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 its final date back over a century.
For wagering 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: NHL Playoffs Are Underway!
The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs were in doubt for the 2019-20 NHL season, but when the league resumed play from its four-month break due to COVID-19, it jumped right into an expanded playoff format rather than finishing out the remaining 10 or so games of its regular season. This year, 24 teams – 12 from each conference – made the NHL Playoffs, and the postseason is expected to be concluded with a new Stanley Cup champion no later than October 4, 2020. Right now, all the best legal betting sites have 2020 NHL Playoff lines for games, series, Conference champions, and the Stanley Cup winner!
Are Online Sportsbooks for Stanley Cup Odds Legal in the United States?
Offshore: It is legal to place a bet on the Stanley Cup any of the sports betting sites we review and can safely recommend. The law only prohibits sportsbooks from operating inside the country, but any that operate outside the country are legal and can accept wagers from people inside the United States.
Domestic: Stanley Cup betting on the soil of the United States is dependent on whether the state has legalized sports betting inside state lines. Since the PASPA repeal, some states have begun licensing sportsbooks as a result, but even so, the 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 are looking for a 5-Star USA-friendly sportsbook to place your Stanley Cup bets, then Bovada is by far the most reputable and popular. Players 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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- Excluded States: NV, NJ, DE, MD
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, the top eight teams from the Eastern Conference and the top eight teams from the Western Conference are seeded on each side of 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 that 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.
2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs Expanded Format
Because of the coronavirus delay, the NHL suspended its regular season on March 11, finally resuming play on August 1 with an extended playoffs format. Instead of the typical 16 teams, this year's playoffs included 24 teams – 12 from each conference.
Seeding was determined via the following protocol:
- The top four teams in each conference played in separate round robin tournaments to determine first-round seeding. Each of the four teams plays every other team, with the teams seeded according to their win totals (with ties broken by regular season standings).
- The eight remaining teams in each conference played in a so-called Qualifying Round, which featured best-of-five series with playoff OT rules (i.e. no ties).
- 2020 NHL Playoff games are all played in two "hub cities" – Edmonton, Alberta (Rogers Place), and Toronto, Ontario (Scotiabank Arena). Western Conference teams played in Alberta, while Eastern Conference teams played in Toronto.
After the Qualifying Round, the postseason took on its typical form with the 16-team NHL Playoffs that fans and bettors are used to, with four best-of-seven rounds seeded as normal. The Eastern Conference champion and the Western Conference champion will meet in the Stanley Cup Final.
Final NHL expanded playoff rankings for the 2019-20 season looked like this (with teams in bold receiving automatic bids while teams in italics participating in play-in qualifiers):
- Boston Bruins
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Washington Capitals
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Carolina Hurricanes
- New York Islanders
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Florida Panthers
- New York Rangers
- Montreal Canadiens
- St. Louis Blues
- Colorado Avalanche
- Vegas Golden Knights
- Dallas Stars
- Edmonton Oilers
- Nashville Predators
- Vancouver Canucks
- Calgary Flames
- Winnipeg Jets
- Minnesota Wild
- Arizona Coyotes
- Chicago Blackhawks
Final 2019-20 NHL Playoff Bracket
Following the Qualifiers, the league's Stanley Cup Playoffs finally took its more traditional shape:
- Philadelphia Flyers (1) vs. Montreal Canadiens (8)
- Tampa Bay Lightning (2) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (7)
- Washington Capitals (3) vs. New York Islanders (6)
- Boston Bruins (4) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (5)
- Vegas Golden Knights (1) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (8)
- Colorado Avalanche (2) vs. Arizona Coyotes (7)
- Dallas Stars (3) vs. Calgary Flames (6)
- St. Louis Blues (4) vs. Vancouver Canucks (5)
Current NHL Odds to Win the 2020 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.
However, now that the playoffs have begun, there are single-game lines and series prices to consider, while the aforesaid NHL futures have been put on ice. Below are the current odds for the 2019-20 NHL Playoffs (via Bovada Sportsbook).
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.
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.