The 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 and this year there is so much parity that almost any team has a “chance” to come out of the grind carrying the holy grail of hockey in June.
For hockey playoff betting, this can mean some very tough choices on choosing a Stanley Cup winner, but can also mean some great odds if you can narrow down your picks for the NHL playoffs.
So, if you are interested in betting on the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, here are some important things you need to know…let’s get you set up!
Where To Bet On The 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Online
There are a number of great sports books online and a number of poor ones as well. We only recommend the best, so here are a few where you can place bets on the NHL playoffs.
You should probably join more than 1 of the above top NHL betting sites. Throughout our 2018 Stanley Cup predictions we will list the best odds for each playoff winner we suggest at each of various NHL sportsbooks above, because it makes sense to get the biggest return for each of your bets.
How To Bet On The 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs
To start, you will need to choose a hockey betting site and make a deposit. Most of the top sportsbooks will offer an initial deposit bonus so you can make some extra bets “on the house” to get started which means greater odds of winning some of your bets. Make sure you take advantage by making the maximum deposit allowed.
Once you are signed up and have your account funded, you want to look for the “NHL Futures” to get to the Stanley Cup betting odds. This can sometimes be tricky to find, but trust us they are listed somewhere in the menu of each site. Now, odds can change at any time and can also be different at each NHL betting site, so keep this in mind and compare odds before making your bets. You want to get the best return for your winning bets.
2018 Stanley Cup Betting Favorites
Here are some of the teams (and their best odds) that we think are most likely to win the 2018 Stanley Cup.
The Lightning in our opinion are the favorite to win the 2018 Stanley Cup. The good news is they aren’t the Stanley Cup favorite at most NHL betting sites (the Nashville Predators are)…so you can grab some decent odds for the best team in the NHL playoffs.
Led by several top superstars, Tampa Bay is stacked. Most people recognize Steven Stamkos’s name, but this team is loaded from top to bottom with above average players on forward, defense and in net. Victor Hedman will likely win the Norris Trophy for best defenseman in the league and Andrei Vasilevskiy was the favorite to win the Vezina for best goaltender until just recently. Expect the Lightning to make a long Stanley Cup playoff run – they are our #1 prediction to win the Stanley Cup.
Pittsburgh Penguins (Intertops – 12 to 1)
Most NHL betting sites have the 2-time defending Stanley Cup champions at under 10-1 odds to win the NHL playoffs in 2018. At 12-1 currently at Intertops.eu, this is a really good value bet to make it 3 in a row.
The Penguins will always be in the mix as long as they have a healthy Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Some will argue that they are the best 2 players in the NHL and have the pedigree and championships to prove it.
We all know it takes hot goaltending to win, however, and Matt Murray will have another chance to prove that his rookie season and playoffs last year were no fluke. I have a hunch they will come out of the wide-open Metropolitan Division and once again be Stanley Cup contenders. This could be the best bet to win the Stanley Cup that you can make.
If you have ever watched NHL playoff hockey in Winnipeg you will know about the “white-out”…where all the fans dress in white, make a ton of noise and supercharge their team throughout the game. Well, this year the Winnipeg Jets have a lot more going for them than that…they actually have a stacked roster of skilled players led by sophomore Patrick Laine. Goaltending?...no problem with Connor Hellebucyk who will likely be in the nomination for the league’s top goalie. And the leader of the team isn’t even one of those names, but rather Mark Scheifele who is evolving into one of the league’s all-around best players.
You are getting very good odds here for the team that should win the Western Conference of the NHL and represent in the Stanley Cup Finals. They may not be the 2018 Stanley Cup favorites, but they are worth a shot betting on to win it all.
Best 2018 Stanley Cup Bets At Medium Odds
Like we said before, this year’s NHL playoffs are wide open in many ways. All it takes is for a goalie to get hot or a team to go on a hot streak and suddenly they are in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals battling for it all. There are a couple teams that we think you should bet to win the NHL playoffs because they do have a good chance and are currently at some really decent odds.
Earlier in the NHL season, the Toronto Maple Leafs were the favorite in terms of opening odds to win the 2018 Stanley Cup. Some NHL betting sites still value them as high 8 or 9 to 1, but luckily if you bet on hockey at multiple sites you can score much better odds.
Yes, the Leafs haven’t won a cup in 50 years…but they never really had the young talent to do so – blame it on mismanagement. Now with speedy skilled youngsters such as Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Morgan Rielly and an incredibly hungry fan base, they stand a shot this year and may be worth a bet to win the Stanley Cup.
If they can get some good goaltending and play a tight, low-scoring game, which their coach Mike Babcock is known for in the playoffs, this team has a chance to make it out of the Atlantic Division and might have some clear sailing into the Stanley Cup Finals.
Most hockey fans (including many “Caps” fans), have given up on thoughts of the Washington Capitals ever winning the Stanley Cup… That means THIS MAY BE THE YEAR! The poor Caps have had the right teams, the right coaches and the right players in recent seasons, yet always seem to choke trying to get out of their division – mostly because of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
With Alexander “The Great” Ovechkin leading the team, there is always a “chance” that he can get hot and lead the playoffs in scoring goals as he does almost every year in the regular season. There is always a “chance” that Braden Holtby can get hot and play in Vezina form in the playoffs rather than just in the regular season…or maybe the young up-and-coming Philipp Grubauer is the real thing and will steal the show in net this playoffs?
Regardless, you are getting great odds here at over 15-1 to bet on one of the division winners to win the cup…which is really all that matters in betting – picking the right team at the right time.
Best 2018 Stanley Cup Sleeper Picks at Longshot Odds
It is always fun to bet on an underdog! The great thing about the NHL playoffs is that even the long shots can go on a run and have a have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. This year we have a couple of teams that could upset the best teams and make it to the finals.
Los Angeles Kings (Intertops – 28 to 1)
The Kings always seem to make a late run and 2018 is no exception as they have quietly put together a decent season and made a great comeback to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. They are designed to be a playoff team that hits, grinds in the corners, and plays tough defense keeping pucks out of the net to win.
The crazy thing is, Los Angeles has a great team even though they rarely rank high in the standings during the regular season. Led by Jonathan Quick in net, who is one of the best goalies in the game on any single night, LA always seems to contend. Drew Doughty will likely be in the final ballot to win the Norris Trophy as best NHL defenseman and Anze Kopitar has had one of his best seasons with over 90 points leading the team in scoring. The Kings also have great depth and just got back their leading goal-scorer from last year, Jeff Carter, who is on fire.
At over 25-1, the Kings are a great sleeper pick to win the Stanley Cup. Take a shot here.
Taylor Hall. Taylor Hall. Taylor Hall. These are 3 reasons that the New Jersey Devils can win the Stanley Cup. This NHL superstar is on fire and has something to prove after the Edmonton Oilers (pre-season co-favorites to win the cup) traded him away to New Jersey to boost their defense. Too bad the Oilers didn’t remember that to win cups in Edmonton you have to score 8 goals a game (see the 1990’s). Taylor Hall may have just come out of nowhere to win the Hart Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player by almost single-handedly carrying the team into the playoffs.
Honestly, we are not sure if 1 player can carry a team on his shoulders all the way through the grind of winning 16 games and 4 rounds to win the cup, but the Devils are one of the hottest teams in hockey right now and usually that is good enough to get by the first round with an upset and maybe even become the best longshot bet to win the Stanley Cup in 2018. A $50 bet could win $2000 here.
Remember, check the odds regularly at each NHL betting site you join as they can change from day to day or hour to hour depending on who has won lately and which teams play each other. Here is a sample of the current betting odds at Bovada / Bodog and Intertops, the 2 NHL sports books we highly recommend.