It seems crazy to think about the 2020-21 NHL season and ludicrous to think about the 2020-21 Stanley Cup Championship, but the odds are available. As the plans for the 2020-21 season are ironed out, bettors can look ahead and see which teams are most likely to make a postseason run and compete for a Stanley Cup Championship.
A few short months ago, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was handing over the Stanley Cup to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars as the last two teams who remained from the original 24-team bubble being played out in Edmonton, Alberta, and Toronto, Ontario.
The Lightning are built for success and might put up a fight once again in 2020-21, but the oddsmakers do not feel the same way. The way things currently stand, the Colorado Avalance are +650 to win the Stanley Cup in the upcoming season, which is just a hair above the Lightning.
Odds Shark has published their odds taken from Bovada, having the Avalance ahead of the Lightning. The Lightning are not alone at second on the list, being +700. The Vegas Golden Knights are also +700, looking to take home a Stanley Cup Championship of their own after just three years in the league.
Those three teams are the only teams who have odds under +1000, and after that, things straighten out a little bit. The Boston Bruins are +1200, closely followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are +1500 to capture an elusive Stanley Cup Championship win.
Seeing these Stanley Cup Championship odds are great, but what are some takeaways for bettors?
First of all, the Colorado Avalanche are going to be exceptional in 2020-21. Forwards Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, and Mikko Rantanen will help this team find the back of the net and be a threat in the Central division.
The Lightning are built for the long-term, well, they were at least. Tampa Bay has been pushing for this for years now with a team that former-GM Steve Yzerman built before departing for the Detroit Red Wings. Bettors would not be stupid to consider taking the Lightning to repeat given how their team is constructed.
Those who are fans of taking a chance should consider the Toronto Maple Leafs; they have not been able to put everything together and find their path to the Stanley Cup Championship in a long time. It has been 53 years since the Maple Leafs have won the Stanley Cup Finals, but this could change.
The Maple Leafs are putting things together as John Tavares helps Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander find their stride with the offense. Defensively Morgan Rielly is healthy once again, Jake Muzzin is settling in nicely, and no Maple Leafs fan can forget about Frederik Andersen, who has been electric in the net.
However, bettors need to be cautious with these Stanley Cup Championship odds…
All of this sounds like sunshine and rainbows; the Lightning are going to be dangerous, the Golden Knights are looking for blood, the Avalanche are looking to ride offense to a championship, and the Maple Leafs just want their drought to end.
There is, however, trouble brewing for bettors. The NHL and NHLPA are struggling to work out the specifics of a return to play format for the 2020-21 season. Between division realignment, escrow discrepancies, and season length being a few of the issues that have been topics for discussion, it could mean change is coming.
No official announcements have been levied, but the divisions could be realigned, calling for an all-Canadian division, which is the biggest shock. That being said, bettors should be cautious when looking at these future odds that could change drastically in the coming month.
Def Pen Betting will be monitoring the situation to see when the latest odds are available; stay tuned!