2021 Stanley Cup & NHL Playoffs Updated Picks

2021 Stanley Cup & NHL Playoffs Updated Picks

We have reached the point in the NHL season where the top online sportsbooks are starting to pull playoff odds for some of the league's teams. That means it's time for us to drop another batch of Stanley Cup picks.

As it stands, every team still has lines for their championship futures. But cuts are starting to be made when we get to the four divisions that were designed specifically to help navigate this truncated season. You will notice a shorter list of options when deciding on those picks.

Make of that decision what you will. For now, here are the Stanley Cup betting odds for every NHL team, courtesy of Bovada:

Tampa Bay Lightning-265
Montreal Canadiens+225

As always, be sure to double-check these NHL betting lines before committing to any picks. They will shift between now and the end of the season.

NHL Futures Betting Breakdown

To help alleviate the challenges associated with travel this year, the NHL is using four divisions: Central, East, North, and West. The top-four from each will make the playoffs, and those postseason matchups will take place within the division. 

carolina hurricanes

As a result, there are no more conferences. The NHL has temporarily done away with the East and West designations until the travel restrictions between the United States and Canada border are loosened.

When there is one team left standing from each subsection, they will be reseeded according to their regular-season point total. So, it's important that we first look to pick each of the four division winners, since they will represent our options when choosing Stanley Cup winners.

Central Division Winner Prediction

Check out the odds for the NHL's 2021 Central Division winner:

Colorado Avalanche-200
Minnesota Wild+700
Dallas Stars+800
St. Louis Blues+1200
Winnipeg Jets+1400
Chicago Blackhawks+2000
Nashville Predators+4000
Arizona Coyotes+15000
Arizona Coyotes+15000

The Carolina Hurricanes (-130) seem incredibly overvalued. They're not even paying out 1-to-1. That makes little sense for a team that doesn't rank inside the top 10 of goals scored per game and does most of its damage during power-play minutes.

Invest in the Tampa Bay Lightning (+175) instead. They pay out almost 2-to-1 and yet again rank in the top 10 of both goals scored per game and penalty-killing percentage.

OSB Prediction: Lightning (+175)

Tampa Bay Lightning To win Central Division

East Division Winner Prediction

Check out the odds for the NHL's 2021 East Division winner:

Tampa Bay Lightning+150
Toronto Maple Leafs+325
Boston Bruins+350
Florida Panthers+375
Montreal Canadiens+3300
Detroit Red Wings+8000
Ottawa Senators+10000
Buffalo Sabres+15000

The East has rapidly become the NHL's deepest division and is warping the playoff picture as a result. Most advanced metrics think the New York Rangers (+150000) are the best team according to their point differential and strength of schedule, but they have almost no chance at making the playoffs because of the intra-division games they've lost and how far behind their East brethren they are in the standings.

This is to say, do not default to the team with the best record, the Washington Capitals (+220). The Pittsburgh Penguins (+300) are more intriguing. If they can do a better job of killing their penalty minutes, they'll be one of the best two-way teams in the league.

OSB Prediction: Penguins (+300)

Pittsburgh Penguins To win East Division

North Division Winner Prediction

Check out the odds for the NHL's 2021 North Division winner:

New York Islanders+325
New York Rangers+400
Carolina Hurricanes+450
Pittsburgh Penguins+450
Washington Capitals+600
Philadelphia Flyers+800
New Jersey Devils+1600
Columbus Blue Jackets+8000

Look, all the stats are going to favor the Toronto Maple Leafs (-500). But the margin by which these metrics are determined will be slim. Toronto is actually the worst division leader in the league, according to Simple Rating System (SRS), which ranks NHL teams according to the strength of schedule and point differential.

This opens the door for the Edmonton Oilers (+900). They yet again have two MVP favorites in Conor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and they're just behind the Leafs and Winnipeg Jets (+550) SRS despite their long-shot odds.

OSB Prediction: Oilers (+900)

Edmonton Oilers To win North Division

West Division Winner Prediction

Check out the odds for the NHL's 2021 West Division winner:

Vegas Golden Knights-200
Edmonton Oilers+500
Seattle Kraken+800
Calgary Flames+1400
Vancouver Canucks+1800
Los Angeles Kings+3300
San Jose Sharks+4000
Anaheim Ducks+12500

This is our only no-brainer pick of the entire division-winner exercise. Go with the Colorado Avalanche (-245), and don't even entertain anyone else. 

colorado avalanche

Colorado is first in goals scored and third in goals allowed. Their lines are the deepest in the NHL right now, and they do a great job of limiting shots at the net.

OSB Prediction: Avalanche (-245)

Colorado Avalanche To win West Division

2021 Stanley Cup Prediction

As a quick review, here are our four division winners, with their Stanley Cup odds in parenthesis:

  • Lightning (+600)
  • Penguins (+2200)
  • Oilers (+2000)
  • Avalanche (+350)

We can't get into matchup specifics, because again, the NHL will be reseeding their four Stanley Cup finalists. Exact matchup props will be available once the playoff race has been finalized.

For now, many people will be inclined to select the Avalanche. We don't blame. They're currently the league's most well-rounded team.

At the same time, while Colorado limits opponent shots at the net, they don't have the best goalkeeping when rival teams get a look between the posts. The Lightning actually has the more balanced playstyle when looking at their offense, ability to navigate power plays and defense.

OSB Prediction: Lightning (+600)

Maples Leafs To win North Division

Take a look at this list of the best online sportsbooks so you can decide which to use for all your NHL betting odds:

Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen leverages his broadcast journalism degree and passion for sports in his betting previews and analysis. Based in Kelowna, Canada, he has emerged as an expert voice with picks featured on OSB, MTS, SBD, and as a ClutchPoints editor. With a lifelong fandom of...

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