NHL Playoff Betting Guide 2024 | LeoVegas

NHL Playoff Betting Guide

After 1,312 games, 8,984 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?

Table of Content:

We take a look at the regular season, how the NHL playoff odds stack up, and run through how it works to help you find your best NHL betting strategy.

How to Bet on NHL Playoffs

To bet on an NHL playoff series is quick and easy with LeoVegas Sport! Simply head to the Hockey Betting 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!


NHL Playoffs Betting Lines

Hockey offers a lot of fun bets for a game, series, or futures. As the playoffs approach, betting on a series becomes a very interesting thing to do, especially in the first round. There always seems to be a Cinderella team to come out of the East or the West each year, making it to the finals from the 7 or 8 seed. Florida last year comes to mind.

Same Game Parlays have become increasingly popular on a single game basis as it provides a way to juice up the odds within a single game. Picking a player to score a goal and parlaying that to the money line or puck line is a simple way to get the excitement up as it’s fun to ‘solve the puzzle’ of the game.

Picking the first goal scorer is obviously available at a lot higher odds as there are 22 players that aren’t the goaltender eligible on each team. It’s a fun one, but the sweat could be over soon if there’s a fast goal and your player possibly may not have even seen the ice yet in the game!

Picking a goal scorer on a team as an ‘anytime’ scorer is much more reasonable bet to expect to cash, and it allows you to have fun the whole game and watch the player’s shot each time he has a chance. If the player is a prolific goal scorer, you could bet the player to get @ or even 3 goals in a game. Odds increase the tougher you make it on the player.

Within a same game parlay, or individually, you can bet the puck line, which is usually -1.5, suggesting an empty net goal is a likely requirement. Or if you anticipate a blowout, you could opt for -2.5 (and the reverse if you choose an undergrad team) to get that higher payout.

Series betting lets you get action for a seven game series, so you’re in it until your team or the other team wins 4 and ends the series. If you jump in down a game, the odds increase, of course, as your team is in a deficit and battling uphill. But if they are the favourites, it’s a nice way to get better odds if they give up the first game and you jump on them to still come out on top in the seven game series.

A future bet can go beyond the series and you can predict a team to win the conference, or to win the finals and raise the cup.

NHL Regular Season

We are getting very close to the end of the season, with only a handful of games until we see the amped up version of hockey that the playoffs bring.

Teams atop the standings right now, and favourites to win the cup are Florida, Edmonton, Vancouver, Boston, and the New York Rangers. Look for them to stay hungry in the playoffs.

NHL Playoffs Schedule 2024

There’s still some work to be done to see what the matchups will be. It’s more difficult to figure out in advance as the NHL moved away in 2011 from the 1 vs 8 type playoff set up that had been in place prior. With more divisions, we see wild card teams now sneak in with late runs like the Nashville Predators have been having late in the season.

We do know that a few teams have clinched their spot, not that we know what spot, but in the playoffs so far we have some teams eliminated mathematically, including Chicago, San Jose, and Anaheim.

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. Below is rough schedule of playoffs

  • First Round Series - April 22nd
  • Second Round - TBC
  • Conference Finals - TBC
  • Stanley Cup Final - TBC

NHL Playoff Favourites

We still have to close out the season, but odds-wise we see the following teams as favourites for the cup:

  • NY Rangers +700
  • Colorado Avalanche +700
  • Edmonton Oilers +750
  • Vancouver Canucks +750
  • Carolina Hurricanes +750
  • Florida Panthers +750

*odds are subject to change.

Key Players to Watch in the NHL 2024 Playoffs

Hagel, Cernak, and Glendening (Tampa Bay Lightning) - Tampa Bay roll players are a good bet to chip in on the scoresheet with an aging Stamkos seeing the scoring spread out, but of course, Kucherov is pressing for Art Ross this season. Hagel and the boys could get you some better odds as they aren’t the likely ones to put it in the net.

Jason Robertson (Dallas Stars) - Robertson is a young and exciting player who is quite skilled around the net. He’s been a big part of the Dallas offense this year and last and is a great bet to score on any particular night. He should be an exciting player to watch in the playoffs.

Elias Pettersson (Vancouver Canucks) - Also known as “EP40” in Vancouver, Elias just signed a long term deal that will keep him in Vancouver for the next 8 years. He’ll be eager to show his worth in the playoffs, which is something he tacitly was threatening would keep him from signing a long term deal, that is, if the Canucks continued to be bottom dwellers. Well, a lot changes in a year and the Canucks are vying for the President’s Trophy. We should see an energized EP40 in the playoffs. He centres the first line and has had success this year regardless who ends up playing on his line.

Connor Bedard (Chicago Blackhawks) - We won’t get to see Connor Bedard in the playoffs this early in his career as the Blackhawks have already been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs this year.

Most Notable NHL Playoff Moments

New York Rangers' First Cup in 54 Years - In 1994, the New York Rangers, headed up by Mark Messier, brought the first cup to the Big Apple since 1950 when they defeated the Vancouver Canucks in 7 games and a thrilling 7th game that could have gone the other way, barring a shot off the crossbar late in the game that would have tied the game.

Games Requiring Five Overtimes - Unlike the regular season, where there’s an overtime 3 on 3 session for 5 minutes and if it isn’t settled by then there’s a shootout, the playoffs can be an absolute war of attrition, stamina, and wherewithal.

We play overtime in a full 20 minute, 5 on 5 period. It’s sudden death. Someone scores, the game is over. But history has lots of games that have gone well past midnight, some of the most exciting, and exhausting for player and fan, games ever played.

The U.S. Eastern teams always seem to be the ones that find their way into these games, at least historically. The Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, and New York Islanders seem to be outliers in this regard, with a rich history in these late night odyssey games.

Kevin Bieksa's Game-Winning Goal - This season Kevin Bieksa is back to Vancouver to have a night where he retires officially as a Canuck. A lot of the talk was around his most memorable goal and a memorable call of the game as he whiffed on the shot a bit and it knuckleballed low and in on the right hand side of the net along the ice.

Known in Vancouver as ‘the stanchion goal’, as the puck went off side glass and straight to Bieksa’s stick.

Montreal Canadiens Upsetting Top-Seeded Washington Capitals - As happens seemingly every year, a top seed loses to an underdog either through a goaltending clinic being put on at the perfect time, or a role player stepping up to get on a hot streak to be the difference maker in a game or series.

In 2010, this was the case with the Montreal Canadiens besting the Capitals 2-1 in a game seven where Jaoslav Halek inexplicably and unpredictably had one of those games.

Philadelphia Flyers' Comeback Against Boston Bruins - In that same year, 2010, the Flyers were down 3 games to 0. “One game at a time” is the old adage, and it’s hard to argue with that mindset. Teams can be overmatched, but not giving up and winning one at a time can get you all the way back. In 2010 the Flyers almost pulled off a four game late finish to beat the Bruins, but the Bruins ended up winning in game 7, something they wouldn’t have expected to have needed to be played 4 games earlier!

NHL Playoffs FAQ

How the NHL Playoffs Work?

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.

How many NHL teams go to the playoffs?

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.

What is the NHL playoff format for 2024?

The NHL play-offs are a 16-team occasion - 12 teams receiving a first-round bye - with the other teams entering as “Wildcards”. Postseason fixtures are arranged according to conference record. The team with the best record within the conference (one-seed) will play the Wild Card team, second-seed plays third-seed from their division, and so on.

How does NHL playoff seeding work?

As mentioned above, seeding is based on record. The team with the best regular season record in their respective division is given the one-seed. The other teams within the division that make the playoffs are then ordered by record to provide the other seedings.

How does the Wild Card work in the NHL?

The “Wild Cards” are the two additional teams from each conference that are added to the playoffs. To be added as a “Wild Card”, the teams must have the highest point total out of the remaining teams in the conference.

What are the betting odds for the Stanley Cup playoffs?

You can find out the latest odds on the Stanley Cup playoffs here

How long is the NHL playoff season?

The first round of the NHL playoffs are scheduled for April 17th. The playoffs will continue until the Stanley Cup playoffs which begin on June 8th and extend until June 18th if the final requires a seventh game.

When was the first Stanley Cup playoff game?

The first Stanley Cup game is traced back as far as 1893 - Montreal Amateur Athletic Association being crowned the winners. This year’s installment is scheduled to begin on June 8th.

Has any NHL team comeback from 3-0 in the finals?

In the Stanley Cup game, only one team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit. The Toronto Maple Leafs completed the ‘reverse sweep’ in 1942, becoming the only team to do it within a Championship Final. However, four teams overall have completed the 3-0 comeback in the playoffs.

Can you bet on NHL in Canada?

Absolutely, you can enjoy sports betting in Canada, including bets and wagers on NHL games.

How does the NHL playoff bracket work?

The NHL playoff bracket consists of the top three teams in each division, for a total of 12. The remaining four spots are filled by the next two highest placed finishers in each conference, based on regular season standings, no matter what their division.

How long is the Stanley Cup playoffs?

Starting in mid-April, the NHL playoffs continue to early or mid-June. This, of course, depends on the speed of each of the best of seven series within the playoffs.

Who gets home-ice in Stanley Cup Finals?

Home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals is awarded to the team that had the better regular season record.

Who gets home-ice in NHL playoffs?

Home ice advantage in the NHL playoffs, for both the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, is awarded in the same way. The team with the higher regular season record of the two is awarded home ice advantage and thus, gets to play in front of an incredibly lively home crowd..

How long does each player get with the Stanley Cup?

Every player of the winning Stanley Cup team gets to spend one full day, that’s 24 hours, with the Cup. Fun fact, the Hall of Fame tracks players and what they do with their Cup time, and it can vary from hometown parades to wild, wild nights that make use of every hour!.

What is the longest NHL playoff game?

The Red Winds vs Montreal Maroons NHL playoff game of 1936 is the longest in modern NHL history, clocking in at 176 minutes and 3 seconds, with six overtimes. This Stanley Cup semifinal after all of that action, ended in favour of the Red Wings, 1-0.

How old is the Stanley Cup?

The Stanley Cup was first awarded to the Montreal Hockey Club at the end of the 1892/93 season. Donated by a governor-general of Canada, Frederick Arthur, the Lord Stanley of Preston (of which its name is derived), the Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy that can be won by professional athletes here in North America.

Who has 13 Stanley Cups?

The Toronto Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup 13 times. As of 2024, they continue to go on record as the NHL team with the longest Stanley Cup drought, lasting 55 seasons and counting.

Which NHL team has lost the most Stanley Cups?

The Boston Bruins have the most Stanley Cup Final losses with 14. They've had a significant number of appearances, but have only managed to clinch the Stanley Cup six times.

What is the oldest NHL team without a Stanley Cup?

In the 2024 season, the NHL had 32 teams, 11 of which have yet to hoist the Stanley Cup. The honour of being the oldest franchise team that has yet to win a Stanley Cup is the Vancouver Canucks. Despite being established in 1970, their five decades in the league have been fruitless in terms of a Stanley Cup victory.

Who won 5 Stanley Cups in a row?

The Montreal Canadiens won five Stanley Cups in a row. Their victorious run started in 1956 and ran through to 1960, setting a record for consecutive NHL championships. C’est Bon!

How many Stanley Cups did Gretzky win?

The Great One, number 99, Wayne Gretzky won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1988.

What is the biggest loss in Stanley Cup history?

Both the biggest loss in Stanley Cup history is also the biggest win, depending on which team you side with. In the 1991 Stanley Cup, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Minnesota North Stars with a score of 8-0 during the Cup’s final sixth game, securing the series for the Penguins.

Who has won 4 Stanley Cups in a row?

The New York Islanders won the Stanley Cup four consecutive times, in 1980 to 1983.

Who is favoured to win the Stanley Cup in 2024?

Favourites for the 2024 Stanley Cup could see the New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes, or the Florida Panthers house the Cup. Recently, the Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche are pulling ahead of this pack, but there’s still many games and action ahead..

What is the most Stanley Cups won by a team in a row?

The Montreal Canadians hold the record for the most consecutive Stanley Cup wins, with their five in a row streak running 1956 to 1960.