2023 Stanley Cup Finals Betting Odds
The 2021-22 NHL season culminates with the Stanley Cup Finals; the winner of the Championship series walks away with the oldest and most coveted Ice Hockey trophy in the world: The Stanley Cup.
While many bettors prefer waiting until the final matchup is set before placing their Stanley Cup bets, shrewd hockey fans can search for value early on by placing a Stanley Cup futures bet months before the playoffs even begin.
If you want to jump in on the action but don’t know where to begin, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on for everything that you need to know regarding betting on the 2023 Stanley Cup.
2023 Stanley Cup Futures Report
When the NHL odds for the 2023 Stanley Cup dropped, the Colorado Avalanche opened as the bookies’ favorites.
The Tampa Bay Lightning, the defending champions, opened as the second favorite in most sportsbooks, while the Vegas Golden Knights and the Toronto Maple Leafs were the other top contenders before the start of the season.
As the regular season continues to play out, all four of the teams above have started strong and look to be serious cup contenders.
But other teams have also emerged and we dissect all those worthy of Stanley Cup consideration down below.
Stanley Cup Favorites
Colorado Avalanche – The Avalanche are the undisputed Stanley Cup favorites. Despite three consecutive second-round exits in the playoffs, the bookies still rate them as the team to beat this season.
Colorado won the Presidents’ Trophy last season, and they’ll want to better that by winning the Stanley Cup for the first time since the 2000–01 NHL Season. Despite not having Philipp Grubauer in net this year, the Avalanche have clearly shown themselves to be the best of the Western Conference so far.
Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen have all proven themselves to be among the games best. The Avalanche are legit and to be feared.
Tampa Bay Lightning – The Lightning are gunning for a historic three-peat. No team has won the championship three times in a row since the New York Islanders won four Stanley Cups from 1980-83.
Despite losing Blake Coleman, Yanni Gourde, and Barclay Goodrow, the Lightning roster is still loaded with names like Kucherov, Point, Hedman and of course Vezina candidate Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Like last year, Tampa Bay has battled injuries to start the 2021-’22 season, but they still find themselves as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. This team is all about winning in the playoffs and expect more of the same this year.
Florida Panthers – The Panthers are on pace to be the best team in the Atlantic Division this year and maybe more importantly to their fans they might just be the best team in the state of Florida.
Aaron Ekblad, the team’s star blueliner, had his season cut short last year after breaking his leg in March. Now that Ekblad is fully fit, the Panthers have been a strong force this year.
Offensively Jonathan Huberdeau is contending to win the Art Ross trophy and Aleksander Barkov is considered one of the games best two-way players.
Florida started the season with odds that had them ranked close to the middle of the pack. Overlooked by many, they have shown themselves to be an elite team.
Vegas Golden Knights – The Vegas Golden Knights have achieved so much success recently many fans forget this is only their 5th season of existence.
In their four-year NHL history, they’ve reached the Stanley Cup semifinals three times, and they already have one Stanley Cup finals appearance under their belt. It appears only a matter of time before the Knights win their first Stanley Cup.
Acquiring one of the game’s best offensive players in Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres this year only makes Vegas even more dangerous come playoff time.
Stanley Cup Contenders
Toronto Maple Leafs – Toronto had to endure another heart-breaking postseason performance last year. They finished first in the North Division but were knocked out by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs.
The last time Toronto made it past the first round of the playoffs was in 2013. After a slow start to this year, Toronto has turned things around and is right there at the top of the Atlantic Division standings with Florida and Tampa Bay.
Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner give them a one-two offensive punch most teams can’t compare with. Their last Stanley Cup Championship came in 1967. Leaf fans hope this is the year that streak comes to an end.
Carolina Hurricanes – Not only were the Carolina Hurricanes the best team in the Central Division regular season last year, but they also finished behind only Colorado and Vegas in the overall NHL standings.
The Hurricanes were poised for a long playoff run last year, but after winning their first-round series, they lost to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, Tampa Bay, in the second round.
So far this year Carolina has been the best team in the Metropolitan Division and is once again battling for top spot overall in the league.
Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour has his team playing great defensive hockey, a style that is known to be successful come playoff time.
Calgary Flames – In a division that boasts the Vegas Golden Knights, Connor McDavid, Leon Draistl and their Edmonton Oilers, it is the Calgary Flames who appear to be separating themselves from the Pacific Division pack.
After taking over behind the Flames bench late last season, Head Coach Darrly Sutter has found a way to turn Calgary around. Last year under Sutter, Calgary won just 15 games in 30 starts.
This year, the Flames top line has become one of the best lines in all of hockey, with Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Matthew Tkachuk all contributing offensively while taking care of their own end.
Calgary looks to be the real deal and Sutter gets a lot of that credit.
Stanley Cup Underdogs
Boston Bruins – The Boston Bruins have qualified for the playoffs in each of the last five seasons and are definitely on pace to make it six in a row. However, the biggest concern for the Bruins is their goalie situation.
Veteran goalie Tuukka Rask had to undergo off-season surgery and although he made a brief four-game comeback this year, ultimately he couldn’t regain his form and retired.
This means that Boston will rely on both Linus Ullmark and rookie Jeremy Swayman come playoff time. Neither Ullmark nor Swayman have much playoff experience and one of them will need to step up for Boston to make a long run.
Minnesota Wild – The Minnesota Wild might be the best NHL team that nobody talks about. The Wild don’t necessarily have the same big-name superstars many of the other NHL teams can boast.
However, for those who follow Minnesota, the names Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello are definitely very familiar. Kaprizov has turned into one of the game’s best young stars and Zuccarello has found a fountain of youth in his 30s playing on the same line as Kaprizov.
If those two players can continue their point a game pace in the playoffs, Minnesota has a definite chance to win a few rounds.
Stanley Cup Long Shots
Pittsburgh Penguins – Despite winning the East Division in last year’s shortened season, the Pittsburgh Penguins were bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the New York Islanders.
The Penguins are still running with their three hall of fame veterans, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang. All three continue to produce at a high level late into their careers.
What makes the Penguins an interesting long shot is goaltender Tristan Jarry. To date Jarry has played above expectations this season and if that continues into the playoffs they will have a chance.
Edmonton Oilers – In early February of this year, the Edmonton Oilers season looked lost with little hope of making the playoffs. In an effort to change their momentum, the Oilers fired Head Coach Dave Tippett and the players responded.
It isn’t the coaching change that gets everyone excited in Edmonton, it’s obviously Connor McDavid and Leon Draistl. There is another strong chance the Dynamic Edmonton duo finish 1 and 2 in the scoring race this year and who would want to match up against that in a short playoff series?
How To Bet On Stanley Cup Futures
This biggest advantage to placing Stanley Cup Futures bets is obviously the juicy odds you can find on some very good teams. As the playoffs get closer, odds on teams separating themselves from the pack will drop.
Take the Lightning, for example. Their odds before the start of the 2020-21 season were +850.
By the time the finals began, their odds of winning the Stanley Cup had reduced to -200. Anyone who was savvy enough to recognize early in the season that Tampa Bay was the team to beat was definitely rewarded with a nice payout.
So if you want to place a Stanley Cup futures bet, here are the steps that you should follow:
- Use your credentials to log in to your sports betting account.
- From the list of sports, choose hockey.
- Select NHL from the available ice hockey leagues.
- Click on Stanley Cup.
- Go to the outright winner market.
- Choose the team that you think will win the Stanley Cup.
- Enter the amount that you wish to wager on the bet slip.
- Confirm and place your bet.
Popular NHL Stanley Cup Bets
There are several Stanley Cup bets that you can place. The most obvious is betting on the outright winner, which we’ve explained above.
Other futures bets that you can place include the following:
Winning Nation – Will the winning team be an American team or a Canadian team?
Winning Division – Here, you’re betting on which division the winning team will be from. For example, if you bet that a team from the Atlantic Division will win the Stanley Cup, then you’ll win your bet if one of the eight teams from the Atlantic Division wins the championship.
It doesn’t matter which team wins it, just as long as the winning team originates from the Atlantic Division.
Winning Conference – This is quite similar to the above-mentioned market. Here, you’re betting on whether the Stanley Cup winners will be from the Eastern Conference or the Western Conference.
Team To Reach The Final – If you’re confident that a certain team will go deep into the playoffs but you aren’t sure whether they’ll go all the way, you can back them to reach the final instead. They can win or lose the final, and you’ll still win your bet.
Stanley Cup Betting Strategies
If you want to reap great rewards from the Stanley Cup, you need to approach it from a strategic standpoint.
That way, you won’t be going in blindly and you’ll have a plan of action that will help you beat the bookies.
Here are a few Stanley Cup betting strategies that will help increase your chances of winning as well as increase your potential payout:
- Line shopping – Line shopping is a simple strategy that most sharps incorporate into their betting systems. Simply put, you compare the odds from different sportsbooks and go for the best odds on the market. For example, if sportsbook A prices Tampa Bay at +750 while sportsbook B prices the same team at +800, it makes sense to go with sportsbook B because they’re paying out more for the exact same wager.
- Hedge Your Bets – Hedging in sports betting is simply betting against your original wager to guarantee a return or to cut back on losses. With futures bets specifically, it may reach a certain point where hedging will guarantee you a return, and it’s a tactic that is deployed by bettors who love to err on the side of caution.
For example, let’s say that you backed the Jets before the start of the season when they were priced at +4500. They defy the odds and reach the finals, and their odds of winning the Championship have now dropped to +250.
However, they are up against a great team, and there is still a great chance that they may not win the cup.
To secure a return in this scenario, you can bet against the Jets in such a way that you’re guaranteed a return regardless of who wins the finals.
Using Advanced Metrics To Your Advantage – There are a lot of stats that can help you gauge potential bets. The best thing is, a lot of these metrics are widely available on the internet for free.
Stanley Cup Handicapping Tips
In addition to the above-mentioned betting strategies, here are a few handicapping tips that you should always keep in mind:
Don’t Blindly Back The Favorites – We aren’t discouraging you from betting on the favorites, but you need to make sure that you are not betting on the favorites just because they are the favorites. All you need to do is ensure that you’ve done your homework before you place such a bet.
Monitor Any Potential Line Movements – Keep an eye on the teams as the season progresses. Line movements will tell you who the public is backing.
Monitoring line movements will also expose you to crucial information that you may have missed. For example, if a team’s odds increase/decrease drastically, this may be because of a team’s form or because a star player has been injured or traded to another team.