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2024 NHL Playoffs Betting Odds


Malcolm Darnley

Updated: May 15, 2024

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When the 2024 NHL regular season concluded, it was the New York Rangers who found themselves at the top of the standings page, one point ahead of the Western Conference-leading Dallas Stars.

It is interesting to note that although the Rangers were the Regular Season champs, they were not even the betting favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the Cup Finals.

President Trophy Winners – Playoff Results

YearTeamTotal PointsPlayoff Results
2023Boston Bruins135Lost 1st RD
2022Florida Panthers122Lost 2nd RD
2021Colorado Avalanche82Lost 2nd RD
2020Boston Bruins100Lost 2nd RD
2019Tampa Bay Lightning128Lost 1st RD
2018Nashville Predators117Lost 2nd RD
2017Washington Capitals118Lost 2nd RD
2016Washington Capitals120Lost 2nd RD
2015New York Rangers113Lost 3rd RD
2014Boston Bruins117Lost 2nd RD
2013Chicago Blackhawks77Won Stanley Cup

The table above shows that winning the President’s Trophy does not equate to Stanley Cup success.

Since 2013, only one team has finished first in the regular season and won the most prestigious trophy in hockey.

With that in mind, let’s look at some teams poised to make a long run in the 2024 NHL playoffs.

NHL Playoffs – Contenders

Eastern Conference

New York Rangers +500 To Win Stanley Cup

Interestingly, the New York Rangers are the 2024 Presidents Trophy winners, but they were not even the betting favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals to start the playoffs.

Carolina and the Florida Panthers were both favored ahead of New York to hoist Lord Stanley’s Mug.

There was so much talk league-wide about Kucherov, McDavid, MacKinnon, and Matthews – but almost nobody mentions Artemi Panarin and his 120 points. (49G 71A)

Currently, Panarin is +1800 to win the Playoff MVP award. (Conn Smythe Trophy)

The Rangers will have to work hard to defeat a very talented Carolina Hurricanes team, and then the winner of the Boston vs. Florida matchup awaits.

It won’t be easy for the Rangers, but there is a path to the Cup Finals.

Something that hasn’t happened on Broadway since 2014, when they lost to the eventual champs, the Los Angeles Kings.

Boston Bruins +2700 To Win Stanley Cup

Two regular seasons ago, I was already writing off the Boston Bruins. All Boston did then was win 65 games, setting an NHL record for most wins in a season.

Unfortunately for Bruins fans, Boston backed up that record-setting regular season by losing in the first round to the Florida Panthers.

For most teams, losing 18 more games from one season to the next is cause for concern.

The Boston Bruins did not win 65 games again this year, but they still finished with 109 points and the third-best record in the Eastern Conference.

The 109 points earned Boston the right to eliminate divisional rival Toronto in this year’s first round of the playoffs.

Boston took out the Maple Leafs for the 4th time in 12 years, although the series did last the full 7 games.

The Bruins also deviated from their rotating goalie tandem, and appear to be all in on Jeremy Swayman as their starter.

If you think Boston has a chance to make a long playoff run and represent the Eastern Conference, you might like Charlie MacAvoy +10000 to win Playoff MVP.

David Pastrnak is the obvious Bruins choice for Conn Smythe, but at 100/1, I believe there is value in Charlie Mac.

Florida Panthers +700 To Win Stanley Cup

Some may remember that the Florida Panthers were battling the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Finals last June.

After knocking off Boston, Toronto, and Carolina on their way to the Cup Finals, Florida appeared to run out of gas against Vegas.

Because Florida made the playoffs as an 8th seed last year, many fans and bettors considered them a Cinderella or Underdog story during their Cup run.

With 52 wins and 110 points in the 2024 NHL season, the Panthers proved that last year’s long playoff run was no fluke.

The Panthers are praised for their overall blend of skill and toughness. Matthew Tkachuk might be the poster boy league-wide for being both highly skilled and very physical as a player.

Tkachuk is +2000 to be named Conn Smythe trophy winner.

Sergei Bobrovsky (+1600) is the Panther player with the shortest MVP odds, but if Florida makes a run, I like Tkachuk to be the reason why.

The Panthers at least know now that they are the champions of their home state after beating rival Tampa Bay in the first round.

The win over the Lightning means Florida now gets to take on the Bruins, who might be a little fired up after losing to Florida last round.

Carolina Hurricanes +900 To Win Stanley Cup

Halfway through the regular season, this very website suggested the Carolina Hurricanes at +1100 to win the Stanley Cup was something to get excited about. Those odds have continued to drop since that time.

Carolina went nine years (2010-18) without making the playoffs.

Since 2018, the Hurricanes have made the playoffs six consecutive times and won at least one playoff round each of those years.

This year, it was the New York Islanders who were eliminated in the first round by Carolina.

No Carolina player finished inside the top 16 of NHL scorers. Sebastian Aho finished with 89 points (17th overall), but his +34 (Plus/Minus rating) tells you all you need to know about Carolina.

They are a team that wins with defense and are a team that plays a very disciplined system.

The Hurricanes acquired Jake Guentzel at the trade deadline to help bolster their playoff scoring. Guentzel is +500 to lead his first-round series in total goals.

Western Conference

Dallas Stars +230 To Win Stanley Cup

If you ask hockey fans what they know about the Edmonton Oilers, they will mention Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and some of the many Oilers greats from years past.

If you ask fans about the Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, or most other NHL playoff teams, they will be quick to name at least a couple of current superstars on each team’s roster.

But Dallas, who are actually named the Stars, might be the best team in the league with the fewest amount of “star players” on their roster.

Conference rivals Colorado had two players with over 100 points this year and three with at least 89 points.

Dallas had Jason Robertson (80 points) lead their team in scoring.

Wyatt Johnston led the team with 32 goals, and not many fans across the country are overly familiar with Wyatt Johnston.

Jake Oettinger (+2000) is the Dallas player with the shortest odds to win the Conn Smythe.

All that said, Dallas is currently the betting favorite league-wide, and although they might be missing “Star Power,” the Stars look like the best team right now.

Colorado Avalanche +3300 To Win Stanley Cup

The Avalanches are a great example of why we like to shop around for our Best Odds. At FanDuel, the Avs started the playoffs at +850 to win the Cup, and were not the betting favorite to win the cup.

At DraftKings, Colorado was the Western Conference betting favorite, and the Avs were just +700 (compared to +850) to hoist Lord Stanley in June.

After winning the Stanley Cup in 2022 and putting together a 55-win season in 2023, many NHL fans and bettors (myself included) thought Colorado had a chance to go back-to-back last year.

Instead, the Avalanche were upset by the Seattle Kraken in the first round of the playoffs, an upset that very few experts could predict.

This year, Colorado again produced like a team with Nate MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Cale Maker, Devon Toews, and other stars. However, they are not currently receiving Stanley Cup-level goaltending.

Georgiev really struggled for Colorado down the stretch. The Avalanche lost four of their last five games and gave up 26 goals in those five games.

Colorado has the offensive fire power to run with any team in the league, but it doesn’t appear there goaltending will get the job done.

Edmonton Oilers +460 To Win Stanley Cup

Early this season, the Oilers were playing so poorly that they fired their coach.

Edmonton, a Stanley Cup betting favorite in the preseason, saw its odds of winning the Cup increase significantly when it started the season with only five wins in its first 18 games.

However, with a new coach and some improved play in the net, the Oilers found their Stanley Cup form and ended the season with more than 100 points yet again.

Did I mention that the Oilers also have Connor McDavid?

Did I need to mention the Oilers have Conner McDavid?

Connor alone makes Edmonton a cup contender. In the regular season, McDavid did something he had never done: reach 100 assists.

Now, Oilers fans are hoping Connor can do something he has never done before in the playoffs: reach the Stanley Cup.

At +1000, McDavid was the Conn Smythe trophy betting favorite as the playoffs began.

Those odds will drop with each round Edmonton advances.

How The NHL Playoffs Work

  • The NHL is comprised of 32 teams.
  • Sixteen teams play in the Eastern Conference and 16 in the Western Conference.
  • Eight teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs.
  • Within each conference, there are two divisions of eight teams. (4 divisions total)
  • The top three teams from each division automatically qualify for the playoffs. (12 teams total)
  • The final four playoff spots (two from each conference) go to the teams who qualify as the Wild Card teams.

Wild Card Teams

Each of the four divisions qualifies its top three teams for the playoffs.

The NHL allows four more teams to qualify as Wild Card teams for its playoff format.

The two teams from each conference with the highest point total who didn’t qualify for the playoffs are added as Wild Card teams.

The Western Conference team that finishes the regular season with the most points is considered the #1 seed in the West.

They would play the lowest-ranked Wild Card team in the first round of the playoffs.

The format works the same way in the Eastern Conference.

NHL Playoff Series Format

In the first round of the playoffs, each of the four division winners plays one of the wild card teams. These are considered #1 vs. #4 seed matchups.

The remaining eight teams are all seeded as #2 or #3 seeds, depending on their finishing positions during the season.

There are eight opening-round matchups. (four from each conference)

Each matchup is a Best of 7 series, with the first team to win four games advancing to the next round.

To win the Stanley Cup, a team must win four rounds in the playoffs, or a total of 16 games.

A team is eliminated after losing a Best of 7 series.

Home Ice Advantage In The NHL Playoffs

In the first two rounds of the NHL playoffs, the team ranked or seeded higher has the home-ice advantage.

In the Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup finals, home-ice advantage is determined by the team with the better regular season record.

Because the New York Rangers earned the most points in the regular season this year, as long as they are alive in the playoffs, they will have a home-ice advantage.

Betting On The NHL Playoffs

The NHL plays an 82-game regular season, meaning hockey fans have over 2600 games to bet on before the playoffs start.

Once the playoffs arrive, we have even more betting options and opportunities to consider.

Individual Games

Although playoff games might be more intense for the players, we can treat them like regular season action as sports bettors.

Once the NHL playoffs start, we still have the same opportunities to make traditional hockey bets.

Moneylines, Totals (O/U), and Puckline bets are still the most popular form of NHL betting, and that doesn’t change just because the playoffs are starting.

NHL Playoff Series Winner Odds

One option that does present itself once the NHL playoffs begin is betting on a series winner.

New York Islanders vs Carolina HurricanesIslanders+275
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston BruinsMaple Leafs+100

Our table above details two first-round matchups and the NHL odds for each of the four teams to win the series.

When we are betting on a series winner, this is about picking the team to win four games first.

Series betting is not a one-game wager.

Instead, we are in it for at least four games, and if the series goes the maximum distance, it will last seven games.

NHL Futures Betting

NHL futures betting is something that can take place year-round. Not long after a Stanley Cup champion is crowned, odds for the following year are released.

Betting on the eventual Stanley Cup champion is the most popular form of NHL futures betting.

However, there are a lot of different opportunities and options for futures bettors to play on.

From a playoff perspective, many bettors enjoy taking a shot at predicting the player who will be named Conn Smythe trophy winner, which is awarded to the playoff MVP.

NHL Playoffs – Futures Betting

PlayerTeamPlayoff MVP Odds
Igor ShesterkinNY Rangers+2200
Artemi PanarinNY Rangers+2500
Mika ZibanejadNY Rangers+4500
Chris KreiderNY Rangers+7500

The table above shows Conn Smythe’s trophy odds for four of the New York Rangers best players.

The Rangers, as a team, were paying +800 to win the Stanley Cup.

If you liked NYR as a futures bet to win the Cup at +800, you would have surely been tempted by MVP odds on Shesterkin and Panarin at +2200.

Player Prop Betting In The NHL Playoffs

The legalization of sports betting is a relatively recent event across North America.

However, a lot of us have been able to play fantasy and daily fantasy sports legally for a long time.

Player prop betting is much more about knowing individual players and much less about knowing how teams are expected to perform.

Player prop betting allows us to focus on the players we know and interest us.

Instead of predicting which team will win a game, we might be more comfortable determining which player will score a goal, record an assist or make a lot of saves.

Some of the more popular types of NHL player prop bets include;

  • Player O/U 0.5 goals
  • Player O/U 0.5 assists
  • Player O/U shots on net
  • Player O/U total saves

NHL Playoff Props

Sportsbooks will also offer a wide selection of game or team prop betting options in the regular season and the playoffs.

These types of prop bets are often referred to as the games within the game. Instead of focusing on the final score or which team won, prop bets focus on many other events in each game.

Some of the more popular NHL playoff prop bets include:

  • GIFT (Goal In First Ten Minutes)
  • Exact final score
  • 1st Period Over / Under
  • Will this game go to Overtime?

The GIFT betting prop is the most popular hockey prop going. For those who prefer their bets to be fast-paced, action-packed, and over in a hurry, then GIFT betting is for you.

NHL Prop Betting Strategies

The traditional betting markets, such as moneylines, totals, and pucklines, are considered the sharpest lines in the market.

By that, we mean they are the most popular bets available and the ones that sportsbooks and bettors spend the most time analyzing.

Because one individual hockey game can have hundreds of different prop betting options, many bettors believe it is easier to find an edge with prop betting than with traditional markets.

NHL G.I.F.T. Betting

NHL G.I.F.T. betting is not for the faint of heart. The goal of this bet is to accurately determine if either team will score within the first ten minutes of action.

Because this bet keeps us on the edge of our seats and is over within 10 minutes of game action, it is quickly becoming one of the most popular prop bets in the market.

As for resources that can help us make the most informed GIFT decisions possible, has us covered with the G.I.F.T. betting information page.

Always Shop Around

Although the new technology now available for bettors of all skill levels goes a long way to help us make the most informed decisions possible, the most prominent edge any bettor has against the sportsbooks is our ability to shop around and play with only the Best Odds.

NHL Conn Smythe Winner Odds

Igor Shesterkin+2200+2200+2000
Artemi Panarin+1800+2500+2000
Mika Zibanejad+5000+4500+3500
Adam Fox+2500+9500+5000

In our NHL Conn Smythe table above, we see that all four players listed have different odds available.

This means a significant advantage exists for a bettor who price shops, no matter which player they want to bet on.

In the case of Artemi Panarin, DraftKings has priced him at just +1800, while FanDuel has a much more appealing +2500 price. The difference in payout between Panarin at FanDuel and DraftKings is more than 20%.

However, the most ridiculous pricing difference is with Rangers Defenseman Adam Fox.

Each of the sportsbooks listed have wildly different odds for Fox to win the Conn Smythe, but FanDuel at +9500 definitely jumps out.

As bettors, we should take advantage of all available resources we have access to.

Those resources include;

  • Sportsbook promotions and odds boosts
  • Cool data-based technology and software to help us analyze available data
  • Shopping around for our Best Odds

About the author

Malcolm loves to watch all kinds of different sports. He also writes about them.