The 2021 NHL season was not completely normal, but the league was able to make it through. Now that the playoffs have started, it’s time to look back at the 2021 NHL season with a betting focus.
NHL futures betting is extremely popular, but sometimes the oddsmakers are way wrong in predictions. Other times, the top teams are easy to predict, but making an early bet provides some value.
Here is a closer look at some opening futures betting lines and how the season affected those odds.
Avalanche Still on Top of the 2021 NHL Season
The Colorado Avalanche opened at +700 to win the Stanley Cup, making them the hockey betting favorite. Colorado is a team that is loaded with talent, and it was easy to make them the favorites.
The Avalanche did not disappoint in 2021, winning the President’s Trophy and the West Division. Now, the Avalanche have odds set at +250 to win the title, and that still makes them the favorite.
A bet on the Avalanche back in January would have been much more valuable than it is today. Colorado continues to have its odds shortened, and that trend won’t change throughout the postseason.
Vegas was also listed at +700 to win the Stanley Cup, and they are now being offered at +550. The Golden Knights and Avalanche could soon be meeting for the West Division final.
North, West Easy to Predict
Along with picking the Stanley Cup champion, making a bet on each division winner is another popular bet. There are just four divisions this season, and that made betting a bit more interesting in the preseason.
Sportsbooks struggled with the realigning of the divisions and how to handicap each team. The opening lines for the North and West Divisions were correct, as the season played out that way.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were +140 to win the North Division, and it played out that way. Colorado was +154 to win the West, and the Avalanche narrowly won that division.
In the Central and East, Dallas (+400) and Boston (+280) were the favorites to win those divisions, respectively.
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Boston, Toronto Make Big Jumps During the 2021 NHL Season
When making future preseason bets on which team will win the title, choosing an underdog is a great play. This season, it appears that Boston and Toronto were two teams worth betting on.
Boston opened up at +1200 to win the Stanley Cup, and those odds have now been slashed to +450. Toronto was +2000 before the season began, and the Maple Leafs are now being offered at +600.
Both of these teams still have some work to do if they want to win the Stanley Cup, but they have a shot. If you are someone that bet on either Boston or Toronto, then you could be in for a big payday.
Other teams such as the Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers had odds go the other direction during the year. Both teams have been eliminated and will not win the Stanley Cup.