The road to the Stanley Cup is among the most thrilling postseasons in all of sports. Unlike other sports with multi-game series each round, in hockey, it seems as if any team can win a series regardless of seeding. And playoff overtimes and Game 7s are about as exciting as it gets for sports fans.
With legal sports betting now live in Arizona, the NHL will see a boost in popularity, especially when it comes time for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Here’s a look at the basics of betting on the Stanley Cup in Arizona plus live Stanley Cup playoff odds direct from legal AZ online sportsbooks..
2021 Stanley Cup playoff odds
Stanley Cup playoff odds will vary by sportsbook. Our live odds feed below has you covered for keeping track of each team’s current Stanley Cup odds at Arizona online sportsbooks. Check back during the Stanley Cup playoffs for live game odds. Click on any odds below to go straight to the sportsbook, claim your bonus and start betting.
Betting on Stanley Cup futures
Futures bets are wagers you can place on long-term occurrences. With a major event like the Masters, Super Bowl or Stanley Cup, futures odds on the next champion tend to come out shortly after the current event is in the books. Because so much can happen between when the odds first come out and the crowning of the Stanley Cup champion, the payout can be quite large. To start with, roster moves and injuries are tough to predict. Additionally, each NHL team will have odds, so picking from such a large number of teams makes choosing correctly difficult.
One of the downsides to betting on Stanley Cup futures is that part of your bankroll may be tied up in that bet for months. The opening Stanley Cup betting odds may come out right when the previous season ends. If you place a bet right then, you’re looking at a long wait for a potential payout.
In addition to futures bets on who will win the next Stanley Cup, other futures are available to wager on the NHL including whether teams will qualify for the playoffs, season win totals, division winners and conference winners. Additionally, individual awards are available. You could bet on who will win the Hart Memorial Trophy, which goes to the regular season MVP. Other options may include the Vezina Trophy for the league’s best goalkeeper, the Calder Memorial Trophy for the top rookie, and the Jack Adams Award for the league’s best coach.
For an example of a futures bet, let’s take a look at some preseason odds to see the favorites at that point to win the Stanley Cup. We’ll narrow it down to DraftKings sportsbook’s top five:
- Colorado Avalanche +750
- Vegas Golden Knights +800
- Tampa Bay Lightning +900
- Boston Bruins +1,300
- Philadelphia Flyers +1,400
So if you make a $100 wager on the Avalanche at +750 odds during the preseason, you would return a $750 profit if they end up closing out the season with a Stanley Cup title.
See the odds feed above for current Stanley Cup odds favorites.
Stanley Cup long shots
As mentioned earlier, the preseason futures odds will usually feature every team in the league. This means we can go back and look at where oddsmakers had teams slotted toward the bottom of the field, as well. Here are a few teams with the worst odds to win the Cup:
- Anaheim Ducks/Buffalo Sabres/Minnesota Wild +5,500
- Arizona Coyotes +6,000
- New Jersey Devils +8,500
- Ottawa Senators +17,500
- Detroit Red Wings +30,000
These odds suggest none of these franchises have much of a chance to win it all in 2021. And it is true that wagering on the biggest futures long shots rarely pays off. If, however, you had wagered $100 on the Coyotes prior to the start of the season and they somehow pulled off a miracle, that would have resulted in a $6,000 profit had they won the Cup.
Again, check the feed above for the current odds on Stanley Cup longshots.
Why the Stanley Cup odds change
One key item to know regardless of what you are betting on is the idea of line movement. If you are a regular bettor, you understand that sportsbook odds may fluctuate as the event you are betting on gets closer. This is true for individual games as well as futures on who will win the Stanley Cup.
For example, the opening odds on a team to win the next Cup can shift a lot from that point until the actual Stanley Cup Final. Teams can acquire new players and trade existing ones. Sometimes injuries to a few key players will cause the odds to move. Also, the sportsbook can see where the public is betting. If bettors are going hard on one particular team, the oddsmakers might go ahead and adjust their odds to even out the action and minimize their risk. NHL Stanley Cup odds are always fluctuating, and it’s up to the bettors to pick their futures at an optimal time.
How do the NHL playoffs work?
The pandemic heavily impacted the 2020 and 2021 NHL playoffs, but here is what the format has been in regular years.
Sixteen teams advance to the Stanley Cup playoffs following the regular season: eight from the Eastern Conference and eight from the Western Conference. The top three teams in each of the four divisions qualify for the playoffs, and the final two slots from each conference go to the remaining teams with the best records.
The postseason bracket will stay the same throughout. The NHL no longer reseeds teams following each round of the playoffs. All four rounds consist of best-of-seven series, and the winners of the Eastern and Western Conference finals meet in the Stanley Cup Final to determine which team will win it all.
In the first two rounds of the playoffs, the team with the better seed receives the home-ice advantage. After that, the teams with the best record will have the home-ice advantage. The team with the home-ice advantage is the home team for the first, second, fifth, and seventh games. The opponent hosts the other three.
Arizona Coyotes’ road to the Stanley Cup
The Arizona Coyotes originated as the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association and were among four franchises to move to the NHL once the WHA ceased operations in 1979. The franchise operated as the Jets till 1996 when it moved to become the Phoenix Coyotes. In 2014, the team changed its name to the Arizona Coyotes and has stuck with that since.
Arizona is one of 11 teams to have never won the Stanley Cup. In fact, the Coyotes have never even appeared in a Stanley Cup Final. The closest the franchise came to winning it all came in the 2011-12 season. The Coyotes reached the conference final following the team’s first division championship. After winning the first two series against the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators, the Coyotes lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.
While the franchise has struggled to go on postseason runs throughout its history, it’s not like the Coyotes haven’t had solid players. Some of the top names include Shane Doan, Keith Tkachuk, and Jeremy Roenick.
NHL players from Arizona
The number of players born in Arizona who advanced all the way to the NHL is limited, but the state has been producing some decent talent recently. Below are some of the top players born in Arizona, all of whom are still active in the NHL.
- Sean Couturier was born in Phoenix and debuted in 2012. He has by far the most NHL experience among Arizona-born players. He has played for the Philadelphia Flyers every season as a pro.
- Matthew Tkachuk has the second most games among Arizona-born NHL players. He debuted in 2017 and is off to a hot start in his career with the Calgary Flames, surpassing 100 goals scored in the 2021 season. He was born in Scottsdale.
- Brady Tkachuk is the brother of Matthew Tkachuk and is another up-and-coming player from Arizona. In three seasons with the Ottawa Senators, he has 60 goals and 65 assists through nearly 200 games played.
- Tage Thompson was born in Phoenix and has played four years in the NHL. He started out with the St. Louis Blues before playing each of the last three seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. Thompson has 18 goals in his career.
Most Stanley Cup wins by franchise
The Stanley Cup was first awarded in 1893 and is one of the most recognizable sports trophies. Below are the franchises that have won the most Stanley Cup titles in their team’s history. The Montreal Canadiens lead the way.
- Montreal Canadiens: 24 — 1916, 1924, 1930, 1931, 1944, 1946, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1993
- Toronto Maple Leafs: 13 — 1918, 1922, 1932, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967
- Detroit Red Wings: 11 — 1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008
- Boston Bruins: 6 — 1929, 1939, 1941, 1970, 1972, 2011
- Chicago Blackhawks: 6 — 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010, 2013, 2015
Biggest Stanley Cup upsets
Hockey can be as thrilling as it gets in sports, especially in the playoffs when so much can happen. Here are three of the biggest upsets in Stanley Cup history.
- Los Angeles Kings (2012): The Kings entered the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs as the No. 8 seed of the Western Conference and advanced all the way to the final, where they defeated the New Jersey Devils in six games.
- New York Islanders (1980): The Islanders pulled off an incredible run in 1980, defeating several elite opponents on their way to a Stanley Cup title. New York became the first team to win the Stanley Cup by beating three 100-point teams as well as the top two teams in the regular season standings as a dynasty began.
- Pittsburgh Penguins (1991): Pittsburgh struggled to make deep runs in the postseason in the first few decades of the franchise, but that changed in 1991. The Penguins had the seventh-best record in the regular season. They advanced to the final by beating the Boston Bruins despite losing each of the first two games. Pittsburgh wound up defeating the Minnesota North Stars for its first Stanley Cup in franchise history..