NHL Playoff Odds

Live odds for 2021 NHL Playoff Games at PA online sportsbooks

After a long and grueling regular season, 16 teams participate in the NHL Playoffs. Every team needs 16 wins to reach their ultimate goal of winning the Stanley Cup. Shortened season or not, every NHL team that makes it that far has a reasonable shot at making waves in the playoffs. Look no further than the New York Islanders in 2020.

For the 2021 season, the NHL has realigned its divisions and opted for a 56-game schedule with only inter-divisional play. That changed how the early round of the playoffs will be matched up but each team still needs to win four best-of-seven series to hoist the Stanley Cup.

Here’s your guide to how the NHL playoffs work, which teams are favorites to make it deep, and how you can bet on every NHL playoff game and series right here in PA.

Stanley Cup and NHL playoff odds

The NHL Playoffs will begin in mid-May. Sixteen teams will compete for the right to call themselves champions. Below, you’ll find futures odds on teams aiming to make the playoffs and live odds for each playoff game once the playoffs begin.

Penguins playoff odds

The Pittsburgh Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. The majority of that core is still in place. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang are still amongst the best in their league at their positions. The last few Penguins seasons have ended with early playoff departures, so they will be looking to change that in 2021. Below, you’ll find the odds on the Penguins to win the Stanley Cup as well as their conference and division.

Flyers playoff odds

The Philadelphia Flyers made it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals last year, where they lost to the upstart New York Islanders. Goaltender Carter Hart should give the Flyers stability in the net, something they’ve long desired. Below, you’ll find up-to-the-minute odds on the Flyers to win the Stanley Cup as well as their division and conference.

How to bet on NHL playoffs in Pennsylvania 

Pennsylvania has legalized sports betting and its residents couldn’t be happier. Gone are the days of illegal bookies or sketchy offshore websites. Now, sports betting is live and widely available online. You can bet through your laptop, or on your phone through an app. Either way offers great convenience to get in on the action.

Stanley Cup betting through an app offers you the convenience of being able to bet no matter where you are within the state. If you’re on the train home from work, you can place a bet. If you’re at the game, you can place a bet right on your phone. You can watch the playoffs and bet, no matter where you are in the state.

How to register a new sportsbook account  

DraftKings Sportsbook app PAHere’s a step by step process on how to register an account and begin betting on sports in Pennsylvania:

  1. Browse this page for odds and offers that interest you. Most sportsbooks offer a signup bonus, promotion, or free bets. These are great to get you started in building your bankroll. Once you find an offer that appeals to you, click the link.
  2. Register for an account. Create a unique username, set a secure password, and provide any other necessary information such as your birthdate or your email address. If necessary, verify your identity.
  3. Download the app of the sportsbook you have chosen. Head over to the App Store on your iPhone or the Google Play store on your Android and find the app associated with the sportsbook you’ve registered for. This allows you to bet on the go anywhere in the state.
  4. Claim your free bets or bonuses. Make sure any promotion you’ve signed up with is credited to your account.
  5. Deposit. If you need to add money to your account, use any of the available funding methods to increase your bankroll within the sportsbook.
  6. Bet! Now you can browse through the odds and place your bet. Make sure to double-check that you’ve confirmed your bet when you place it!

How do the NHL playoffs work?

In 2020, the NHL played its postseason in two bubbles in Canada. They also had a play-in qualifying round for all teams seeded between 5 and 12 in each conference. This season, there will be no bubble and there will be no play-in round, but there will still be changes to the playoff format.

In a normal season, the league is split into two conferences with two divisions each. This year, there are no conferences.

Instead, the league has split its 31 teams into four divisions. The divisions will play between 8-10 games each against their division rivals. Teams will only play the teams in their division.

At the end of the regular season, the top four teams in each division will advance to the playoffs. The teams will be seeded based on the number of points they’ve accumulated during the regular season. The tiebreaker for teams with an equal number of games played and points is regulation time wins.

For the playoffs, the league will continue playing only inter-divisional matchups. The one seed in each division will play the four seed while the two seed will play the three seed. The higher seed will get the home-ice advantage. The two winners of these matchups will play each other. All playoff series will be best-of-seven series.

Once there is only one team left standing in each division, the NHL will re-seed the four remaining teams based on their point totals from the regular season. The same tiebreaker will apply. Home-ice advantage will go to the higher seeded team.

The best remaining team will play the worst remaining team, while the second and third seed will face-off against each other. The winners of the two matchups will play in the Stanley Cup Final.

Types of playoffs/Stanley Cup bets

NHL playoff game

The playoffs are the best part of the season for any sport, and that rings true in hockey as well. Every night will feature intense matchups between rival teams as they try and stave off elimination and advance. This means the betting action will also be intense, with each game having so much impact. Here are some ways to get involved in Stanley Cup playoff betting.

  • Futures: Future bets are bets made on future events. You can theoretically bet on the Stanley Cup before the regular season has even begun. Futures odds are posted in the offseason, and they are constantly adjusted based on how teams are performing and any big injuries or player transactions. If you have a good feeling about a team, betting them in the futures market can lead to a huge payday.
  • Individual game bets: Just because it’s a playoff game does not mean the basic betting strategy of hockey changes. There are still three main markets: moneyline, puck-line, and total. Moneyline betting is simple: just pick the winner. The odds are set based on perceived probability. Puck-line betting is the equivalent of spread betting in other sports, except the spread is almost always 1.5. Total betting speaks for itself. You bet whether the teams will combine to score over or under the number of listed goals.
  • Series bets: If you don’t want to deal with the ups-and-downs of betting every game individually, you can make a series bet. With a series bet, you win as long as you bet on the correct team to advance. It doesn’t matter if it took 7 games or if they swept their opponent.
  • Live betting: Live betting has taken the sports betting world by storm, and that also applies to the NHL playoffs. If the underdog scores an early goal, but you still think the favorite will win the game, you can bet their moneyline at better odds than they were pre-game. If you miss the opening face-off, it’s not too late to get involved with live betting.

You can find out more about these types of bets and others at our NHL betting page.

Biggest factors for playoff betting

  1. Home-ice advantage makes an impact, but that impact is already accounted for in the Stanley Cup odds. Sure, sleeping in your bed is nice, and playing in front of your hometown fans can provide energy, but don’t overvalue home-ice advantage. Road teams win games in the playoffs all the time.
  2. Handicap how each goaltender is playing. Playoffs are typically lower scoring games with a lot of tight defense and good checking. If one goalie is playing light’s out, his team will feed off that energy, and the other team might start feeling the pressure. On the other side, if a goalie is struggling, he can quickly zap the life out of his team.
  3. Coaching matters in the playoffs. Every line matchup becomes more important as teams try to find advantages. If one team has a rookie head coach who is learning on the job, they might not be able to handle adversity. If teams are even, looking at the coaching match-up can help you figure out who is going to win the game.

Back-to-back Stanley Cup champions

Winning one Stanley Cup is already challenging enough, but winning multiple Stanley Cups in a row is a tremendous accomplishment. Here’s a list of teams who have won multiple Cups in a row since the 1967 NHL expansion:

Seasons WonTeam
1968, 1969Montreal Canadiens
1974, 1975Philadelphia Flyers
1976, 1977, 1978, 1979Montreal Canadiens
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983New York Islanders
1984, 1985Edmonton Oilers
1987, 1988Edmonton Oilers
1991, 1992Pittsburgh Penguins
1997, 1998Detroit Red Wings
2016, 2017Pittsburgh Penguins

What is the lowest seed to ever win the Stanley Cup? 

The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup as an 8th seed in 2012. As the last team to qualify from the Western Conference, the Kings eliminated the 1, 2, and 3 seeds in their conference.

They beat the Western Conference Champion and Presidents’ Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks in five games in the first round. The Kings then swept the two seed, St. Louis in the Conference semi-final. In the Conference Final, Los Angeles made quick work of the third seed, Phoenix Coyotes, eliminating them in five games.

In the Stanley Cup Final, Los Angeles completed the improbable run by beating the New Jersey Devils in six games.

How to stream/watch NHL playoffs in Pennsylvania

The NHL playoffs are available locally in the first round. If the Flyers make the playoffs, NBC Sports Philadelphia will carry the games for the first round. The same thing applies to the Penguins with AT&T SportsNet. You can watch those games by streaming them through either the NBC Sports App or the AT&T SportsNet app. You will need to sign in with cable credentials.

After the first round of the playoffs, the remaining rounds are broadcast nationally on the NBC family of networks. Games are broadcast on NBC, NBC Sports Network, and USA Network. You can stream those games through the NBC Sports App and Peacock App.

Past 10 years of Stanley Cup results

Here are the results of the Stanley Cup Final over the past 10 seasons:

YearWinnerLoserSeries Score
2019-20Tampa Bay LightningDallas Stars4-2
2018-19St. Louis BluesBoston Bruins4-3
2017-18Washington CapitalsVegas Golden Knights4-1
2016-17Pittsburgh PenguinsNashville Predators4-2
2015-16Pittsburgh PenguinsSan Jose Sharks4-2
2014-15Chicago BlackhawksTampa Bay Lightning4-2
2013-14Los Angeles KingsNew York Rangers4-1
2012-13Chicago BlackhawksBoston Bruins4-2
2011-12Los Angeles KingsNew Jersey Devils4-2
2010-11Boston BruinsVancouver Canucks4-3

Biggest NHL Playoffs upsets

  1. Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers (1982): The Oilers were huge favorites as they had 48 more points than the Kings during the regular season. The Oilers had players like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, and Grant Fuhr. The opening round series was a best-of-five. Despite winning just 5 of their 40 road games, the Kings won Game 1 in Edmonton by a score of 10-8. In Game 3, the Oilers took a 5-0 lead into the third period. They were openly mocking the Kings. Los Angeles scored five in the third period to force overtime where they won the game. Edmonton won Game 4, but the Kings were not going to quit as they took Game 5 in Edmonton. This is widely known as the “Miracle on Manchester.”
  2. Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (2019): The Tampa Bay Lightning had a record-setting regular season, losing just 16 times in regulation during the team’s 82 games. Columbus on the other hand had just clawed its way into the final wild-card spot and were relieved just to make the postseason. However, the Blue Jackets did the dominating as they frustrated the highly talented Lightning and pulled off not just an improbable win, but also a sweep.
  3. Edmonton Oilers vs Detroit Red Wings (2006): The Detroit Red Wings were a mini-dynasty at this point, having won multiple Stanley Cups and making many deep playoff runs. They were prohibitive favorites against the 8th seed Oilers due to the talent on their team. Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Steve Yzerman, and Brendan Shanahan were all future Hall of Famers in Detroit’s lineup. Edmonton didn’t care as they eliminated the stacked Red Wings in six games thanks to a great goaltending performance from Dwayne Roloson.
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