Rangers||4-1|
|2012-13||Chicago Blackhawks||Boston Bruins||4-2|
|2011-12||Los Angeles Kings||New Jersey Devils||4-2|
|2010-11||Boston Bruins||Vancouver Canucks||4-3|
Biggest Rangers playoffs moments
- 1994 Stanley Cup Final Game Seven: After Mark Messier guaranteed and delivered victory in Game Six, it all came down to Game Seven. Brian Leetch, Messier, and Adam Graves all scored and the Rangers broke a 54-year drought.
- 1994 Eastern Conference Final Game Seven: Stephane Matteau scored late in double overtime to send the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals. What happened in the Final makes this moment even bigger.
- 2014 Eastern Conference Final Game Six: Henrik Lundqvist posted a shutout and Dominic Moore scored the lone goal for New York, as they advanced to the Cup Final for the first time in 20 years.