Legal Stanley Cup Betting Sites
Betting on the odds and lines to win the Stanley Cup is one of the most historic and popular wagers you can make on the NHL.
The Stanley Cup is arguably the most prestigious trophy given to a champion in all of sports, having been first awarded in 1893 and holding the record as the world’s oldest trophy to be awarded to any major professional sports team – meaning wagers on the NHL championship series date back over a century.
For betting on both the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Finals, it is our goal to provide you with the best information for legally betting on the NHL and which club will lift the most iconic sports trophy in the world at the end of the pro hockey season.
Coronavirus Update 2021
The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs were in doubt for the 2019-20 NHL season, but the league resumed play late in the year, and the Tampa Bay Lightning (preseason favorites) won the title. You can already bet on the champion for the 2021 NHL season, though bettors should be aware that the season has been shortened to 56 games and that the Stanley Cup Playoffs start in the second week of May, with Game 7 of the Finals to be contested on July 15 (if necessary).
Are Online Sportsbooks for Stanley Cup Odds Legal in the United States?
Offshore: It is legal and safe to place bets on the Stanley Cup at any of the sports betting sites we review and recommend. US law only regulates sportsbooks operating inside the country, but any sportsbooks that operate outside America are legal and can accept wagers from people living in the United States.
Domestic: The legality of Stanley Cup betting within US borders is dependent on whether the state in question has legalized sports betting. Since the PASPA overturn in 2018, many states have started licensing local sports betting operations. But even so, domestic options are severely limited, and many states do not allow online sports wagering.
Best Sportsbook Offering
Stanley Cup Odds for USA Players
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If you're looking for a 5-Star USA-friendly sportsbook to place your Stanley Cup bets, then Bovada is by far the most reputable and popular operator online. Members can enjoy all types of legal USA hockey betting options, including parlays, straight bets, puck lines, round robins, first period lines, and so much more.
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Top Legal Stanley Cup Betting Sites for the USA
Stanley Cup Playoffs – NHL Format for Postseason and Finals
Before you bet on hockey and go all in on various Stanley Cup Playoff odds, you'll need to understand the league's postseason structure. In the NHL Playoffs held most years, the top eight teams from the Eastern Conference and the top eight teams from the Western Conference are seeded on a double-sided bracket.
The highest seed plays the lowest seed at the start, and each round is a best-of-seven series with the winner needing four wins to advance to the next round.
After two rounds, the two remaining teams in both the Eastern and Western Conference play in the NHL Conference Finals, and the two winners from the third round advance to the fourth and final round.
The final round, known as the Stanley Cup Finals, is the last best-of-seven played and determines the NHL champion for the season and which team will be allowed to touch and lift Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The NHL Playoffs represent the longest postseason of any of the major US professional sports, largely due to the fact that each series is a best-of-seven and there are usually very few games contested on back-to-back nights. Further, the NHL has among the most parity of any professional sports league, and the majority of series go to six or seven games. Typically, the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs last about two months.
2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Format
While the Stanley Cup Finals remain unchanged in terms of format for the 2021 NHL season, there are some differences in the playoffs. These have to do with league realignment, which has been employed due to streamlining travel amid ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
Instead of two conference championships and the typical brackets for the Eastern and Western Conferences, the 2021 NHL playoffs will be contested as a 16-game tournament.
Seeding will be based on overall record, with four teams from each division making the cut. Then, teams will be reseeded based on their total regular season points, so clubs in different traditional conferences will actually play one another before the Stanley Cup Final.
Current NHL Odds to Win the 2021 Stanley Cup
When betting on the NHL, one of the most common bets placed is who will win the Stanley Cup at the end of the season. Below are the current odds for the 2021 NHL Playoffs (via Bovada Sportsbook). These futures bets will be available all season long, and the sooner you place your wagers, the better your payout potential will be.
For individual game lines and player and team props, please visit your chosen sportsbook daily to see fresh odds and updates.
Betting on NHL Stanley Cup Odds – Futures Explained
Futures are one of the most common types of bets you hear about at sports news outlets, and teams are typically given odds to win the championship – in this case, the Stanley Cup – right after the previous seasons’ finals are over.
These betting lines won’t pay out until the next season is decided, but due to wagers being placed so far in advance, payouts will be that much better due to the difficulty of predicting how well an NHL team will fare before their season (and all its injuries, suspensions, and surprises) actually starts.
Predicting the winner of the Stanley Cup several months ahead of time is one of the most challenging tasks in the entirety of online sports betting.
So how can we do that?
To properly run down the best way to place a bet on a team's odds to lift the Cup, we need to look at the recent history of Stanley Cup events and examine the teams who made it to the finals.
Here, we’re looking for how many points in the standings a team accrued during the regular season since the format was changed in 2014.
Note: The aberrant 2020 season has been removed from this list, and the 2021 regular season will result in fewer points due the shortened campaign (56 games instead of 82, as usual).
2019: St. Louis Blues (99 pts) win series 4-3 against Boston Bruins (107)
2018: Washington Capitals (105 pts) win series 4-1 against Vegas Golden Knights (109 pts)
2017: Pittsburgh Penguins (111 pts) win series 4-2 against Nashville Predators (94 pts)
2016: Pittsburgh Penguins (104 pts) win series 4-2 against San Jose Sharks (98 pts)
2015: Chicago Blackhawks (102 pts) win series 4-2 against Tampa Bay Lightning (108 pts)
2014: Los Angeles Kings (100 pts) win series 4-1 against New York Rangers (96 pts)
Since 2014, the winner of the Stanley Cup has never had fewer than 99 points at the end of the regular season standings. Combining all the winners together gives us an average of 103.5 points earned in the regular season standings, which means the team you bet on to win it all should meet (or historically trend toward) both the minimum and average point totals.
While this shouldn’t completely determine your bet on which team will win the Stanley Cup, it should narrow down the field considerably since the winner must earn around 100 points in the regular season under the new format.
Until an NHL team wins the title with substantially fewer than 100 points, betting on a team you think will go over that amount is the safest bet – with 103.5 points being a good indicator of potential success.
Top 10 Stanley Cup Fun Facts – Did You Know?
- In total, there are currently three Stanley Cups on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame: The Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the Presentation Cup, and the corrected spelling trophy known as the Permanent Cup.
- The Stanley Cup of most commonly seen and used today is made of silver and nickel alloy, weighing in at 34.5 pounds along with being 35.25 inches tall.
- The Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup 24 times and have made the finals a total of 34 times – both more than any other NHL team. The Detroit Red Wings have won the trophy more than of any team based in the United States, winning 11 times in total.
- Since the 1914-1915 season, the Stanley Cup has been awarded every year except in 1919 due to the Spanish flu epidemic, and in 2005, due to the lockout in the NHL.
- The Stanley Cup is not owned by the NHL but has an agreement with two groups that own it and are known as the Canadian Trustees of the Cup. This group hires round-the-clock security to ensure the Stanley Cup is safe and these individuals are known as the “Keepers of the Cup.”
- Along with keeping the Stanley Cup safe, the Keepers of the Cup are to make sure no one touches the trophy after the winning team gives it back to the trustees. All members who work on the trophy to keep it polished and even the presenter of the trophy to the latest winning team must use gloves because of the tradition that only the winning team should be the first to touch the trophy.
- Since 1958, the NHL has used five silver rings or bands underneath the Stanley Cup to engrave the winning teams on the trophy. When a ring fills up, the oldest is take off the trophy and put into Lord Stanley’s Vault in the Hockey Hall of Fame, and a new blank ring is put on and filled with the names of future champions.
- Since becoming the de facto official trophy of the NHL in 1926, there have only been four engravers of the Stanley Cup. The current engraver sanctioned by the NHL is Louise St. Jacques.
- When a team wins the Stanley Cup, the team gets to keep the trophy for 100 days during the off-season and players, coaches, staff, and owners can spend time with it.
- Winners of the trophy have done some crazy things to the trophy over the years when they get a day or so with it and it’s known to have been used for drinking alcohol, baptizing a baby, eating spaghetti, soup, and ice cream, playing with an octopus, planting flowers, taking a shower, traveling the world, and much more we don’t know has been done to the bowl of the Stanley Cup.