Before we get to that, let’s take a gander at the current NHL futures betting odds for this upcoming championship. The online sportsbooks have pegged the following teams as the favorites to win it all:
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+600||+500|
|Vegas Golden Knights||+800||+700|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+1400||+1000|
|New York Islanders||+1600||+2000|
It’s no secret that the NHL has the most unpredictable playoffs of any major American sports league — and there’s no close second. Given that, we’re making three different Stanley Cup futures bets. Why? Well, to hedge ourselves against an upset for one. But two, the odds across the board are long enough that you can’t still turn a profit betting multiple teams (so long as one of them wins).
While there are many quality teams to wager on, we feel the next three are the best value for your betting dollar. Let us explain who and why:
NHL Betting Pick — Tampa Bay Lightning
This is the obvious betting pick, but it’s also a very warranted pick. The Lightning are the two-time reigning world champions. No one has three-peated as Stanley Cup winners since 1983 and it’s only been done five times in league history, but Tampa is good enough to do it — and cash your futures ticket along the way.
More than anything else, we’re wagering with Tampa because of their big-game experience. Like we said earlier, wild things happen in the NHL playoffs. For a team that doesn’t have a championship mettle, they can easily lose focus with one bad-timed goal allowed or loss. Not the Lightning, however, who have been there, done that the past two seasons.
And sure, Tampa did lose a few championship pieces over the offseason. Goners are Yanni Gourde (now in Seattle) and Tyler Johnson (Chicago), but the core of the team returns. Guys like Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Brayden Point are the reason for the back-to-back- titles and they’re unchanged.
So while Lightning does have a giant target on its back and history is against a three-peat possibility, we believe they’re worth a wager. “To be the man, you have to beat the man” the saying goes and no one’s beaten Tampa soundly in two years. Go ahead and bet the Lightning without hesitation.
Betting pick: Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL Betting Pick — Las Vegas Golden Knights
Since we picked one Eastern Conference team already, the next has to be on the west. Most believe that the western conference is a toss-up between the Knights and Avalanche. Us though, we're riding with Las Vegas!
The Knights have been in the title picture since its inaugural season in 2017, but keep falling short. However, they made sweeping changes in the offseason to change that. Gone is the goalie and the face of the franchise in Marc-Andre Fleury. He, plus other pieces, have been replaced by the likes of Evgenii Dadonov, Brett Howden, Mattias Janmark, and Nolan Patrick.
Las Vegas front office has delivered time and time again, and we're betting that happens once again here — this time, with a possible Stanley Cup title result. Among the Western teams, the Knights are the safest bet.
Betting pick: Las Vegas Golden Knights
NHL Sleeper Betting Pick — Florida Panthers
Notice in the above headline we said “sleeper”? Don’t overlook that. While we’re vouching for you to bet with Florida here, we’d also advise you to make this wager on the smaller side. Think of it more as a low-risk, high-reward choice — and at +1800 odds to win, the reward can be big even with a small stake.
The Panthers front office is swinging for the nets, evident by its offseason. They acquired two impact players in Sam Reinhart and Joe Thornton. The former scored 25 goals and dished 15 assists last season with Buffalo. The latter is sixth all-time in NHL history in games played. 42 years old or not, Thornton is a quality piece for depth, that can create a quick spark no matter how much or little he plays.
Beyond that, Florida returns most of the team that went 37-14-5 a year ago, before running into a buzzsaw in the Lightning in the first round. This Panthers team isn’t lacking talent, believe us.
And yes, we know, this franchise hasn’t won a single playoff series since 1996 — 25 long years ago! That’s why we’re calling them a “sleeper” bet and one you should tread lightly on.
Betting pick: Florida Panthers
How To Bet NHL Stanley Cup Futures?
If you're looking for 2022 Stanley Cup odds for all 32 teams, then visit one of the betting sites below. Lines are available across the board and since the season hasn't begun, these could be the best odds you'll get on contending teams before they "separate themselves from the pack" once play begins.
Beyond championship futures, you'll also find traditional NHL odds on spreads, over/under, moneyline, and even some props. Lines for preseason games are currently up, but that'll continue once the actual season kicks off in a few short days.
Using one of the below-betting sites can even score you free play — no matter if your bet is a winner or not. Hundreds to thousands of dollars are available in sign-up bonuses right now from these bookies. The bottom table has full details on what offers. To redeem your free money, just smash that "play now" button and complete the sign-up process on the respective site.