When are the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
The 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs schedule has not yet been released, but it will shortly after the regular season ends on April 13. There will be 16 teams - eight in each conference - competing in four, best-of-seven rounds. The top three finishers of both divisions and two wildcard teams make the playoffs. There are no first-round byes. Each round is a 2-2-1-1-1 format, meaning one team plays the first two games at home, and then the teams travel to the other city for the next two games. If necessary, the teams alternate home-ice advantage for the last three games.
When do the Stanley Cup Playoffs start?
Most likely, the start of the playoffs will be on April 15 or 16. There are four rounds, each best-of-seven games.
When are the Stanley Cup Finals?
Most likely, the Stanley Cup Finals will start in early June. Historically, the Stanley Cup Finals can last as long as two full weeks.
What is Futures Betting?
Stanley Cup futures betting means this: you are betting on the team you think will win the Stanley Cup, ahead of time. That can be right up to the day of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Stanley Cup futures betting usually is a bet with plus-odds, so the payouts are bigger if you win the bet, over more conventional, day-to-day bets. You can also make futures bets on division and conference winners.
🥇Boston Bruins +380
The Boston Bruins remain on track to break the league records for most points and wins by a team in a regular season, a feat currently shared by Detroit and Tampa Bay. Boston is one of the older teams in the league, but they have a lot of quality young players in depth roles.
📉 Colorado Avalanche +650
The defending Stanley Cup champion has struggled with injuries all season but should get their top players back in time for the playoffs. The Avs have a lot of talent and a Stanley Cup futures bet on them, at the current price, may be a smart buy.
📉 Carolina Hurricanes +850
Carolina is a young, fast, talented team. They are a worthy futures bet. The goaltending probably is the team's biggest question mark, but everything else is there to win.
Toronto Maple Leafs +900
The Maple Leafs haven't won a Stanley Cup since Lyndon B. Johnson was President. That was 1967. They have been very good all season, though, and seem to have a better defensive team than recent editions.
📈 Edmonton Oilers +1000
The Oilers are heating up at just the right time, and their futures odds line is on the rise. With impressive victories over divisional rivals like the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights, Edmonton is gaining momentum. The dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl continue to dominate on the ice, with both players racking up points and leading the team's offensive charge.
Demonstrating just how dramatically the Bruins fortunes have changed, here's a snapshot of how the odds for this season's race to the Cup has shifted over time. Note that lines opened last June 27 - the day after the Avalanche won last year's Final.
Which Team Has the Best Chance to End Canada's Stanley Cup Drought?
It's a choice between Edmonton and Toronto at this point. The bet here is Toronto. The Maple Leafs have a more balanced team than the Oilers, who have a lot of offense but big question marks on defense and in goal.
As of March 31, 2023, the top teams in each conference are Boston in the East and Vegas in the West. Lately Vegas and Dallas have been running neck and neck. Be careful of buying in on the Stars, though. They have an older team that has probably overachieved to this point. They are starting to have some problems in the second half. Don't be shocked if Colorado makes a big run to win the West in the final third of the regular season. If the Avs can stay healthy enough, that is.
The way the NHL structures its playoff format, the top two teams in the conference will play the lowest seeded wild card teams in the first round. Then, there will be an inter-division second-round matchup, followed by the final two remaining teams in the conference to the point of the conference finals. Then, the two remaining teams play for the Stanley Cup.
NHL Playoff Picture if Season Ended Today
- Select a Betting Site or App That Features the NHL - All the big sportsbooks have apps that are easy to use, so it's up to you to decide which ones you want to patronize. All the big sportsbooks offer daily odds on NHL games, along with futures bets and many others, such as awards, props and others.
- Sign up - Signing up for an account with the major sportsbook apps is easy to do. All that is needed is some perfunctory personal and banking information. The process usually takes only a few minutes.
- Review NHL Betting Lines and Odds & Place Your Bet - Always check the NHL betting lines for that night's game schedule. Check in on the latest information on injuries to a team and their schedule in general. Follow team reporters for the latest information on social media and team websites.
How to Read Hockey Odds & Bet on the NHL
When it comes to betting on hockey, there are three main bets: the moneyline, the goals total and the puck line.
The moneyline is a straight bet on who wins or loses, period. Goals total bets (over-under) are usually set from 5.5 goals to 6.5. Very rarely is it anything above or below that range. The puck line (win by two goals or more almost always) is the bet where the payouts are better on a successful wager. Keep in mind: many hockey games come down to a situation where the goalie is pulled for an extra attacker, by the team trailing by a goal. That often leads to an empty-net goal for the team ahead - and a successful puck line wine. Or, the team behind might tie it and send the game to overtime, in which case all puck line wagers go out the window. So, be judicious in puck line bets.
Stanley Cup FAQ
Right now, the Boston Bruins have the best betting odds to finish as Stanley Cup champions at +380.
The Montreal Canadiens are the team that has been crowned Stanley Cup champions the most. The franchise has won the Cup 24 times.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have gone 56 years without winning the Stanley Cup. They last won it in 1967.
The Colorado Avalanche is the current Stanley Cup champion.
The Stanley Cup is named after the former Canadian governor-general, Frederick Arthur Stanley. From 1884-86, he had the moniker of "Lord Stanley of Preston" in the Canadian-British colonies, and in 1892 he bequeathed a trophy to the country's best amateur hockey club. In 1909, it was awarded to professional teams in Canada and, in 1909 as part of the new National Hockey League, it was formally named the Stanley Cup.
All the major sportsbooks have well-run sites to bet on the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Adrian Dater writes about the NHL for gambling.com. Dater is a longtime NHL writer who spent 25 years at The Denver Post, including 20 as the beat writer for the Colorado Avalanche. Dater, the author of the best-selling hockey book "Blood Feud: Detroit Red Wings v. Colorado Avalanche, The Inside Story of Pro Sports' Best and Nastiest Rivalry of its Era," also was the lead NHL columnist with Bleacher Report from 2013-16 and was a regular contributor to Sports Illustrated from 2011-13. Dater has authored six other books.