The Stanley Cup holds a historic relevance in North American sporting lore. The trophy, for the winner of the National Hockey League, was first awarded in 1893. This makes it the oldest existing piece of silverware to be presented to a pro sports team in the US and Canada.
This rich history attached to the trophy is also indicative of the NHL itself, which boasts passionate fans, historic rivalries, and classic and exciting games. And with sports betting continuing to expand, hockey has been part of that rise, proving to be a fun alternative for many sports bettors.
So, if you’re new to Stanley Cup betting or want to familiarize yourself with hockey betting, here’s a guide on how to bet on the Stanley Cup.
With online sports betting expected to come to New York soon, sportsbooks are watching the state closely. This is great for hockey fans who will be able to bet from the convenience of their desired locations instead of having to commute to the upstate casinos.
The following top sportsbooks have yet to launch in New York but are strong candidates to do so once online betting becomes available. They have a proven track record in many other states and could be great options for placing hockey bets or bets on other sports if they open in the state.
DraftKings Sportsbook launched in 2012 as a daily fantasy sports provider. After states began legalizing sports betting in 2018, DraftKings seized that opportunity. In August 2018, it launched its first online sportsbook in New Jersey and has gone on to open online sportsbooks in 10 other states.
It’s now an industry leader and has become a go-to option for many sports bettors. As such, you can expect a wide variety of Stanley Cup betting options.
MGM Resorts International, the hospitality giant, created its online betting platform called BetMGM in the summer of 2018. Its first online sportsbook went live in 2019 in the state of New Jersey, and it now operates in 10 states.
As a popular option in the states where it operates, BetMGM Sportsbook offers a variety of betting options on the Stanley Cup. These include common bet types such as the moneyline, totals and point spreads (puck line), as well as many props and futures bets.
FanDuel Sportsbook operates in almost all of the states with legal online gambling. It is also the most popular sportsbook in New York’s neighboring state, New Jersey. With its headquarters in New York, FanDuel is a strong candidate to launch a sportsbook within the state once online betting becomes legal.
With regard to hockey, FanDuel has solid options and occasional bonuses for the Stanley Cup playoffs, plus a slick live betting interface that optimizes the hockey live betting experience.
You may notice that odds for various NHL teams will fluctuate as the season progresses, or even during the playoffs. For example, a team may have odds of +1000 before the start of the season to reach the Stanley Cup Final, but as the season progresses, those odds may change to +3000.
This can happen for several reasons. One of the most common is that odds during the season can depend on a team’s performance. On the other hand, preseason odds may come from a team’s offseason activities, such as roster changes, and statistical predictions from sportsbooks.
If a team is struggling during the season, its odds to win the Stanley Cup will go up, while a team performing above expectations will see its Stanley Cup betting odds decrease. Things like injuries and player suspensions can also play a part in altering the odds.
Teams may also approach the playoffs with different tactics as opposed to the regular season. Therefore, once certain teams make it into the playoffs, oddsmakers take these tactical approaches into account, which may end up altering a team’s odds.
Live betting is a great option for bettors who want to wager as they watch the action. It also is for situations where you may be unable to place a pregame wager. Bettors may have an advantage in this scenario, as they are able to make more of a calculated bet simply because they have their eyes on the game.
NHL live betting is increasingly popular, and because of this, you can expect a smooth live betting experience at most online sportsbooks.
A lot of the pregame options will still be available for you to bet on, just with updated odds that are based on the game’s progression. Take, for example, the moneyline pregame odds below:
The New York Rangers come into the game as the favorites. However, after the game starts, they let in a goal and end the first period trailing 0-1. If you were to look at the live betting odds at that point, they may have shifted to something like this:
If you’re keeping an eye on the game and see that the Rangers are playing well enough and seem to still have a chance at winning, you can place a bet on them with the increased odds above, which will also increase your potential payout.
Odds for total goals (over/under line) and the puck line will also change as the game progresses in a similar way to the example above.
Futures betting is wagering on an event that will be decided in the long term rather than in the short term. The most common futures bet in the NHL is betting on the team that you think will win the Stanley Cup.
Odds for the winner of the Stanley Cup are released in the offseason; most sportsbooks offer such odds as soon as the draft takes place. Odds for the Stanley Cup range in value — the favorites may start at around +600, while odds for the least favored teams can be as high as +50000. Many sportsbooks also retain the option to bet as the season progresses; however, they update the odds to take into account a team’s performance during the season.
The other common futures bet is a wager on which player is going to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, which goes to the playoffs’ MVP.
As stated before, the Stanley Cup goes to the winner of the NHL playoffs.
Sixteen teams contest the playoffs in a tournament-style bracket format. Since the NHL is divided into four divisions — Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific — the three best teams in each division during the regular season directly qualify for the playoffs.
The other four slots go to each conference’s two highest-placed finishers that failed to make the top three in their division; i.e., the Western Conference (Central and Pacific) gets two teams, and the Eastern Conference (Atlantic and Metropolitan) gets two teams.
Once the playoffs are decided, the teams play one another in a bracketed best-of-seven elimination series, eventually leading up to the Stanley Cup Finals between the two remaining teams. The winner of that series wins the Stanley Cup.
New York is tied with California as the state with the most NHL teams, at three each. In New York, those teams are the Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders and New York Rangers.
The New York Islanders were founded in 1972, originally competing in the East Division. The team is based in the New York metropolitan area and plays its home games at the Nassau Coliseum, with a planned move to the newly built UBS Arena at the start of the 2021-22 season.
The team is most famous for winning four consecutive Stanley Cups from the 1979-80 season to the 1982-83 season. During that period, the team set multiple records; its 19 consecutive playoff series wins is something that has never been matched in any pro sport. Seven members from that dynasty were eventually inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The franchise, however, has experienced a lot of administrative problems since then and has never been able to match the heights of that early ’80s team.
The New York Rangers are New York’s oldest NHL franchise. The team was founded in 1926 and is one of the original six — the six franchises that competed in the NHL pre-expansion. Like the Islanders, the Rangers are also situated in the New York metropolitan area, but they play their home games at Madison Square Garden.
They were successful early on; three of their four Stanley Cup wins came before 1941, more specifically in the 1927-28, 1932-33 and 1939-40 seasons. They had some struggles from 1940-60, which limited the team’s playoff appearances in those years.
However, the Rangers have shown great improvement in recent years. They were the conference champions in the 2013-14 season and earned a spot in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. But they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in five games. They also won the Presidents’ Trophy in the following season, which goes to the team with the most points during the regular season.
The Buffalo Sabers were founded in 1970 and play their home games at the KeyBank Center, which has been their home ice since 1996.
They are the only New York NHL team to have never won the Stanley Cup, despite reaching the finals in 1975 and 1999. This makes the Sabers one of the two longest-running active NHL teams to have never won a Stanley Cup, tied with the Vancouver Canucks.
The following are some of the records and memorable moments that New York teams have achieved during their Stanley Cup runs:
Since a lot of the active teams were established later on after the expansion of the NHL, it’s no surprise that the three teams with the most Stanley Cup wins were part of the original six. Those three teams are the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. The table below outlines the years that the teams above claimed Lord Stanley’s chalice.
|Team||Stanley Cup Wins||Years|
|Montreal Canadiens||24||1916, 1924, 1930, 1931, 1944, 1946, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1993|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||13||1918, 1922, 1932, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967|
|Detroit Red Wings||11||1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2008|
Upsets are common in sports, so it’s no surprise to learn that the Stanley Cup has had its share of stunners over the years. The following are some of the famous occasions highlighting when David managed to topple Goliath on the ice rink.
As is evident, the Stanley Cup has a lot of great history and exciting games, two ingredients that make it perfect for sports bettors. Newer bettors can consider it not only an option to bet on but something to watch recreationally, even if they are not placing any wagers on the games.