2021 NHL Season Betting Preview & Stanley Cup Odds

Dan McDonald

The NHL season is about to finally get underway! After months of uncertainty surrounding when the league would restart their season, the puck is officially set to drop on Wednesday, January 13th.

The National Hockey League will be returning with a unique look for the 2021 season in an attempt to minimize the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as much as possible. The season will consist of 56 regular-season games and the league has been split up into four divisions: the North, East, Central, and West. Teams will only play games against their divisional opponents for the duration of the season. For the first time ever, all seven Canadian teams will be in the same division.

This will carry over to the postseason as the top four teams from each division will face each other in an interdivisional series in the first round. The winners of each series will then play the other winner from the same division until finally one team from each division will meet in a re-seeded tournament to determine which two teams will advance to the Stanley Cup Final.

Let’s dive into the futures odds for each team this season. Odds are via FanDuel.

Anaheim Ducks

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +7000
  • Odds to Win West Division +1800
  • Total Points: OU 51.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +230

The Anaheim Ducks will be playing their first game since March 11th, 2020 when they hit the ice to take on the Vegas Golden Knights on January 14th. With most of last year’s roster returning, the Ducks will be hoping to get better production from their defense and goaltending which allowed the most goals against in the Western Conference in 2019-2020.

The new addition Kevin Shattenkirk will be looking to do just that. The former Lightning defenseman, who’s coming off a Stanley Cup win, will bring experience and defensive prowess to a team that desperately needs it.

Arizona Coyotes

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +5000
  • Odds to Win West Division +1400
  • Total Points: OU 56.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +175

The Coyotes will once again look to relying on their goaltender Darcy Keumper to carry them this season as the Canadian was third in the NHL last season in save percentage. With Taylor Hall departing for Buffalo, Clayton Keller will have to take another step forward in his fourth season as a full time professional.

Boston Bruins

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +1400
  • Odds to Win East Division +250
  • Total Points: OU 73.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -290

The betting favorite to win the East Division will look to rebound after a disappointing Eastern Conference Semi-Final exit last year. Long-time captain Zdeno Chara left the Bruins in the offseason to sign with the Washington Capitals and David Burgeon has since been named the 20th captain in club history.

The Bruins will be without their top offensive player to begin the season as David Pastrnak is recovering from a hip injury. The 24-year old tied Alexander Ovechkin for the league lead in goals last season.

Buffalo Sabres

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +5500
  • Odds to Win East Division +1600
  • Total Points: OU 54.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +230

The Sabres will look to take a step forward this season and they may be in a primed position to do so. Free-agent acquisition Taylor Hall will join two of the best young players in the NHL in Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin as they try to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010-2011. If they aim to do break the longest active playoff drought in the league, they’ll need better play from their goaltending as they finished just 24th in save percentage last season.

Calgary Flames

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +3200
  • Odds to Win West Division +700
  • Total Points: OU 62.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -165

The Flames added a few key pieces to an already strong team this offseason, most notably signing goaltender Jakob Markstrom to a six-year contract. They also signed defenseman Christopher Tanev who, like Markstrom, is a former Vancouver Canuck.

They’ll need all the help they can get in their own zone this year as two of the best offensive players in hockey will be competing within their own division in Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews.

Carolina Hurricanes

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +1900
  • Odds to Win Central Division +400
  • Total Points: OU 71.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -380

One of the youngest teams in the league will look to take another step forward and try to make the NHL playoffs for a third straight season. The Hurricanes remained quiet in the offseason as they seem content to let their young talent grow.

23-year old Sebastian Aho scored 38 goals last season while 20-year old linemate Andrei Svechnikov tallied 61 points. The future is bright for the Hurricanes and the oddsmakers seem to think they’re a near-lock to find themselves in the postseason once again.

Chicago Blackhawks

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +6000
  • Odds to Win Central Division +1800
  • Total Points: OU 48.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +500

After losing goaltender Corey Crawford and forward Brandon Saad in the offseason, the Blackhawks announced to their fans that they’ll be giving some of their younger players more opportunities this season. In no uncertain terms, this means that the Blackhawks are officially rebuilding and their odds this season reflect that.

While it’ll be interesting to watch to development of their young players like Kirby Dach, don’t expect to see them in the top half of the Central Division standings at year’s end.

Colorado Avalanche

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +700
  • Odds to Win West Division +140
  • Total Points: OU 76.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -700

The betting favorite to win the Stanley Cup and an almost guaranteed lock to make the playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche are hoping this is their year to win it all. They may have added the final pieces to the puzzle this offseason when they acquired forward Brandon Saad and defenseman Devon Toews to give them some much-needed depth.

Expect Nathan Mackinnon to once again be in the Hart Trophy discussion at season’s end.

Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +3500
  • Odds to Win Central Division +850
  • Total Points: OU 63.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -125

The Blue Jackets were one of the best defensive teams last season, allowing just 187 goals against which was the second-fewest in the Eastern Conference. They’re hoping offseason signings Max Domi and Mikko Koivu will give them a much-needed boost in the offensive end to complement their fantastic defensive play.

Dallas Stars

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +2200
  • Odds to Win Central Division +490
  • Total Points: OU 68.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -180

The Stars will start their 2021 season with a sour taste in their mouth after losing to the Lightning in last year’s Stanley Cup final. Starting a new season won’t be made much easier by the fact that goaltender Ben Bishop and forward Tyler Seguin will miss a chunk of games due to injuries.

They’ll have plenty of chances to avenge their Stanley Cup loss as they find themselves in the same division as the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Detroit Red Wings

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +20000
  • Odds to Win Central Division +3700
  • Total Points: OU 42.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +800

At the very bottom of the odds list to win the Stanley Cup, you’ll find the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings have missed the playoffs the past four seasons and you can expect them to make it five straight in 2021. The team’s front office has made it clear that they’re rebuilding the team from the ground up and they have no plans to rush that process. They have enough prospects that you can see a potentially bright future for this team, but it’s still a couple of years away at least.

Edmonton Oilers

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +2000
  • Odds to Win North Division +460
  • Total Points: OU 65.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -165

The Oilers might have the two best players in the NHL right now in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but they don’t have much else. This proved evident when they got to the playoffs last season and they quickly found out that a two-player team can only take them so far.

Offseason acquisition Kyle Turris will hopefully provide support for their two all-star players, but they could miss their top defenseman in Oscar Klefbom for the entire season due to a shoulder injury.

Florida Panthers

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +4800
  • Odds to Win Central Division +900
  • Total Points: OU 60.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +125

The Florida Panthers broke the longest active playoff drought in the NHL last season, but it was short-lived after losing to the Islanders in a best-of-5 series. Adding former Stanley Cup winner Patrick Hornqvist to their lineup will hopefully give them the experience they need to make a deeper push in 2021.

Los Angeles Kings

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +7500
  • Odds to Win West Division +2400
  • Total Points: OU 48.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +380

It’s looking like it’s going to be a tough season for the California NHL teams and the LA Kings are certainly no exception to that. They’ll need their young players like Quinton Byfield and Alex Turcotte to make an immediate and significant impact if they want to return to the postseason for the first time in three years.

Minnesota Wild

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +5500
  • Odds to Win West Division +1400
  • Total Points: OU 57.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -105

One of the busier teams in the offseason, the Minnesota Wild will have a different look to them when the puck drops for the 2021 season. Longtime members of the time like Mikko Koivu, Eric Staal, and Devan Dubnyk are no longer with the team as the front office felt they needed to make significant changes if they want to make a deep playoff run this season.

Cam Talbot will be between the pipes for the Wild this year and new forwards Nick Boninio and Marcus Johansson will hopefully give the Wild the spark they need.

Montreal Canadiens

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +2600
  • Odds to Win North Division +460
  • Total Points: OU 67.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -210

One of the sports’ greatest rivalries will be renewed this season as a revamped Canadiens team will hope to challenge the Maple Leafs in this year’s North Division. By re-signing key players like Jeff Petry and Brandon Gallagher while also adding important pieces like Josh Anderson and Joel Edmundson, the Canadiens offseason can be considered a success. It doesn’t hurt that they have the fourth-youngest team in the NHL.

Nashville Predators

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +3300
  • Odds to Win Central Division +850
  • Total Points: OU 61.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -115

The Predators lost three of their top four goal scorers this offseason which means guys like Ryan Johanson and Matt Duchene will have to pick up their offensive productivity if they want to be a force to be reckoned with in 2021. The team will have to rely on their usual core of Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, and goaltender Pekka Rinne and hope they pick up some offensive production along the way.

New Jersey Devils

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +6000
  • Odds to Win East Division +2000
  • Total Points: OU 53.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +330

It’s already been a rough start to 2021 for the New Jersey Devils and they haven’t even played a game yet. Their top offseason acquisition, goaltender Corey Crawford, has left the team after just a few days at training camp for personal reasons with no indication of when or if he’ll return. They’ll lean on their young stars Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes as the Devils continue their rebuild. Don’t expect them to be in the postseason in 2021.

New York Islanders

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +2800
  • Odds to Win East Division +650
  • Total Points: OU 63.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: EVEN

The Islanders have made the playoffs in their first two seasons under head coach Barry Trotz and they’ll look to make the final step towards the Stanley Cup this season as they came up short against the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final last year. If they want to do just that they’ll need to find a solution to their contract dispute with their 2019-2020 top scorer, Mathew Barzal.

New York Rangers

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +2600
  • Odds to Win East Division +700
  • Total Points: OU 57.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +115

Don’t be surprised if this year is a coming out party for the young and talented New York Rangers. Igor Shesterkin, who looked fantastic in his twelve starts last year going 10-2 with a 9.32 save percentage, will look to be a mainstay between the pipes for the Rangers. The number one overall pick in the 2020 draft, Alexis Lafreniere, is good enough to make an immediate impact for New York and could be a fantastic offensive pairing alongside their top-scorer, Artemi Panarin.

Ottawa Senators

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +10000
  • Odds to Win North Division +4800
  • Total Points: OU 45.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +550

Much like the Detroit Red Wings, the Ottawa Senators have been very clear that they’re in the middle of a rebuild and they don’t expect success to come this season. Adding goaltender Matt Murray and forward Alex Galchenyuk will certainly help their cause, but this is a team that’s still a couple of years away from being a contender.

Philadelphia Flyers

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +1600
  • Odds to Win East Division +500
  • Total Points: OU 67.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -190

While not making any significant noise in the offseason, the Flyers may not have needed to do much in order to improve this season as they’ll get two key players in Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick who both missed a large majority of last season’s games. 22-year old goaltender Carter Hart will look to take another forward in his impressive young career.

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +1800
  • Odds to Win East Division +400
  • Total Points: OU 69.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -180

The Penguins’ offseason acquisition of Kasperi Kapanen might just be exactly what the doctor ordered for this team to make a run at their third Stanley Cup in the past six years. The front office will hope they made the right decision at goaltender as they signed Tristan Jerry to an extension while trading away Matt Murray to the Ottawa Senators.

San Jose Sharks

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +6000
  • Odds to Win West Division +2200
  • Total Points: OU 51.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: +230

The Sharks are hoping that the healthy return of Logan Couture, Thomas Hertl, and Erik Karlsson will be enough to give them more success than they had last season. Their top offseason acquisition, Devan Dubnyk, will hopefully give them much needed help between the pipes as the Sharks were at the bottom of the goals against category in the Western Conference last season.

St. Louis Blues

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +1800
  • Odds to Win West Division +550
  • Total Points: OU 71.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -270

The Blues lost their top defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to free agency in the offseason, but they grabbed a defenseman of their own to replace him in Torey Krug. The Blues may have to fight through a tough early stretch to the season as they’ll be without forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen until February at least.

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +950
  • Odds to Win Central Division +140
  • Total Points: OU 76.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -650

The defending Stanley Cup champions find themselves at the top of the odds list to win the Central Division but they’ll be without their top offensive player Nikita Kucherov as he recently opted for season-ending surgery. By not signing any big-name players in the offseason, the Lightning will rely on their veteran group including goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and captain Steven Stamkos in their bid to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.

Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +1100
  • Odds to Win North Division +140
  • Total Points: OU 71.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -490

The Maple Leafs needed to get help in their own end in a big way and they may have just done that by signing defense TJ Brodie to their lineup. They also added key veteran leadership in Joe Thornton and Wayne Simmonds in hopes that they’ll add some much-needed grit to their young team. Set as the betting favorite to win the North Division, anything other than a deep playoff run would be a major disappointment for this club.

Vancouver Canucks

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +4000
  • Odds to Win North Division +700
  • Total Points: OU 62.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -130

The Canucks were a pleasant surprise in the 2020 playoffs and they’ll look to continue off that success in 2021. After losing their starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom to the Flames, the Canucks went out and got Stanley Cup-winning goalie Braden Holtby. The Canucks trajectory seems to be a positive one as their core group of young talent will get another season to improve.

Vegas Golden Knights

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +850
  • Odds to Win West Division +175
  • Total Points: OU 75.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -490

The Golden Knights will look to battle it out with the Colorado Avalanche in the West Division this season. They landed the top free agent of the offseason in defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and managed to hold on to their core group of players. Having two number one goalies in Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury is never a bad problem to have.

Washington Capitals

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +2000
  • Odds to Win East Division +550
  • Total Points: OU 64.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: -170

While they still have the pieces to make another deep Stanley Cup run, the door is starting to close on an aging Capitals squad. They didn’t get any younger when they signed 38-year old goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and 43-year old defenseman Zdeno Chara to one-year contracts. Those who don’t move a team will make it when they’re building for the future. It’s a “win now” type of season for the Washington Capitals.

Winnipeg Jets

  • Odds to Win Stanley Cup +4800
  • Odds to Win Central Division +800
  • Total Points: OU 60.5
  • Odds to Make Playoffs: EVEN

The Jets are hoping that Paul Statsny, who they traded for in the offseason, will fill the hole at second-line center that was left by Bryan Little early last season. The Jets will once again rely on Vezina Trophy Connor Hellebuyck who led the NHL in shutouts last season with six. An ongoing issue between a disgruntled Patrick Laine will also need to be addressed at some point this season as trading the young forward will significantly hurt the Jets’ chances at a postseason run.

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