2021 Stanley Cup Picks
After the first round of the NHL playoffs, we don't blame you if one of your futures bets is already toasting. During the opening round, five of the eight series ended with the lower seed prevailing. One of those defeated teams was the Maple Leafs, which before the postseason began, had the fourth-best odds at winning the Cup (oops!).
If you fall into this toasted group, we have a solution: hedge with another bet right now. We say right now because betting odds are still relatively modest mid-way through the second round. Once we're in the conference finals, with only four teams remaining, you'll get a lot less betting value.
What if the team you bet on to win the Stanley Cup remains in the thick of it, should you "let it ride" or hedge elsewhere, as well? You're about to find out.
Here are the three teams we think give you the best chance at cashing by the end of the playoffs. We've listed them in order from our most confident pick to least confident. You'll want to have money on one of them, at the very least. Let's get right into it:
Las Vegas Golden Knights
Right now, the Golden Knights are in an ABSOLUTE dogfight with the Avalanche. The series is tied 2-2, effectively making it a best-of-three from here on out. No teams out West have higher odds to win the Cup than Colorado and Las Vegas, which gives the series a de facto Western Conference title feel to it (sorry, Montreal!).
These two teams are as evenly matched as you can get. In these situations, you have to find the slightest of edges to separate them. For some, the Avalanche's home-ice advantage would qualify as that. For us, though? We think it's big-game experience.
Simply put, Las Vegas has experience in bunches. Colorado? Eh, the Avalanche have continuously failed to get over the proverbial hump, evident by its back-to-back seasons ending in a Game 7 loss in the second round — could we see deja vu in 2021?
On the flip side, a large chunk of the Golden Knights roster are holdovers from its Stanley Cup final run only three years ago. Heck, this postseason already, they had to survive a Game 7 war against Minnesota. Under these pressure-cooked conditions, we just have faith Las Vegas will gut it out somehow, someway.
Betting pick to make: Las Vegas
Tampa Bay Lightning
We don't need to remind you that the Lightning are the reigning champions. And as the saying goes, "to be the man, you have to beat the man." Welp, Tampa Bay is yet to be dethroned.
Not only that but there's a strong argument to be made that no team has appeared more dominant in the playoffs (thus far) than the Lightning. First, they disposed of the higher-seeded Panthers in six games. In round two, they're clinging to a 3-1 series lead over another higher seed, Hurricanes.
Tampa Bay's offense has keyed the dominance. No team has more goals this postseason than them (36 in 10 games) — three more than the next-best team. The momentum and confidence certainly seems to be on the Lightning's side, which is a bettor's dream.
Betting pick to make: Tampa Bay
We've said it once and we'll say it again, the Bruins are our "flyer" betting pick. They're not as talented as, say, the Golden Knights or Avalanche. They're not as red-hot as the Lightning. But damn it, this is the NHL playoffs where anything can happen, including a mini-miracle in Boston.
We think Boston's stout defense is capable of making the miracle happen. Of the remaining teams in the postseason, they've allowed the second-least goals (21 in 9 games).
The Bruins are currently deadlocked 2-2 with the Islanders. If they survive, we're confident they can slow down the aforementioned Lightning attack in the Eastern Conference finals.
Like we said earlier, we listed our three picks in order of confidence. Boston is obviously No. 3 in that group, but at these somewhat steep odds, we think the price is worth admission. The Bruins are the perfect insurance bet if you already have money on the likes of Las Vegas, Colorado, and Tampa.
Betting pick to make: Boston
So what's the move — let it ride or hedge your bet with one of our picks above? If you fall into the latter group, then you'll need an online bookmaker to lock in your updated bet(s). How about one of the sportsbooks below?
Not only do these betting sites have up-to-the-minute NHL Stanley Cup odds — from now until Cup time — but they also offer can't-beat promotions for new players. We're talking anywhere from $1000 to $2500 in free play with these promo offers.
Earning the sign-up bonus is a two-step process that takes only minutes. First, register an account at one of the below bookmakers. Two, deposit money into your account. Part of that deposit will be matched in free play by the site and voila, you have free money at your disposal! The bonus can be used immediately on the Stanley Cup or another sport of your choice.