Stanley Cup 2021 Betting Guide

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Each spring, the NHL Playoffs begin, signalling Canadian and American hockey fans to get their picks in on who will win the Stanley Cup. With the teams narrowed down, the odds will also narrow as clear-cut favourites will emerge. The Stanley Cup Final will contest the Eastern and Western Conference champions, and one team/conference will hoist the trophy as the Stanley Cup Champion at the end of the night, signalling a new Championship team for another NHL season.

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Stanley Cup Betting Tips

The Stanley Cup Final is not a one-and-done game like the Super Bowl, it is a best-of-five series played over two to three weeks, and usually finishes in mid-June (in 2021, things have been delayed and we expect a July Stanley Cup Final). Every sportsbook will have odds on who will win the 2021 Stanley Cup in the coming weeks, so be sure to keep an eye on the Stanley Cup odds throughout the NHL Playoffs.

If you've been betting on the NHL throughout the regular season, you can find betting on the NHL post season a bit more challenging as you have the best teams in the entire league competing for Lord Stanley.

Not only will we show you where to find the best Stanley Cup betting odds, we will show you how to bet on Stanley Cup games and the most popular options for NHL betting.

Follow along for your complete guide to betting on the 2021 Stanley Cup.

Past Stanley Cup Champions

YearNHL Stanley Cup ChampionsRunner Up
2020Tampa Bay LightningDallas Stars
2019St Louis BluesBoston Bruins
2018Washington CapitalsLas Vegas Golden Knights
2017Pittsburgh PenguinsNashville Predators
2016Pittsburgh PenguinsSan Jose Sharks
2015Chicago BlackhawksTampa Bay Lightning
2014Los Angeles KingsNew York Rangers
2013Chicago BlackhawksBoston Bruins
2012Los Angeles KingsNew Jersey Devils
2011Boston BruinsVancouver Canucks

The defending Stanley Cup Champion team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, will be looking to retain their title two years in a row.

2021 Stanley Cup Formatting

The Stanley Cup Playoffs is set to begin on May 15, 2021, with the exception of Canada's North division, who will begin playoff games May 19th, 2021. The North division struggled with cancelations all season and had to make up games which extended their season slightly.

Although the Stanley Cup Playoffs are returning to the regular 16-team format after a 24-team format modification due to COVID-19, things still won't be totally normal for the NHL postseason.

The league will be adding a few modifications from the original formatting due to Canada's cross-border travel restrictions. The regular season was realigned into four divisions with no conferences, so the playoffs will be using intra-divisional matchups through the first two rounds.

Stanley Cup Playoff Teams: Round 1

Central DivisionEast DivisionNorth DivisionWest Division
Carolina Hurricanes vs Nashville PredatorsPittsburgh Penguins vs New York IslandersToronto Maple Leafs vs Montreal CanadiensColorado Avalanche vs Minnesota Wild
Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay LightningWashington Capitals vs Boston BruinsEdmonton Oilers vs Winnipeg JetsSt. Louis Blues vs Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup Playoff Teams: Round 2

Central DivisionEast DivisionNorth DivisionWest Division
Carolina Hurricanes vs Tampa Bay LightningBoston Bruins vs New York IslandersWinnipeg Jets vs Montreal CanadiensColorado Avalanche vs Vegas Golden Knights

Betting on the Stanley Cup

The million-dollar question when the regular season wraps up and the playoffs begin has to be: Who will win the 2021 Stanley Cup?

Since we aren't psychic, we can't give you that answer, but we can help you learn how to bet on the games and have a little fun during the playoffs. We don't want to rush into the main event, there is still plenty of NHL odds to bet on until that Stanley Cup Final series.

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There will be several betting options available throughout the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, as well as during the Stanley Cup Finals. Where these matchups are scheduled in best-of-seven series, you have up to seven different events to bet on per series, which means you have between 16 and a maximum of 48 games to bet on in the first round, between eight and 14 games to bet on in the second round, and between four and seven games to bet on in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Each game will have plenty of betting opportunities, each having the moneyline, pucklines and totals, as well as prop bets and specials.

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How to Bet on the NHL Stanley Cup

Let's look at the most popular NHL Stanley Cup betting options, as well as some popular bets you can place on the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Final.

Stanley Cup Moneyline Betting

The moneyline wager in professional sports betting is the most popular and common wager you can place. Where there are so many games being played throughout the Stanley Cup Finals, moneyline bets are perfect for earning some extra cash by predicting which team will win any given game.

That's all you have to do - select which team you believe will win the matchup. Let's look at two Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If you want to pick a winner between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens, you might see odds like this:

Toronto Maple Leafs (-160)

Montreal Canadiens (+140)

In this case, the Toronto Maple Leafs are favoured to win the matchup. When reading NHL odds, it's helpful to remember that the negative number will indicate a favoured team, and the positive number represents an underdog. That means that the Montreal Canadiens are less likely to win the game.

If you were to bet on the Maple Leafs to win the game, you would have to bet $160 to win $100. They aren't huge favourites though, so there's still a decent chance that the Canadiens might win. If you were to bet on the Canadiens, you could bet $100 to win $140.

A helpful tip when betting on the NHL or Stanley Cup is that when you're dealing with a negative number like -160, the negative shows you how much you need to wager to win $100, and the positive number shows you what you'd win on a $100 bet.

Stanley Cup Puckline Betting

You may not be familiar with the term puckline, but if you understand what a point spread is, they are exactly the same - the only reason it's called a puckline is because hockey doesn't necessarily track points, they track goals. A puckline bet during the Stanley Cup Playoffs will essentially give the underdog team a head start before the game even begins.

If you have the Winnipeg Jets and the Edmonton Oilers playing for the Stanley Cup, and you have odds on The Oilers at -2.5 and the Jets a +2.5, that means the Oilers are the favoured team, and the Jets are the underdog. The Oilers have to win the game by more than 2 goals for a bet on them to cash. The Jets will either have to win the game or lose by less than two goals for a bet on them to cash.

The half point in the pucklines helps by preventing a push. If the puckline were a whole number, let's say, 3, and the underdog team lost by 3 goals, neither side of the bet would win and your stake would be returned to you as a push.

Stanley Cup Totals Betting (Over/Under)

Totals betting is a common and popular betting option in any sport. It allows you to predict how many goals will be scored by both teams collectively. The appeal of totals betting is that you don't need to predict who will win the game, so it's appealing for close matchups or if you don't know the teams all that well.

Let's say the Montreal Canadiens are playing the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final and the oddsmaker set a line of 5.5 for the game. This means it's predicted that it won't be a very high scoring game.

The oddsmakers are assuming that the score will remain roughly in the five-point range, whether that's 4-1, 3-2, 5-0 etc. Your job is to determine if the total number of points for both the Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks will be more or less than 5.5.

It's important to look at the team's strengths and weaknesses of offense and defense. Is the top scorer going to perform against that goaltender? Then you might be inclined to take the over if you feel a goalie is going to get lit up.

Let's say you choose the under, and the game finishes 3-1 for the Canucks. Your bet would cash because the total would be four. If you chose the over, and the final score was 5-4 for the Canucks, you would win because the total is nine.

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Stanley Cup Prop Betting

The best part about the Stanley Cup Playoffs and especially the Stanley Cup Finals is that the prop bets are more plentiful than the regular season. Prop bets, or proposition bets are unique, fun and interesting wagers you can place on instances that occur within a game or event.

So, there can be game, team or player props that occur during a specific matchup. Some examples of prop bets you might see before any game during the Stanley Cup Finals could be whether a particular player scores, which team will score first, or whether a goaltender might get a shutout.

These things don't really affect the final score or outcome of the game and can be bet on leisurely with little pressure. Many prop bets will be framed as yes or no questions, and you will essentially treat it as a moneyline wager. You will choose which outcome you think will occur. Other odds formats include lists of options, where you can pick from several different players or happenings in the game.

In the case of the Stanley Cup Finals, you might bet on the recipient of the Conn Smythe trophy for most valuable player. There, you will have a list of all the players who would be in the running for the achievement, and you can select from that list.

Stanley Cup Final Futures Betting

An NHL future bet is pretty self-explanatory. When it comes to the NHL Stanley Cup Final, you will be betting on which team you think will win the Championship months or even a year in advance. Many intermediate and expert sports bettors will take out a futures wager once the regular season begins on a team that they think has what it takes to go all the way to the Finals, and if their bet is correct, they will be in for big winnings.

One of our favourite examples is the 2019 Stanley Cup winner: The St. Louis Blues. They started the season at +4000 to win the Stanley Cup, which made them a pretty standard underdog. In January of 2019, their futures odds shot up to +6900 and they continued to shock hockey fans as they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they were crowned Champions.

A Blues fan/bettor placed a $400 wager on the team to win the Stanley Cup and won $100,000 simply by betting on their favourite team. While the Blues were huge underdogs halfway through the season - they managed to come out on top and Blues bettors were happy.

You can also cash out your Stanley Cup futures bet for a discounted price if you are losing faith in the wager. If you place a wager at the beginning of the season and the top scorer on the team gets injured, the team won't have the firepower they did when the lines were set, and you can get part of your money back by cashing out than sticking with it and losing all of your stake.

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Online Sportsbooks Available in Canada

The first step you will need to take before you start betting on the Stanley Cup is to find an online sportsbook that meets your needs. That means you will want to start off with online sportsbook reviews. We have a great list of online sportsbooks that are available in Canada, that offer popular payment options, great bonuses for new bettors, and a great selection of Stanley Cup odds.

Take a look at our top picks for NHL odds and Stanley Cup betting in general and be sure to do thorough research before you decide to sign up. Once you pick the right sportsbook for you, all you need to do is make your deposit and start betting on the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals!


An NHL playoff series can last anywhere from four to seven games. The first team to win four games out of a potential seven will move on to the next round. This format remains consistent throughout the playoffs.

It depends on the scheduling, but the Stanley Cup Playoffs generally last around two months give or take a few days to a week.

Every NHL playoff round features a team with home-ice advantage based on regular-season performance. The first two games of every series are played at that team’s arena, followed by two at the other team’s arena. If more games are necessary, Game 5 is played back at the team with home-ice advantage’s arena, Game 6 at the other team’s arena and then it’s back to the original arena where the series started for Game 7.

16 teams (eight from each conference) make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The top three teams in each of the four divisions make it followed by two wild-card teams with the best remaining records for each conference.

The team with the best record in each conference will play the wild-card team with the worst record in the conference. The division winner with the second-best record will play the wild-card team with the better record. The second-and-third-place teams from each division will play each other.

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Hi, I'm Dean Ryan

"A passionate sports betting broadcaster and journalist with over 15 years spent in the gambling industry."

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