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Stanley Cup Odds: Bruins, Avs & Lightning Co-Faves in New Format

Seventy-five days after the NHL announced a pause on the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, league commissioner Gary Bettman announced the league’s return-to-play plan on May 26.

As a result, oddsmakers have updated their Stanley Cup odds lists for the unprecedented new playoff format.

The Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche are the +700 co-favorites at Bovada. Here’s a look at the championship odds for all 24 clubs at the shop:

Odds to Win the 2019-20 Stanley Cup
Boston Bruins+700
Tampa Bay Lightning+700
Colorado Avalanche+700
Philadelphia Flyers+800
Vegas Golden Knights+800
St. Louis Blues+1100
Washington Capitals+1200
Pittsburgh Penguins+1200
Dallas Stars+1600
Toronto Maple Leafs+1800
Edmonton Oilers+1800
Nashville Predators+2500
Vancouver Canucks+3000
Carolina Hurricanes+3000
Calgary Flames+3500
New York Islanders+4000
Arizona Coyotes+4000
New York Rangers+4000
Minnesota Wild+5000
Winnipeg Jets+5500
Florida Panthers+6000
Columbus Blue Jackets+6600
Chicago Blackhawks+6600
Montreal Canadiens+8000

Odds as of May 27 at Bovada

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Bettman stated that, in a best-case scenario, training camps will begin “not earlier than the first half of July.” Since players have asked for a three-week training camp, the earliest the puck will drop is in late July or early August.

How Does the Playoff Format Work?

The top 12 teams in both the Eastern and Western conferences will compete in qualifying rounds to determine the 16 teams that will compete for the Stanley Cup.

The top four clubs in each conference will play off for first-round seeding using regular-season overtime rules, while the remaining eight squads in each conference will participate in best-of-five series to advance to the first round of the playoffs, using overtime rules. To see the latest odds to win each series, check out our NHL Series Price page.

Each conference will be assigned a “hub city” that is designed to operate as a bubble for players and team personnel. Secure hotels, arena, practice facilities and in-market transportation will be provided.

In the East, the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers occupy the top four spots. Out in the West, the defending champion St. Louis Blues are joined by the Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars.

To learn more about how the new format will change the betting landscape, check out our How the 2020 NHL Playoff Format Impacts Betting Odds article.

Winners & Losers From the 24-Team Playoff System

The extended period of rest over the past few months has allowed injured players to heal up, benefiting previously banged-up teams like the Avalanche and Canucks to gear up for an extended playoff run. The Avalanche saw their title odds improve from +800 to +700 in light of the announcement of the new format, while the Canucks’ chances moved up slightly from +3300 to +3000.

Other teams that saw their odds trend in the right direction are the Capitals (+1400 to +1200), Penguins (+1500 to +1200), Stars (+1800 to +1600), Oilers (+2000 to +1800) and Flames (+4000 to +3500).

The 24-team format has effectively halted any momentum teams had as of mid-March, and it’s clear that certain franchises are behind the 8-ball as the league approaches the new system. The Predators saw their odds worsen from +1800 to +2500 after Bettman’s announcement, as Nashville draws an opening-round matchup with the Coyotes.

Arizona is a talented team that was leading the Pacific Division prior to making the Taylor Hall trade in December, and the layoff has helped the ’Yotes get healthy. The Preds have had an up-and-down campaign in 2019-20 and will have to find a source of consistency in the most unique playoffs in NHL history.

Looking for more hockey betting content? Head over to our NHL hub page.

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.

You can use our Odds Calculator to figure out what you’d win based on the amount you bet and the odds.

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.