2021 Stanley Cup & NHL Playoffs Updated Picks

2021 Stanley Cup & NHL Playoffs Updated Picks

Check out picks for who will make and win the 2021 NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs.

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:

TeamBovada
Colorado Avalanche+350
Tampa Bay Lightning+600
Toronto Maple Leafs+700
Vegas Golden Knights+800
Carolina Hurricanes+1100
New York Islanders+1500
Washington Capitals+1400
Boston Bruins+1400
Edmonton Oilers+2000
Minnesota Wild+2000
Florida Panthers+2400
Winnipeg Jets+2200
Montreal Canadiens+2200
Pittsburgh Penguins+2200
St. Louis Blues+3000
Philadelphia Flyers+10000
Calgary Flames+10000
New York Rangers+7500
Chicago Blackhawks+10000
Dallas Stars+4000
Arizona Coyotes+6000
Los Angeles Kings+20000
Columbus Blue Jackets+40000
Vancouver Canucks+15000
Nashville Predators+6000
New Jersey Devils+100000
San Jose Sharks+15000
Anaheim Ducks+150000
Buffalo Sabres+150000
Ottawa Senators+150000
Detroit Red Wings+150000

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:

TeamBovada
Carolina Hurricanes-130
Tampa Bay Lightning+175
Florida Panthers+500
Dallas Stars+40000
Chicago Blackhawks+50000
Nashville Predators+50000

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
+175
Bovada

East Division Winner Prediction

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

TeamBovada
Washington Capitals+220
Boston Bruins+250
New York Islanders+300
Pittsburgh Penguins+300
New York Rangers+15000
Philadelphia Flyers+50000

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
+300
Bovada

North Division Winner Prediction

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

TeamBovada
Toronto Maple Leafs-500
Winnipeg Jets+550
Edmonton Oilers+900
Montreal Canadiens+7500
Vancouver Canucks+50000

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
+900
Bovada

West Division Winner Prediction

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

TeamBovada
Colorado Avalanche-245
Vegas Golden Knights+200
Minnesota Wild+1800
St. Louis Blues+30000

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
-245
Bovada

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
-500
Bovada

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