Stanley Cup odds: Hurricanes, Avalanche top betting market leading up to 2024 NHL playoffs

With the 2023-24 National Hockey League regular season set to conclude April 18, 23 of the NHL’s 32 teams remain in contention to win the Stanley Cup.

Eleven squads already have clinched postseason berths, leaving 12 teams to vie for the five spots left in the four-round, best-of-seven series spectacle that begins Saturday, April 20. Among those 12 are last year’s champions, the Vegas Golden Knights.

There also is a heated battle to win the Presidents’ Trophy, which goes to the team with the most points in the regular season. 

The Eastern Conference’s New York Rangers are the current front-runners with 110 points, three ahead of last years’ Presidents winner, Boston. The Dallas Stars, front-runners in the West, also have 107. Each of the three squads have four games remaining.

The reward to the winner of this trophy is the home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs. Let’s take a look at the current betting odds to win the 2024 Stanley Cup, along with recent movement in the betting market. 

Odds to win Stanley Cup 2024 

Here are the current odds to win the Stanley Cup at the top U.S. online sportsbooks:

More: NHL Odds, Betting Lines, Spreads and Moneylines | Best NHL Betting Promos & Bonuses – Hockey Betting Promotions

No guarantees in Stanley Cup betting 

But winning the Presidents’ Trophy has not been a ticket to playoff success the past decade.

The last trophy winner to win the league championship was the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013. Last year, Boston, which had a league-record 135 points, was ousted in the first round by a Florida Panthers team that had only 92 points.

But in rather good news for this year’s Bruins (+1200 FanDuel) and their fans, over the past six seasons three teams that failed to win the league championship the year they won Presidents’ Trophy responded the next season by hoisting the Cup — the Washington Capitals in 2018, Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 and Colorado Avalanche in 2022. Florida almost did it last year, reaching the Finals.

How important has home ice been for NHL playoff odds?

This season the winning percentage for teams stands at .531, with Colorado leading the way with a 29-8-1 record. But there also are seven teams with more victories on the road than at home.

In those 2023 playoffs, road teams were a startling 47-41. And in games that went overtime the visitors were 15-9.

Last season, Boston lost only four games at home in the regular season, yet it went 1-3 in TD Garden against Florida in that first-round ouster.

NHL betting trends: Home teams with a rest advantage down the stretch

Stanley Cup odds favorites and long shots

Just before the season started, the Carolina Hurricanes were listed as the betting choices at the majority of sports betting websites to win the Cup at +950, just ahead of Colorado and the Edmonton Oilers, who were available at +1000.

Not much has changed since, with the Hurricanes at +800 (Bet365) behind the goaltending of Pyotr Kochetkov (2.37 goals-against average), the Avalanche at +850 (Bet365) and the Oilers also at +850 (FanDuel).

Among early favorites on the October oddboards, only the New Jersey Devils have dropped off the map. They opened at +1100 and now are listed at +200000 (Bet365) to win it all and with only a 1% chance of making the playoffs, according to playoffstatus.com.

The conference-leading Rangers and Stars were both available at +900 at multiple sites as of April 8. Defending champion Vegas has odds of +1200 at a host of sites. The Knights currently have a firm grip on the final berth in the West.

Also, it will be hard for bettors to ignore the Toronto Maple Leafs at +1700 (BetRivers). They are spearheaded by the league’s top goal scorer in Auston Matthews with 64.

On the far outside looking in are the hard-charging New York Islanders, who have won four in a row and in the past five days have seen their Cup odds shorten from +17000 to +8000 (BetMGM).

And then there’s the Pittsburgh Penguins at +10000 (FanDuel) after being listed at +50000 only five days ago. They’ve also won four straight and stand one point out of the East’s playoff mix.

About the NHL playoffs

The league originally announced that the playoffs would begin April 22, a Monday. That would give teams playing on the final day of the regular season a three-day break before the postseason commenced. But the league apparently didn’t want to waste an opportunity to attract weekend TV viewers and moved the start up two days.

Thus, beware of wagering on teams that not only will be sweating out their final games but also playing on the season’s final day. In the first round, they could be short-changed on rest/prep time.

At least there are unlikely to be any back-to-back scheduling injustices. Last season there were no teams that played on consecutive days in the playoffs, and in the year prior there was one such instance.

Therefore, top goalies likely won’t need to be rested.

As late as the 1974 season, though, the league’s opening round saw the first four games played in a five-day window. And in the case of one of the series, teams played Game 3 on a Saturday night and Game 4 the next afternoon on national TV.

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