Stanley Cup Odds

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Stanley Cup Odds at Bodog Sportsbook

Did you know that hockey is the second most popular sport in the world? That’s if you include all forms of the sport – including field hockey, which is really big in South Asia and elsewhere. The game officially known as “ice hockey” (as in the International Ice Hockey Federation, or IIHF for short) is mostly limited to the northern countries, but their fans are arguably more passionate than anywhere else in the world.

You can really see that passion when the Stanley Cup playoffs roll around. The greatest trophy in pro sports is up for grabs every spring, and Bodog Sportsbook has NHL odds Stanley Cup  available throughout the year – even during the warm summer months.

So how do you get a piece of this action? Our latest guide will give you everything you need to get started. We’ll take a look at how the Stanley Cup was born, which teams and players have carved out a place in hockey history for themselves, and how easy it is for you to follow the NHL Cup odds at Bodog.

A Brief History of the Stanley Cup

Even before the NHL got their hands on the Stanley Cup, this silver chalice was emblematic of hockey greatness. Lord Stanley of Preston, the 16th Earl of Derby, was Canada’s Governor General in 1892 when he donated what was then known as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, which would be awarded to the nation’s top amateur hockey club.

The early Stanley Cup winners were decided through a combination of league play and challenges, occasionally leading to multiple champions crowned in a single calendar year. Professional teams ended up dominating this period and pushing the amateur clubs aside. Starting in 1913, the Cup was awarded exclusively to the winner of the series between the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA), the two major leagues at that time.

This arrangement didn’t last long. The NHA was soon replaced by the NHL, and the PCHA folded in 1924, eventually leading to the NHL taking over stewardship of the Cup in 1927 (and full control in 1947). In theory, teams from other leagues are still allowed to challenge for the Cup if the NHL isn’t active for any reason – but that has yet to take place, even during the 2004-05 lockout when no champion was crowned for the first time since the 1919 “Spanish flu” pandemic.

Top Teams and Famous Players

Hockey was especially popular in Quebec during the pioneer days, so it’s no coincidence that most of the early Stanley Cup champions hailed from Montreal. That includes the Montreal Canadiens (est. 1909), who won the first of their record 24 Cups in 1916, led by player-coach and team captain Newsy Lalonde.

The Canadiens used their regional advantage to scoop up most of the available French-Canadian talent of the time, which allowed them to remain at or near the top of the NHL standings for decades. The list is legendary, and almost endless: Maurice Richard, Henri Richard, Bernie Geoffrion, Jacques Plante, Jean Beliveau, Guy Lafleur, Patrick Roy – all with their names engraved multiple times on the Cup.

It also helped Montreal’s cause that there were only six teams in the NHL between 1942 and 1967. And it helped that one man, James Norris, had an ownership stake in three of the teams: the Detroit Red Wings, which were his main team, as well as the Chicago Black Hawks (now the Blackhawks) and the New York Rangers.

Because of this arrangement, Chicago and New York were basically used as farm teams for Detroit, leading to a three-way battle for hockey supremacy among the Red Wings, the Canadiens, and Montreal’s eternal enemies, the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs were on top for much of the 1940s and early 1960s, while the Red Wings enjoyed most of their success in the early 1950s before giving way to the great Canadiens dynasty that won five straight Cups between 1956 and 1960 – still a record today.

It’s also not a coincidence that Toronto won their last Stanley Cup in 1967. The NHL doubled in size the following season, and continued to expand as the years went by, eventually growing to the current 32 teams with the addition of the Seattle Kraken in 2021. Now it’s almost impossible for one team to hold onto the Cup for any length of time.

There have been some mini-dynasties along the way, though. Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers won four Stanley Cups in five years during the 1980s; Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby led the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back titles in the 1990s and 2010s. These are three of the very best players the sport has ever seen, and they’ve got the championship rings to prove it.

How to Bet on Hockey

If you are a fan of NFL betting and you browse the NHL odds to win the Stanley Cup at Bodog Sportsbook, you’ll often find several different ways you can bet on hockey. Let’s start with a typical single-game matchup, using Game 6 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final as our example:

Colorado Avalanche –1.5 (+200) –115 O 6 (+105)
Tampa Bay Lightning +1.5 (–240) –105 U 6 (–125)

This shows all three “straight” (aka “single”) bets that were on Bodog’s Stanley Cup Final odds board for this matchup: spread, moneyline, and total. The spread is also known as the puck line in hockey, and as usual, it was set at 1.5 goals, meaning the favoured Avalanche had to win by at least two goals to pay out. The Lightning – listed at the bottom, which is standard practice for home teams in hockey –needed only to avoid losing by two goals or more to do the same.

The payouts for the puck line are indicated by the number in parentheses, which is called the “vigorish” and is expressed using the American odds format (you can toggle to decimal or fractional odds at Bodog if you prefer). At +200 vigorish, Colorado would pay $200 for every $100 wagered, or $2 for every $1, while Tampa Bay at –240 would pay $100 for every $240 bet.

The second straight bet in our above example is the moneyline, and it works like the spread, except now you’re betting on who will win the game straight-up. The Avalanche were slight favorites, paying out $100 for every $115 wagered, while the Lightning would pay $100 for every $105.

Thirdly, we have the total, which has become one of the most popular choices on the NHL odds board. Will the teams combine to score Over (O) or Under (U) the posted total of goals, which was six in this case? If they went Over, the payout would be $105 for every $100 wagered; the Under would pay $100 for every $125. A combined score of exactly six goals would result in a push – all monies returned.

As it happened, the Avalanche won this game 2-1 to claim their first Stanley Cup since 2001. That means Tampa Bay beat the puck line at +1.5, Colorado won on the money line, and the Under cashed in on the total.

In addition to the three straight bets, you can also bet on NHL props (short for “proposition bets”), which have to do with things other than the outcome of the game itself – like whether a certain player will score. And of course, you can bet on hockey throughout the year by visiting Bodog’s NHL futures odds market, where each team is assigned odds to win Stanley Cup honours at the start of each offseason.

Stanley Cup Odds FAQ

Q: What happens if the game goes to overtime/shootout?

A: NHL games are deemed official after 55 minutes of play, and all wagers include any overtimes or shootouts as required. In the event of a shootout, the winning team is assigned one extra goal, regardless of how often they score during the shootout itself.

Q: What about my third-period wagers?

A: If you place a third-period bet before the game begins, that wager also includes any overtime play.

Q: They moved the game I’m betting on from one arena to another. What happens?

A: This is a rare event, but if it happens, your original bet stands – provided the home team remains the designated home team at the new venue.

Congratulations—You now have all of the basic information you need to start betting on your Stanley Cup favourites at Bodog Sportsbook. We’ve really just started scratching the surface, though; for more details on how to bet on NHL hockey, check out our FAQ and Help guides, and take a moment to browse through our growing archive of informative articles. The more you know, the more you’ll enjoy betting on hockey at Bodog – your No. 1 source for Stanley Cup odds.

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