- BetOnline has posted playoff odds for all 32 National Hockey League teams
- The Vancouver Canucks (+145) have an easy path to the postseason in the pathetic Pacific division
- The Bruins (+475) and Penguins (+170) could be casualties of a strong Eastern Conference
The NHL returns to its traditional Stanley Cup playoff format and qualification system this season, which guarantees only the top three teams in each of the four divisions a spot in the tournament. The remaining four wild-card slots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, based on regular-season record. Basically, this means one division in each conference could send five teams to the postseason while the other sends just three.
After previewing the Atlantic and Metropolitan divisions in the Eastern Conference and the Central and Pacific divisions in the West, let’s find some good bets to make and miss out on the playoffs. Also, be sure to check out our NHL betting tips page with resources on NHL MVP betting and more.
NHL Playoff Specials
|To Make Playoffs||Odds|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||Yes||+1100|
|Detroit Red Wings||Yes||+1000|
|Los Angeles Kings||Yes||+215|
|New Jersey Devils||Yes||+200|
|New York Islanders||Yes||-325|
|New York Rangers||Yes||-155|
|San Jose Sharks||Yes||+250|
|St Louis Blues||Yes||-190|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||Yes||-2500|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Yes||-1100|
|Vegas Golden Knights||Yes||-1800|
Potential Playoff Teams
The Colorado Avalanche (-5000), Tampa Bay Lightning (-2500), and Vegas Golden Knights (-1800) are viewed as the surest bets to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, meaning neither of the three offers much of a return on investment. When looking for clubs with plus odds to make the postseason these two stand out:
Nashville Predators (+240). GM David Poile said his club was in a “competitive rebuild” after shipping out Ryan Ellis and Viktor Arvidsson. Star winger Filip Forsberg and stalwart defenseman Mattias Ekholm could also be on the move with each entering the final season of their contracts. But if they stay, the Central division is wide open after the Avs. Captain Roman Josi and goaltender Juuse Saros will help keep pucks out of the net and there’s still talent upfront with Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene, and Eeli Tolvanen.
FILIP FORSBERG! 2-1 #Preds
This goal is almost as beautiful as his stache pic.twitter.com/ohZnRNySmd
— SiriusXM NHL Network Radio (@SiriusXMNHL) May 21, 2021
Vancouver Canucks (+145). The Pacific division is grisly after the Vegas Golden Knights and Oilers, and the Canucks are in win-now mode after acquiring Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland from the rebuilding Coyotes. With an exciting young core of centers Elias Pettersson and Bo Horvat, right-winger Brock Boeser and defenseman Quinn Hughes, Vancouver could easily beat out Calgary, Seattle, and Los Angeles for the third playoff seed in the division.
The NHL’s Eastern Conference looks much stronger than the West, which means some teams that we now view as contenders could surprisingly miss the postseason.
Boston Bruins (+475). A roster with Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Charlie McAvoy will probably find itself in the postseason, but the B’s have questionable depth down the middle after David Krejci packed his bags for the Czech Republic. If Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman can’t fill the void Tuukka Rask left in the net, this aging club could be in trouble with a few untimely injuries.
Pittsburgh Penguins (+170). New GM Ron Hextall has done surprisingly little in the offseason, choosing to clean up the club’s salary-cap issues rather than maximize the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin/Kris Letang Cup window. While that’s smart business, it’s a formula that could spell the end to the NHL’s longest active playoff appearance streak (15 years).
Sorry @NHLBruins fans…:) You are not used to such photos…:) F David Krejci as the biggest star of the Czech TOP league @telhcz is on the cover page of our daily Sport @DenikSport… Will play for @hcolomouc this season. But says he will always have Boston as a second home… pic.twitter.com/qLQF3hPZbi
— Zdenek Janda (@zdenek_janda) September 9, 2021
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