The NHL Playoffs is the coveted post-season tournament held after the NHL season wraps up each year. The best-of-seven elimination tournament crowns the Eastern and Western Conference Champions, who then go on to the Stanley Cup Finals in June. While the 2020 season was cut short - this year’s NHL Playoffs will go on, just in a different format.
Each year, the NHL Playoffs provide sports bettors some great opportunities to bet on elite-level games - upping the ante, and providing added challenges to sports bettor’s strategies due to the high level and close competition. Each game provides opportunities for upsets, so bettors need to really dig in and research their NHL Playoffs betting strategy.
This year, however, the 2020 NHL season was cut short - ending gameplay on March 12th due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league decided to postpone the remainder of the season instead of canceling, and on May 26, announced that there will be a 24 team playoff tournament that will serve as the 2020 NHL Playoffs.
Games are to resume August 1st, 2020, and under this plan, starts with the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, which has 16 teams playing eight best of five series and a round-robin among the top four teams in each conference to determine seeds for the NHL Playoffs. The qualifiers will be held in two cities - the East will play in Toronto, and the West will play in Edmonton. Edmonton will also host the conference finals and the Stanley Cup Final.
The top four teams in each conference have a bye to the NHL Playoffs and will play a round-robin to determine the top four seeds for the first round. The remaining teams will participate in a best-of-five series.
Odds to Win the Western Conference
The odds to win the Western Conference are available and subject to change. The odds were last updated on November 20, 2020:
|2021 NHL Western Conference winners odds|
|Vegas Golden Knights||4.50||4.50||4.50|
|St. Louis Blues||9.50||9.50||9.50|
Odds to Win the Eastern Conference
The odds to win the Eastern Conference are available and subject to change. The odds were last updated on November 20, 2020:
|2021 Eastern Conference winners odds|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||5.00||5.00||5.50|
2020 NHL Playoffs Betting
When it comes to betting on the NHL Playoffs, we need to go through the different betting types and create a betting strategy for the 2020 NHL Playoff season. While this year proves to be a bit different, we can first take a look at what teams are in each conference and how they measure up.
There are currently NHLPlayoff odds on the winner of both conferences. These are called NHL Playoff futures and are made available months in advance.
Betting Options During the NHL Playoffs
NHL Playoffs Moneyline Betting
By far, the moneyline is the most popular betting type in any sport, and betting the moneyline during the NBA Playoffs can prove to be a bit riskier. but all the more exciting. When betting the moneyline, all you have to do is to choose which team you think will win the game. It doesn’t get much more simple than that. There will be moneyline odds on all games in the playoffs, so you can place a moneyline wager on any or all NHL Playoff games.
NHLPlayoffs Puckline Betting
While puck lines or point spreads are a little more complicated, betting the point spreads during the NHL Playoffs can prove to be a smarter option if you aren’t doing well with your moneyline bets. When seeding a first-place team against an 8th place team, you will see obvious underdogs and the puck line may seem high, so you could get some good value betting on the underdog. This also leaves huge opportunities for upsets, which as you know, will pay out the big bucks.
If the spread is +3.5/-3.5, that means that the underdog will have to win the game or lose by less than 3. If you pick the favorite, they will have to win by more than 4 points.
NHL Playoffs Totals Betting
Totals aren’t as popular when it comes to betting on the NHL Playoffs because most bettors want to predict the winner of the matchup for the fun and glory of it. For the totals, or over/under as it’s commonly called, you will need to decide if the total combined points for both teams in a single game will be over or under the oddsmaker’s line. If the total is 11, you will need to decide if you think both teams will score more or less than that amount collectively.
NHL Playoff Prop Betting
NHL prop betting is a fun and exciting way to make some extra cash on random and unique happenings during the NHL Playoff tournament. There are countless NHL Playoff props to bet on during the tournament, and many are already active right now.
NHL Prop bets allow you to bet on things that don’t affect the outcome of the games. You can bet on player props, which is most common. Or, things like how many games a certain team will win the series in, like “Blues in 5”.
Depending on which sportsbook you use, they will have a great assortment of NHL Playoff props for you to bet on leading up to and during the tournament.
2020 NHL Playoffs Format
East: Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers
The best of five series pairings in the East are as follows:
- Pittsburgh Penguins vs Montreal Canadiens
- Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Rangers
- New York Islanders vs Florida Panthers
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs Columbus Blue Jackets
West: St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars
- The best of five series pairings in the West are as follows:
- Edmonton Oilers vs Chicago Blackhawks
- Nashville Predators vs Arizona Coyotes
- Vancouver Canucks vs Minnesota Wild
- Calgary Flames vs Winnipeg Jets
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting on the NHL Playoffs
Now that you have a better idea of how to bet on the NHL Playoff odds and popular betting options you can take advantage of during the tournament, it’s time to choose a sportsbook to place your wagers at. We know it can be overwhelming to see so many online sportsbooks and stressful to try to choose the best one.
Luckily we have plenty of online sportsbook reviews to ensure you select one that’s safe, secure and has plenty of NHL Playoff odds to choose from. Reviews help by showing you some important criteria you may overlook, like deposit and withdrawal options, deposit minimums and maximums, and whether or not they have NHL Playoff bonuses.
Remember to have fun betting on the 2020 NHL Playoffs, and as always, gamble responsibly.