When Betting NHL Playoffs, Remember That Upsets Happen Often
In the NBA, it’s death, taxes and the Golden State Warriors winning the championship. In Major League Baseball, it’s the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs -- the big-market teams -- that usually are there at the end. In the NFL, it’s been Tom Brady and the Patriots.
In the NHL playoffs? It’s the place where upsets often happen, the place where the seemingly surefire bets get spoiled. The bottom-line advice for fans of Stanley Cup betting is: be careful.
President’s Trophy Rarely Turns Into Cup
From 2003-18, of the last 15 winners of the NHL’s President’s Trophy, given to the team with the best regular-season record, only three have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. The Washington Capitals actually pulled off the feat in 2018, but before that only the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks and the 2008 Detroit Red Wings.
Many top-seeded teams, in fact, have been bounced from the playoffs in the early rounds, and many lower-seeded teams have either won the Cup or advanced to the finals. In 2017, the eighth-seeded Nashville Predators swept top-seeded Chicago in the first round and made it to the Cup finals before losing to Pittsburgh.
In 2012, the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings won the Cup. In 2006, the eighth-seeded Edmonton Oilers beat Detroit in the first round and went to the seventh game of the Cup finals before losing to Carolina.
Why Stanley Cup Favorites Struggle
There have been several dynasties in the history of the NHL, but in the modern era, it arguably has yet to happen. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks did win three Stanley Cups each, from 2009-17, but only Pittsburgh did it back-to-back and prior to that it hadn’t happened since 1997-98, by Detroit.
Why do favorites so often lose in the NHL playoffs? There are several reasons, not the least of which is that the NHL might have the most parity among all the teams of any league these days. There just hasn’t been a lot separating the teams, especially in the salary cap era.
And, as fans of NHL betting know, the NHL playoffs are a grueling two-month battle where two teams can play as many as 28 games. Injuries to top players often occur, which can swing momentum in a series.
A hot goalie can single-handedly be the difference in upsets of top teams, such as when Jean-Sebastien Giguere led a lower-seeded Anaheim team to the Cup finals in 2003, or when Dwayne Roloson did it for Edmonton in 2006.
In the NBA, usually only five to eight guys per team have a real say in the outcome of games in the playoffs. In the NHL, 19 guys have roles, and it takes all of them to win a Cup. In the NFL, a quarterback has most of the control, and in baseball, pitchers can often dominate a game.
You’ll get arguments from fans of the other leagues that theirs is as much a team sport as any other, but hockey probably has the best argument that it’s the truest team sport.
Other Things To Consider in NHL Playoff Betting
The “Stanley Cup Hangover” seems to zap a lot of teams, at least until Pittsburgh finally won back-to-back championships in 2016 and 17. All of the factors listed above are contributors to that, but there other things to consider when considering bets on the NHL playoffs:
- How was the favored team playing down the stretch of the regular season?
- Did they develop some bad habits?
- How far is the travel between the two cities in a particular matchup?
- Could it tire out one team more than the other?
- How rabid is the fan base compared to the other? Loud, passionate crowds can often be a factor in spurring teams on, particularly underdog teams.
- How much playoff experience does the goalie of a favored team have? Does the goalie have a history of faltering when the pressure is amped up, or vice-versa?
In the end, the unpredictability of the NHL playoffs is a big factor in its wider appeal than the regular season - and also why it’s so tough to bet on.
Recommended Betting Sites
100% Welcome Bonus up to £50 Promo Code: TONY5018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply In order to activate this bonus on the personal TonyBet account, please, enter the bonus code TONY50 when a deposit is made and wager your deposit 10 times on betting markets with odds of at least 1.65 within 30 days. This offer is available to new players who made the first deposit. All players must be 18+ years old and of a required legal age to gamble. Odd/even, no action (bets made on both sides of the same bet), cancelled bets, replicated bets and bets that have had their odds equated to 1 are not included into the bonus wagering.
Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
Bet £10 Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+. New UK customers only. Min bet £10 to receive £10 Free Bet (placed and settled 35 days from registration). Min odds of 3/5. Free Bet credited at qualifying bet settlement and placed within 35 days. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly, www.begambleaware.org - Full Terms Apply
Get up to £100 in Free Bets + up to 100% in Boosts18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+, New customers only. Deposit + bet £20-£100. Must Deposit £50 and opt in for marketing preferences for Boosts. Boosts credited 24 hours after deposit. Full T&Cs apply. Begambleware.org
Open Account Offer - Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365
Bet £10, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: €10, max €10 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement.System bets no eligible. Click to see full T&Cs
EXCLUSIVE: Bet £15, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets not eligible. Neteller,Skrill and Paypal not eligible. T&Cs apply
50% Deposit Bonus up to £100 Promo Code: FBWELS18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply New UK customers only; 6x wager requirement with 90 day expiry; Only sports bets contribute to wagering; Min. 2 selections at 1.4 min odds per selection; Max £100 per bet. 18+. T&C's Apply. Please bet responsibly. begambleaware.org
Bet £20, Get £1018+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply 18+ New Customers Only. Minimum Deposit and wagering on sport to activate the Free Bet is £20. Customers who deposit using Neteller, Paysafe, Skrill or Skril 1-Tap will not be eligible for any free bet offer.BeGambleaware.org
Bet £10, Get £20 in Free Bets18+ New Players only. For free bet wagering requirements and minimum odds read T&C’s. www.begambleaware.org Terms Apply Qualifying bet must be min odds of 1/2 and cannot be placed in-play or cashed out. E.g. Place a £10bet at minimum odds of 1/2. When that bet has been settled, you will be given a free £5 fixed odds bet to use that day. New customers only. See full Ts&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware
Stay In The Loop With Free Bets, Insider Tips & More!
Live Betting. Sports Promos. Sent Weekly.