NHL season is upon us and BetRivers.com is proud to provide a wide variety of 2021 NHL odds, props, futures and player markets. Longtime broadcaster and gambling expert David Tuchman breaks down the 2021 NHL odds and provides some insight on the futures bets worth a wager.
First off, the facts. There will be four divisions and each team will only play 56 games.
If you’ve never watched hockey, you’re missing out – it’s a beautiful, fast, physical game that offers plenty of opportunities to bet.
2021 NHL ODDS: Division and Stanley Cup Futures Predictions
There are 31 teams and more of them have a chance to win than you’d think. Hockey is different in the sense that occasionally a goalie will get hot and a team will make a run out of nowhere. Three years ago, Vegas was an expansion team and they made the finals. Two years ago, the St. Louis Blues were in last place about half way through the season before eventually raising Lord Stanley’s Cup. Last season’s preseason favorite, Tampa Bay won the cup, but Dallas who wasn’t projected to be that good, made the finals.
One of the great things about betting on a long shot to win the Cup is that you don’t necessarily need them to win to make money. If they make a deep run, you can hedge and guarantee yourself a win. For example, a couple of friends of mine that lived in Vegas wanted to buy “Vegas Knights to win the Cup” betting slips just so they could frame it. Not in their wildest imagination did they ever think that ticket could be worth thousands. When the Knights made the finals, my friends hedged by betting on Washington and ensured themselves a nice payday.
A few teams that fit these criteria are:
Edmonton Oilers +2600 to win the Cup
New York Islanders +3000 to win the Cup
Vancouver Canucks +4000 to win the Cup
Minnesota Wild +4000 to win the Cup
Florida Panthers +4500 to win the Cup
San Jose Sharks +6500 to win the Cup
While I don’t think any of these teams will win the Cup, I do think all six of these teams could exceed their expectations and provide an opportunity to win money.
2021 NHL Odds: Stanley Cup Champion
Colorado Avalanche +650, Tampa Bay Lightning +750, Vegas Golden Knights +800, Toronto Maple Leafs +1100, Boston Bruins +1500, Philadelphia Flyers +1800, Pittsburgh Penguins +1800, Carolina Hurricanes +1800, St. Louis Blues +2000, Washington Capitals +2000, Dallas Stars +2500, Montreal Canadiens +2600, Edmonton Oilers +2600, New York Islanders +3000, Nashville Predators +3000, New York Rangers +3000
As you read these divisional previews, I will list any bets I am making. If i say “lean” I’m not betting on it, but that’s the direction I would bet if I had to.
2021 NHL ODDS: West Division Predictions
Colorado Avalanche (+160 to win): 76.5 points – Leaning UNDER
Vegas Golden Knights (+190): 75.5 – Betting UNDER
St. Louis Blues (+500): 70.5 points – The line is spot on.
Minnesota Wild (+1300): 60.5 points – Betting OVER
Arizona Coyotes (+1500): 56.5 points – Betting OVER
Anaheim Ducks (+1700): 53.5 Betting OVER
San Jose Sharks (+2000): 54.5 points – line is spot on.
Los Angeles Kings (+2500): 49.5 points leaning OVER
Colorado and Vegas are the creams of this division’s crop, and you could argue that these are the two best teams in the NHL. Either could easily win this division, but neither offers a compelling price.
The Blues won the Cup two years ago, but their goalie, Jordan Binnington wasn’t nearly the same goalie last year. Vladimir Tarasenko is a stud, but he’s got shoulder issues and is going to miss a lot of time. They also lost all-star defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo. I’m staying away.
Honestly, it’s a reach to suggest anyone besides Colorado or Vegas will win this division, but if you’re looking for a long shot, I’ve got two thoughts for you.
First up is Minnesota. Kevin Fiala is one of the more exciting young players in the league and really emerged in the 2nd half last season. Kiril Kiprozov is a rookie, but he’s already 23 and has been dominating the Russian professional leagues for the last couple of years. I expect him to hit the ground running, errr, ice skating. Minnesota plays a defensive brand of hockey. If they get good goaltending, maybe this team surprises. At +1300, it might be worth it.
My other long shot is a real long shot. The San Jose Sharks are only one season removed from a 100 point season. The wheels came off the tracks last season, but the talent is still there. The issue in San Jose is goaltending, but I’ll give you my 2 cents on goaltending. It’s a fickle position where most of the NHL players are capable of getting hot. San Jose brought in Devan Dubnyk, who wasn’t particularly good last season, but he’s been good before. At +2000, I like the value.
2021 NHL ODDS: East Division Predictions
Boston Bruins (+250): 71.5 points – Line is spot on
Philadelphia Flyers (+375): 67.5 points – Betting UNDER
Washington Capitals (+400): 66.5 points – Betting UNDER
Pittsburgh Penguins (+400): 67.5 points – Leaning UNDER
New York Rangers (+800): 61.5 points – Betting UNDER
New York Islanders (+1000): 61.5 points – Betting OVER
Buffalo Sabres (+2000): 54.5 points – Leaning OVER
New Jersey Devils (+2500): 52.5 points – Betting OVER
This division is absolutely stacked, and the three “bad” teams in this division should all be improved.
Boston won the President’s Cup last season because they had the most regular-season points. Washington won the Cup three years ago. Pittsburgh has issues on defense, but with Crosby leading this team, they are always dangerous. Philadelphia was the hottest team down the stretch last season.
The Islanders had a 17-game point streak last season and made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to Tampa Bay.
Again, this is a stacked division.
The Islanders are +1000 to win the division and while it won’t be an easy ride, this represents a nice amount of value. With Barry Trotz calling the shots, this hard-working, disciplined team has already shown what they are capable of in a short season.
2021 NHL ODDS: Central Division Predictions
Tampa Bay Lightning (+125): 74.5 points – Leaning UNDER
Carolina Hurricanes (+350): 71.5 points – Leaning UNDER
Dallas Stars (+550): 65.5 points – Line is spot on
Nashville Predators (+800): 63.5 points – Line is spot on
Columbus Blue Jackets (+900): 63.5 points – Line is spot on
Florida Panthers (+1000): 59.5 points – Betting OVER
Chicago Blackhawks (+2500): 49.5 points – Charts say it’s over, but they’ve already been hit with significant injuries so I am avoiding this one.
Detroit Red Wings (+5000): 43.5 points – Betting OVER
The Lightning enter the season fresh off their championship, and they have oodles of talent, but they’ve lost their best player, Nikita Kucherov, for the season to injury. They still have the talent to win, but at +125 I just don’t see the value.
Carolina Hurricanes are the darlings of the analytics world. They have the pieces in place to contend for the Cup. +350 to win the division is enticing especially considering how weak this division is.
Dallas is coming off a Cup Finals appearance. At +550, there’s certainly some value.
My long shot? The Florida Panthers at +1000. Offense hasn’t been this team’s issue for years. Aleksander Barkov and company can score with the best of them. Their issue has been keeping the puck out of their own goal. They signed two-time Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky in 2019 and he was disappointing in goal. That said, the talent is still there. I don’t think they win the division, but at +1000, they are at least intriguing.
2021 NHL ODDS: North Division Predictions
Toronto Maple Leafs (+125): 71.5 points – Leaning OVER
Montreal Canadians (+400): 66.5 points – Betting UNDER
Edmonton Oilers (+450): 65.5 points – Leaning UNDER
Calgary Flames (+650): 64.5 points – Line is spot on
Vancouver Canucks (+800): 61.5 points – Betting OVER
Winnipeg Jets (+1000): 60.5 points – Line is spot on
Ottawa Senators (+6000): 47.5 points – Leaning OVER
This is the all-Canadian division.
The Leafs are incredibly talented on offense, but continue to have their issues on defense. Their plan appears to be outscoring their opponents which is certainly fun to watch, but I’m not sure how effective it will be. Is this the year they dedicate themselves to playing in both ends of the ice? They are the favorites in this division, but at +125, I don’t see any value here.
Edmonton has one of the top players in the world and they also have the best player in the world. Anytime you have Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid on a team, there’s a chance your team is going to win. And win. And win. They brought in Tyson Barrie to shore up their defense a bit. They still have issues in goal, but at +450, this is a decent opportunity.
Calgary was a revelation in 2019, but fell off badly last season. The talent is still there and they brought in Jacob Markstrom to fix their issues in net. At +650, this is a bet I can get behind.
My favorite bet in this division is on the Vancouver Canucks. They have a ridiculous amount of young talent that is only getting better. Thatcher Demko was on fire in the playoff bubble last summer and if he can find that form again, this team will be extremely dangerous. Just in case, Vancouver brought in Braden Holtby to share the duties in goal. I genuinely think they might be the best team in this division and yet, you can get +800 on them to win it.