The Stanley Cup Playoffs is an NHL postseason elimination tournament of four rounds. Each matchup is a best-of-seven series that determines the champion of the league and the team that wins the Stanley Cup.
A total of eight teams from each conference will qualify based on their regular-season finish in their respective divisions. The final round is known as the Stanley Cup Finals and features a matchup between the champions of the two conferences.
How to Bet on the Stanley Cup Playoffs
To bet on the Stanley Cup 2023, anyone can visit their favorite sports betting site, navigate to the section for NHL odds and then choose from the many betting options. The terms and bet types in Stanley Cup betting odds are similar to other popular sports.
The process is pretty simple for those who would like to open an online betting account. Players must first choose a reputable betting site, register their data as required by the provider, choose a payment method to deposit funds, and make a deposit. Be sure to collect any welcome bonus offered by the sportsbook to increase your bankroll with free bets.
Main Bet Types
When betting on the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, there are many standard bet types available:
The moneyline bet is the most common and straightforward type in all major sports, including hockey. The goal is to pick the winner of the game, whether it ends in regulation, overtime, or a shootout.
The puck line in NHL Stanley Cup odds is similar to the run line in baseball wagering and is always set at +/- 1.5 goals. The favorite must win the game by at least two goals, and the underdog has to stay within one goal or win the game. An overtime game is automatically a win for the underdog.
A total, or over/under bet, in Stanley Cup odds is mainly set at 5.5 goals. Factors such as two elite goaltenders facing each other will sometimes lower it to 4.5, or it could move up to 6.5 in a backup goalie matchup.
Betting on live NHL games is another way many players cash in on the Stanley Cup Playoffs. When live wagering, players can watch the gameplay before placing a bet on one side or another, with the trick being how to use the information to your advantage. Bets can be made soon after the game starts or as late as the final minutes. Finding the perfect opportunity to bet is the key to making a profit.
Biggest Factors on Stanley Cup Betting
There are many things bettors should look for when betting on Stanley Cup odds. One of the biggest factors is how a team is currently performing vs. their performance in the regular season. It’s not unusual to see a team play just well enough to make the playoffs and suddenly get hot enough in the postseason to make a run at the Stanley Cup championship.
Overall talent and depth are what get teams to the playoff stage and should always be considered when betting. Just as a mediocre team can get hot during the course of a season, a top team could run into a cold streak but has the talent to break out of it at any time.
The two biggest factors in NHL betting are the quality of a team’s goaltenders and the strength of their defense. The two factors go hand-in-hand, with top defensive teams having better goaltending numbers than teams with a less effective defense. Like in most other professional sports, it’s said that defense wins championships.
As a result, many matchups in the Stanley Cup playoffs will feature the top defensive teams making it deep into the postseason. Playing style also factors into many matchups, as they may sometimes clash, and teams can often get victories due to the opponent’s failure to adjust to a particular style of play.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Prop Bets
Prop bets in NHL betting are wagers such as which team will score the first goal to whether certain players will score during the game. In addition, players can sometimes get more profitable odds by not just betting on the underdog in what should be a close game on the puck line but by picking whether or not the game will go into overtime to make a bigger profit.
Prop bets can be placed on individual players, such as how many goals they will score during the game. Team props such as which will score first and if both teams will score two or more goals are also offered. Odds typically range from -300 to +250 on most prop bets.
How do the NHL Playoffs Work?
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are played in four rounds of best-of-seven series. The team with home-ice advantage will host games one, two, five, and seven in each series. Eight teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs, with the first three places in each division, automatically qualifying.
The winners of the first-round series advance to the second round, with the winners of those series advancing to the Conference Finals. Finally, the two winners of the Conference Finals will go to the Stanley Cup Finals for a chance to take home the championship.
Scoring in the NHL has been up and down since the 1960s when teams averaged about three goals per game. That number crept up to 3.5 goals per game in the 70s. In the era of “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky’s goals were at an all-time high, averaging four goals per game between 1980 and 1985. However, goal scoring reached a low of 2.57 per game in 2004, mainly due to most goaltenders changing to the butterfly style.
The league then made several rule changes, including making the two-line pass legal, to increase scoring, with totals now being around six to 6.5 consistently. The NHL is now thinking of decreasing the size of goalie equipment, as goaltenders are getting taller each season. Goals would certainly increase to catch up to the trends in the NFL and NBA for higher scoring games.
Bettors looking to take advantage of Stanley Cup Playoff odds should check out the options available for picking winners in the playoffs at their favorite sportsbook. Another option for getting some NFL action is Fantasy Sports if sports betting isn’t legal in the state you live.
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As long as you are in a location where your sportsbook is licensed to do business, you can take advantage of NHL betting online. Always check the local laws to see if there are any restrictions.
Like odds in any other sport, the most common wager is a moneyline bet. The team with the minus (-) before the number is the favorite, while the team with the plus (+) is the underdog.
Sportsbooks that offer betting on NHL games don’t have any restrictions when the game is played outside the U.S.
Sixteen teams will qualify for the playoffs each season—the top three teams in each division and the two with the best remaining records.
The first team to win four games out of each seven games series is the winner and moves on to the next round.