Betting on regular-season NHL games is fun, and traditional betting types can offer excellent value for sports bettors, betting on NHL futures can up the ante a little for those up to the challenge. What is an NHL future bet? A wager placed on an event or instance that happens far off into the future - like betting on the winner of the Stanley Cup, for instance, months in advance.
NHL Stanley Cup futures for the following year are released almost immediately after the conclusion of the season - sometimes hours after the Stanley Cup is hoisted. Sportsbooks tend to act quickly to get the futures odds out, so sports bettors can lock in the most far-out odds possible.
It is not easy to predict the winner of the Stanley Cup immediately after the season concludes - few teams have had back-to-back wins, and you never know what’s going to happen in the off-season with trades and drafts. Many sports bettors take smaller risks, by placing small wagers on far-out picks in the slight chance that the team picks up their boots.
Betting on the Stanley Cup Champions isn’t the only NHL futures bet you can place, you can bet on a number of things that happen throughout the season, like the divisional and conference finalists.
We have compiled a little guide to help guide you through betting on popular NHL futures, and most importantly, the 2021 Stanley Cup Futures coming up. It’s important to understand all NHL betting types, and which betting types make the most sense for your personal betting strategy. If you’re really new, understanding how NHL odds work can be a great starting point in your NHL betting strategies.
How to Bet on NHL Futures
We look ahead to the NHL odds board looking to predict the 2021 Champion.
The NHL Futures odds look like this - the last update was on January 18, 2021:
As you can see, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights came out as the favorites coming into the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL chose to do a 24 team playoff format - 12 teams from each conference, more than their regular 8, but a different format overall. The top four in each conference would play a round-robin to determine seedings.
These odds likely won’t move until the start of the 2018-2019 NHL season unless there are major trades or drafts. But at the start of the 2018-19 season, the Toronto Maple Leafs slipped into first place at +740 odds. The St. Louis Blues are still posed to be a longshot at +4400 odds and unlikely to win the Stanley Cup.
If you placed a wager of $100 on the St. Louis Blues in October 2018, your bet slip would show a $4400 payout if the St. Louis Blues did win the 2019 Stanley Cup (spoiler alert: they did).
Over time and as the season progresses, the futures odds will change as teams show more promise to be in the playoffs. The NHL futures odds change almost weekly, as teams move up and down the odds board. The funny and unique thing about the St. Louis Blues season was that they got significantly worse - in January, they were pegged as having one of the worst chances of winning the Stanley Cup at +6900 odds.
Between January and the start of the playoffs, the St. Louis Blues shot up the odds board to +1400 entering the playoffs. There were a few sports bettors who took a chance on their +6900 odds, and when the Blues won the Stanley Cup against all odds - they had a pretty payout waiting for them.
Mind you, not all series end up quite like the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals, and many favored teams end up winning - but this is a great example of getting huge value on a longshot team months in advance.
2021 NHL Futures
While the NHL season was postponed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic that stopped all professional sports in their tracks in March, the NHL decided to return to play with a playoff series beginning on August 1st.
The most popular 2021 NHL Futures market to bet on is the odds to win the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals - for obvious reasons.
Odds to Win The Stanley Cup Finals
The odds to win the Stanley Cup Finals are now available. We will continue to update this page as we progress through the NHL postseason. The odds were last updated on January 18, 2021:
2021 Stanley Cup Winners Odds
As you can see, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins came out as the favorites coming into the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL chose to do a 24 team playoff format - 12 teams from each conference, more than their regular 8, but a different format overall. The top four in each conference would play a round-robin to determine seedings.
It’s evident that the oddsmakers predict an Eastern Conference team to win the Stanley Cup, having the Bruins and Lightning as heavy favorites going into the playoffs. The toss-up is between the two though - you can tell that oddsmakers aren’t sure which will win, one of them will be crowned Conference champs.
This break gave players coming off of injuries more recovery time, which ultimately could benefit teams in the long run.
It seems oddsmakers are confident in Colorado but are keeping their eye on Las Vegas and St. Louis moving into the playoffs. Those three are the main contenders for the Western Conference Champions, but we have to always keep in mind that an underdog can come out of the ‘Blues’ - pun intended- and shock the system and all of your NHL bets.
Like we said in the East, anything can happen, and if you think those three favored teams will crumble under the pressure or that a team lower on the odds board like the Canucks or Predators have a chance with the extended rest time off and plenty of training time during the pandemic.
Top Online Sportsbooks for NHL Futures Betting
Every sportsbook will be offering NHL Futures leading up and during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first step in your NHL betting plan should be finding the right sportsbook for your specific needs. What do we mean by that?
Not all sportsbooks are the same, many offer better odds than others and better NHL bonuses. Finding out what matters to you in a sportsbook, and ensuring you select the one you will be happy within the end should be your main priority.
Doing your research and reading sportsbook reviews can help with your selection process. Our sportsbook reviews are all honest and subjective, we only review the top online sportsbooks in the industry.
Betting on NHL futures can be fun and exciting if you have the right online sportsbook!