After 1,312 games, 8,252 goals, and a ton of playoff chasing drama - we finally have the schedule for the final sprint to the Stanley Cup. There are so many questions to answer! Can the Tampa Bay Lightning make it three on the bounce to become the first team since the New York Islanders in the early 80s to achieve this feat? Can the Florida Panthers convert a hugely promising regular season into a maiden Stanley Cup title? Will the Toronto Maple Leafs end a 54-year long drought that extends to the 1966/67 season?
We take a look at the upcoming season, how the NHL playoff odds stack up, and run through how it works to help you find your best NHL betting strategy.
Before you start searching for NHL playoff odds to get your best bets on, let’s take you through the need-to-know talking points from the regular season. Who were the best franchises? Which teams stand an outside chance at the NHL betting lines? Does regular season form translate to the postseason?
We’ll go into all that and more in our NHL playoff betting preview below:
Front Runners: The Carolina Hurricanes have been in awesome form all season - with a .707% record and the highest goal scoring record in the division. They finished the season at a canter - winning six on the trot.
The Chasing Pack: The New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals filling out the remaining playoff positions.
Front Runners: Is this the year we see the Florida Panthers finally lift the Stanley Cup for the first time in their 29-year history? They have been in scintillating form all year - scoring the most goals of any team in any conference.
The Chasing Pack: The Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Boston Bruins filling out the remaining playoff positions.
Front Runners: The Colorado Avalanche finally have a clean bill of health after a season wrought with injuries - and that should spell trouble for their rivals. They have an awesome offense and go into the playoffs as the current NHL betting favourites.
The Chasing Pack: The Minnesota Wild, St Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, and Nashville Predators join them in the playoffs.
Front Runners: The Calgary Flames are searching for their first title since 1989, and confidence is high after winning the Pacific division by 11 points!
The Chasing Pack: The Edmonton Oilers and LA Kings are the final two sides to make the playoffs this year.
A total of 16 teams make the playoffs, with the top-placed franchise of every division going against the wild card teams in the first round, with similar seedings working for second-placed teams.
The teams that finish first in their respective conferences will each play the number two wild-card team, while the other division winner faces the number one wild-card team. The teams that are seeded third and fourth in their division will play each other.
Another reseeding takes place in the conference finals - the final contests before deciding the teams that qualify for the Stanley Cup.
The NHL playoffs bracket looks like this:
Colorado Avalanche vs Nashville Predators
St Louis Bluees vs Minnesota Wild
Calgary Flames vs Dallas Stars
Edmonton Oilers vs Los Angeles Kings
Florida Panthers vs Washington Capitals
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay Lightning
Carolina Hurricanes vs Boston Bruins
New York Rangers vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Looking to plan your NHL playoff bracket betting approach? You can piece together a rough NHL betting schedule below. The full schedule is not out - we must wait until the first round games have finished before we get a good idea of which teams will be facing each other in the finals.
First Round Series - May 2nd - May 15th
Second Round - TBC
Conference Finals - TBC
Stanley Cup Final - TBC
There are several ways in which to maximize the enjoyment from your NHL playoff betting schedule.
Whether it be NHL playoff series betting lines or in-game markets such as total goals, player points, and player shots, there are thousands of betting opportunities both pre-match and in-play with LeoVegas.
Here are some examples:
Match Winner - As simple as it gets. Simply place a bet on which franchise you think will win.
Total Goals - Looking for a goal-fest? You can cash in on the action by backing how many goals you think will be scored in a single game!
Goal Scorer - Is there a hot stick on the roster? Back a player you think will score! Fancy mixing it up? Back the player to score first, any time, or multiple times!
Player Shots - Which player likes to try their luck? Back the ambitious puck-bashers with LeoVegas!
To bet on an NHL playoff series is quick and easy with LeoVegas Sport! Simply head to the Ice Hockey page via the dynamic search tool function and find the match-up that takes your eye.
Click into the fixture, whether it be on your mobile phone or desktop device, and scroll through hundreds of markets. Click on the market to add it into your betslip and select your stake.
Place the bet and cross those fingers!
Needing an NHL betting nudge? Take a look at our top three NHL betting tips:
A team doesn’t get a goal differential of +94 in the NHL without being a serious unit. A price of 3.0 represents great value for the Panthers to win the Eastern Conference, given the form they have shown throughout the season.
It’s a long shot, but we love a story here at LeoVegas and I can see the Tampa Bay Lightning making it a three-peat! They boast a great amount of depth to their roster - added to in spades by the trade of Nick Paul and Brandon Hagel - a world class goaltender in Andrei Vasilevskiy who boasts the fourth-best career save percentage of all time at .924, and championship-winning experience!
Who is going to be the player that stands out in the NHL Playoffs, and why is it Auston Matthews?
There is an elite level to his game this season that is surpassing the high standards he sets himself. He bagged no fewer than 60 goals during the regular season and will hope he can lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to unlikely glory!
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