The NHL successfully restarted the 2019/2020 season on Aug. 1 with the qualifying round for this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. The league decided to use Edmonton in the West and Toronto in the East as host cities for all the action. The goal is to keep players, coaches and other team personnel safe from COVID-19.
Things have gone as smooth as possible heading into the opening round of the playoffs. The best-of-seven matchups are set and the online sportsbooks have released their betting lines for a number of different betting options.
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Betting the NHL Playoffs: Individual Games
The recent qualifying round set the actual seeding for this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs in both the Eastern and Western Conference.
The Philadelphia Flyers earned the No. 1 seed in the East. They will face the No. 8 Montreal Canadiens in a best-of-seven opening round series. The Tampa Bay Lightning are the second seed with an opening round matchup against the No. 7 Columbus Blue Jackets.
The No. 3 Washington Capitals square off against the No. 6 New York Islanders and the No. 4 Boston Bruins face the No. 5 Carolina Hurricanes in the first round. It’s tough to find a sport handicapper not looking hard at these matchups.
Out West, the Vegas Golden Knights earned the No. 1 ranking and a first round date against the No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks. The No. 2 seed is the Colorado Avalanche and they will play the No. 7 Arizona Coyotes.
The No. 3 seed in the West is the Dallas Stars with the No. 6 Calgary Flames set as their opening round opponent. The final series in the West pits the No. 4 St. Louis Blues against the No. 5 Vancouver Canucks.
Since home ice advantage is not a factor in this year’s competition, the moneyline odds should remain tighter that usual for most of the games. The total lines are slightly lower for the eight Game 1 matchups at 5 ½ or lower. The third betting option for the actual games is the NHL puck line. These betting odds remain tight as well.
Betting the NHL Playoffs: Series Prices
Another popular betting option at top online sportsbooks is the series price odds for all eight opening round tilts. Philly is a -210 favorite against Montreal (+180) and Vegas is a heavy -310 favorite against Chicago (+260) as the top two seeds.
The closest showdown on the board in the opening round has Dallas set as a -125 favorite against Calgary (+105) on the series price.
Betting the NHL Playoffs: Series Props
Along with the series price odds, many online books will add prop betting options as well. This includes options to bet the actual outcome of each series and total games played.
You can also find some individual player props for every game played in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Betting the NHL Playoffs: Futures Odds
Looking further down the road, you can also bet on a full set of NHL futures leading tight up to the Stanley Cup Finals and 2020 NHL Championship. As expected, Philadelphia is the favorite to win the East at +275 followed by Boston and Tampa Bay at +375. Colorado (+240) and Vegas (+250) are neck-and-neck in the futures odds to win the West.
Those same five teams have the best betting odds to win this season’s Stanley Cup title as follows:
- Colorado +500
- Philadelphia +550
- Boston +600
- Vegas +650
- Tampa Bay +750