Each spring, the top team from each conference in the National Hockey League competes for the chance to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup. The Stanley Cup is the oldest trophy in American professional sports and was given out for the first time in 1893. The Stanley Cup Finals are a best-of-seven series, and the team with the most regular-season points has home-ice advantage.
Betting on Hockey is gaining popularity in the United States, and with that popularity comes a bunch of ways to bet on the action on the ice. Winning a Stanley Cup is considered one of the hardest accomplishments in professional sports, and winning money on hockey isn’t always the easiest thing to do either.
The Montreal Hockey Club was the winner of the first Stanley Cup in 1893, and the Canadiens franchise leads the entire NHL with 24 championships. The best-of-seven format dates back to 1939, but the NHL featured just seven teams at that time.
The current playoff format was adopted prior to the 1982 season, putting the winner of each conference against each other in the Stanley Cup Finals. Original-six NHL teams have traditionally dominated the Stanley Cup Finals, racking up 60 NHL Championships. Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky holds the record with 10 assists and 13 points in the 1988 Stanley Cup Finals.
Ways to Bet on Stanley Cup Finals
There are three major ways to bet on the Stanley Cup Finals: Award Winner, Series Winner, and the game itself. Some sportsbooks might offer prop bets surrounding the Stanley Cup Finals, but let’s stick to the three main ways.
Conn Smythe Award Winner: At the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final each season, the NHL hands out the Conn Smythe Award. This award is given to the Most Valuable Player of the entire NHL Playoffs, but usually the winner comes from a participant in the Finals. This is more of a “Future” type of bet, and the top players will have odds surrounding them leading up to the start of the Stanley Cup Finals. Below is an example of what this might look like:
- Alexander Ovechkin +125
- Patrick Kane +200
- Sidney Crosby +250
- Nikita Kucherov +500
These odds will change throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but there is a chance of making good money if you choose the right player.
Series Winner: You can place a bet before the season even begins on the winner of the Stanley Cup Finals. The odds for each team are constantly changing throughout the season and will continue to be updated until the puck drops on game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. Since playoff hockey is wildly unpredictable, it might be wise to place a bet on a “longshot” growing in power by the middle of the season and hope for the best.
Each Game Betting: The most bets surrounding the Stanley Cup Finals take place on the games themselves. For each game, sportsbooks will set the odds on the winner for that night, and they will also set an over/under for total goals scored. Below is an example of each bet:
Stanley Cup Finals Game 1:
- Washington Capitals -140
- Vegas Golden Knights +120
Taking the Golden Knights would provide more of a return for your bet in this case, but you can still win money by taking the favorite.
The over/under bets in hockey look a little bit different than other sports, but they work the same way. Essentially you are betting whether the final score will be more or less than the odds that are given. Here is an example:
Stanley Cup Finals Game 1:
- Over/Under 5.5 Goals +100
- Most of the over/under odds will be around +/- 105
Top Things to Look For in a Sportsbook to bet on the Stanley Cup
Finding the right sportsbook isn’t always an easy task, but it is important to find one that you are comfortable with. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a bookmaker to bet with on the Stanley Cup.
Mobile Betting Option: I don’t know about you, but I don’t always have access to a desktop or laptop computer. Finding a sportsbook that has a fully functioning mobile app is becoming more and more critical, and also more popular. Pulling out your phone to make a bet is a lot easier than logging on to a computer.
Live Betting: This feature goes along with mobile betting, and it is becoming more and more popular. Find a sportsbook that has live betting options to be able to give you ways to bet while watching the games. If you have never made a “live bet,” give it a try and see what you’ve been missing.
Deposit Bonuses: Almost all sportsbook offer some sort of deposit bonus, but some are much more valuable than others. This is really up to your own personal needs or preferences, but be sure that you are getting a nice “bonus” for your money. Extra money means more chances to win on betting.
Cheaper Lines: Finding a sportsbook that offers cheaper lines is not always easy to do, but it can be worth it in the long run. Some sportsbook will offer lines of -105 as opposed to -110, making a winning bet worth more. Look at our reviews to find a sportsbook that offer the best odds.
Stanley Cup Finals Betting Tips and Strategies
Betting on hockey is one of the toughest things to bet on in sports.
Hockey games are usually extremely tight contests, and a lucky bounce here or there can decide the winner. The top two hockey teams in the world are on the ice in the Stanley Cup Finals, making the difference between the two teams even smaller.
In our opinion, the best way to bet on the Stanley Cup Finals are with the “Future” betting options. Place a bet on the winner of the Conn Smythe Award and put some money down on a Stanley Cup Champion when the playoff field is set. If your “future” bets flame out, then focus on the games, but don’t be surprised when a deflection decides your fate.