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Lightning Emerge as New Favorites in Updated 2021 Stanley Cup Odds

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in NHL Hockey

Mar 2, 2021 · 7:10 AM PST

Stanley Cup odds
Tampa Bay Lightning's Anthony Cirelli (71) celebrates his goal with Victor Hedman, center, and Steven Stamkos, as Dallas Stars' Radek Faksa skates past during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
  • The Tampa Bay Lightning are now favored to win the 2021 Stanley Cup
  • The Bolts have moved past previous favorites, Golden Knights and Avalanche, in the updated odds
  • See the latest Stanley Cup odds for all 31 teams along with betting advice below

There’s a new betting favorite in the 2021 Stanley Cup odds. The Tampa Bay Lightning are now favored to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions after posting an impressive 10-3-0 record in the month of February. The Bolts have seen their odds shorten from +750 to +575 over the past two weeks, overtaking the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche as the favorite.

The Vegas Golden Knights have almost fallen out of the top-five after becoming the favorite at the quarter mark of the season. The Montreal Canadiens are also trending downwards after firing head coach Claude Julien during a rough stretch of play.

Are the Lightning good enough to repeat as Cup champs? Should you be jumping on Vegas or Montreal now that their odds have lengthened?

2021 Stanley Cup Odds

Team Stanley Cup Odds
Tampa Bay Lightning +575
Toronto Maple Leafs +650
Colorado Avalanche +750
Boston Bruins +800
Vegas Golden Knights +1000
Carolina Hurricanes +1200
Edmonton Oilers +1400
Philadelphia Flyers +1600
Minnesota Wild +1700
Montreal Canadiens +2300
New York Islanders +2400
Washington Capitals +2500
Pittsburgh Penguins +2600
Florida Panthers +2700
Winnipeg Jets +3000
St Louis Blues +3200
Calgary Flames +4500
Dallas Stars +5000
Chicago Blackhawks +5500
Los Angeles Kings +6500
Nashville Predators +7500
New Jersey Devils +7500
New York Rangers +7500
Columbus Blue Jackets +8500
Arizona Coyotes +9000
San Jose Sharks +10000
Vancouver Canucks +10000
Anaheim Ducks +12500
Buffalo Sabres +15000
Detroit Red Wings +75000
Ottawa Senators +75000

Odds taken Mar. 2 at DraftKings

Will Lightning Strike Twice? 

The Lightning are now the sole favorite in the 2021 Stanley Cup odds after opening as co-favorites to win Lord Stanley back in September. The Bolts have seen their odds improve from +750 to +575 over the last two weeks thanks to a current four-game winning streak and an impressive 10-3-0 month of February.

Tampa Bay owns the best points percentage (.763) in the Central Division, and the team’s plus-30 goal differential is tops in the league. One of the key reasons for the odds movement is the play of Andrei Vasilevskiy, who owns an exceptional .938 save percentage in 16 starts. The Vezina Trophy favorite has recorded back-to-back shutouts and is proving why he’s regarded by many as the best goalie in the NHL.

Outside of elite goaltending, the Bolts have been getting solid production from all over their lineup. Steven Stamkos has returned to form with 10 goals in 19 games, while blueliner Victor Hedman is once again a Norris Trophy favorite and producing at a point-per-game pace. Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli also form one of the best 1-2 center punches in the game.

With the entire core still intact, the Bolts have a great chance of becoming the first back-to-back Stanley Cup champions since Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017. You also have to remember that the team has played this entire season without superstar forward Nikita Kucherov and could get the Russian winger back for the playoffs.

Golden Knights Are Slipping 

The Golden Knights are one of the league’s biggest fallers in the updated Stanley Cup odds. Vegas has seen their odds lengthen from +700 to +1000 despite a solid month of February. The Golden Knights posted a 7-3-0 record this past month and previously became the sole betting favorite at the quarter mark of the season.

While Vegas is now a fringe top-five team in the odds, the line movement isn’t really reflective of the team’s play. Vegas still leads the West Division in both points percentage (.750) and goal differential (plus-12). They’re slipping mainly because the Maple Leafs and Lightning have been just that good. The talented Leafs appear that they’re going to run away with the North Division title, while the Bolts appear destined for another Cup run.

What’s also important to consider is the talent in the West Division. It tells you something that Colorado currently has the best odds to win the West Division despite trailing Vegas by four points in the standings. The Avs have some of the best possession stats in the league and have yet to play fully healthy. Colorado took two of three recent meetings with Vegas, as the Golden Knights simply couldn’t match Colorado’s speed at times.

The Avalanche’s Stanley Cup odds have remained fairly consistent at around +750 throughout the season. This makes sense when you consider that only one of Colorado, Vegas, St. Louis, and Minnesota is making it to the final four.

Oddsmakers know how hard it will be to knock off a team with Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar in a seven-game series. But with the elite level Marc-Andre Fleury is operating at this season, don’t sleep on the Golden Knights.

Do Habs Present Value in Stanley Cup Odds?

The Montreal Canadiens have fallen from +1300 to +2300 in the Cup odds after an underwhelming month of February that got head coach Claude Julien and assistant Kirk Muller fired. Montreal has lost seven of its last eight games yet still occupies the final playoff spot in the North Division. Dominique Ducharme is currently coaching the team on an interim basis, but Guy Boucher is favored to be hired as Julien’s replacement.

The positive for Montreal is that they still boast some of the best 5-on-5 stats in the NHL. They lead the league in both Fenwick and High-Danger Corsi, which means they’re getting their chances. The issues run deeper, however, as Carey Price (.888 SV%) simply hasn’t been good enough, while veteran blueliner Shea Weber has some of the worst defensive stats on the team. Special teams have also been an issue, with the PK and PP both ranking in the bottom half of the league.

The Habs already have shown with their early-season play that they have the talent to turn this around, but the value on them still isn’t great. It’s hard to see any Canadian team beating Toronto in a seven-game series right now, especially given how Price has been playing. That’s why you’re better off looking at a division without clear front-runners. The East Division is very much up-in-the-air, which gives talented teams such as Philadelphia and Washington value as Stanley Cup longshots.

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