Stanley Cup Odds in Illinois

How to bet on the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

To win hockey’s ultimate prize, teams have to go through a veritable gantlet. Crushing it in the regular season isn’t quite enough, as it takes another 16 victories to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup when all is said and done.

Bubble or no bubble, the NHL team who manages to pull it off has achieved an incredible feat. Now that legal sports betting is here in Illinois, you’ll be able to bet every step of the way. From the offseason to the playoffs, you can wager on hockey easily and legally.

The Stanley Cup futures market is incredibly active, while each game of the final series will see heavy wagering. We’ll cover the latest Stanley Cup betting odds, bonuses you can take advantage of and much more. Read on.

Latest 2021 NHL Stanley Cup odds

You don’t have to wait for the playoffs to place your wagers on the next Stanley Cup winner. The futures market stays active all year round, with the odds adjusting every step of the way. Staying on top of the moves is easy thanks to our live odds feed:

How to bet online on the Stanley Cup in Illinois

For betting on the Stanley Cup in Illinois, check out our recommended sportsbook operators. You can be ready to bet in no time and access some quality bonus offers. Here’s how it works.

Click through on our exclusive links to create a betting account. You’ll arrive at a sign-up page first. After entering a few details, such as your name and date of birth, you’ll check off some boxes and click the submit button.

Take the time to download the app for your device from the sportsbook’s website. Next, log in via mobile and scope out how it works on the small screen. You now have access to a live sportsbook online and via your mobile device.

You’ll find a dedicated section for NHL betting in both places. For example, if you’ve signed up with BetRivers Sportsbook, there will be clear listings of all available sports. Once you click on the NHL tab, all the current and future markets will be listed

What bets can you make on the Stanley Cup?

For betting on the Stanley Cup, there are plenty of betting options to explore. You can bet on the results of the individual games for what’s usually a thrilling series, look to the future and predict the winner, or even wager in real-time as the action plays out on the ice. Here’s a quick look at all of the top ways to bet and how they work.


For a moneyline bet, all you have to do is pick which side will win. You’ll see odds listed for both teams, so you would click on the one you believe will win. Favorites have negative odds, while underdogs have positive odds. Here’s a fictional example:

Boston Bruins +120
Washington Capitals  -130

Puck line

The puck line brings a spread betting element to hockey. Unlike other sports where the spread can be all over the map, it’s typically set at 1.5 goals in the NHL. The side you choose has to cover the puck line for the bet to be a winner. Let’s look at another example:

Toronto Maple Leafs +1.5 (-135)
St. Louis Blues -1.5 (+115)


Oddsmakers will set a benchmark number of goals for the game, and you wager on whether the actual total will be over or under that number. On average, totals are set at 5.5 for NHL games, but that can vary depending on who is playing. Here’s what a total bet will look like:

Over 5.5 (-110)
Under 5.5 (-110)


You can find Stanley Cup props for a particular game by clicking the game listing. Some of the prop offerings will be on a specific aspect of the game or team performance, but many of the most popular ones will be on the individual player’ performance, for instance:

  • How many goals plus assists will Patrick Kane have — over 1.5 (+120) / under 1.5 (-105)?

Live betting

When the game gets underway, you can check back for the available live betting opportunities. If you click on the NHL link at the online sportsbook, there will be a dedicated section for current offerings, including up-to-date game lines and props. A live prop bet example would be:

  • What will be the result of this power play — goal (-115) / penalty kill (+110)?


These are wagers you can place on outcomes to come at a later date, including the winner of the next Stanley Cup. We’ll cover all of the ins and outs of this popular bet type in the next section, and you can also check out our live odds feed for the latest numbers.

Stanley Cup betting explained

The futures market for the winner of the next Stanley Cup keeps rolling nearly all year round. Once the current edition is in the books, sportsbooks will begin releasing odds for the next winner. There will be Stanley Cup betting lines for each of the 31 teams in the NHL. The board will usually be in descending order with the top favorites on top.

When bets start coming in, there will be some betting line movement, depending on which direction the action is going. This will continue throughout the season as interest in teams rises or falls. Our live odds feed provides the latest numbers from several books, so check back often.

Here’s a quick example of how it works. You’ve zeroed in on the Stanley Cup futures odds and find yourself drawn to one of the top five favorites:

Colorado Avalanche +750
Vegas Golden Knights +850
Tampa Bay Lightning +950
Boston Bruins +1,100
Philadelphia Flyers +1,200

You decide that it’s the year for the Golden Knights to breakthrough. To place your bet, you click on the odds that correspond with your selection. It gets added to the bet slip from there, so you then add in your wager amount, verify and click the submit button to place your bet.

The idea of the futures market is to find the choices you want at the best possible prices, so we recommend shopping around. If you make the right call, these are wagers that can pay off handsomely. For example, a winning $100 wager on Vegas at +850 returns a whopping $850 profit.

One final point to keep in mind: This is a long-term wager. Futures bets aren’t settled until the outcome is in the books, so your funds will remain tied up on that ticket. As such, be sure to stay in your lane and only bet within your comfort zone.

Once the Stanley Cup Final rolls around, you’ll have even more opportunities to explore. Here are the main ones you’ll want to keep an eye on:

  • Wagering on each individual game — moneyline, puck line, totals and props.
  • Betting on the winner of the series as a whole.
  • Placing a futures bet on the Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
  • Live betting for each game of the series.

Illinois sportsbook rules for NHL betting

All online sportsbooks and betting apps in Illinois have their own set of house rules for betting on hockey and other sports. There’s a lot of crossover on this front as many rules are standard across the industry. Here are some of the most important points to know:

  • Once the game gets underway, all bets are considered live. If there’s a delay or postponement, they may remain active if the game is set to be completed in a reasonable time frame.
  • For listed player props, bets will be considered action if the player suits up for the game with the intent to play. In the event that a player doesn’t go or is scratched, the wager will be considered void.
  • Game bets can revolve around regulation only or include the overtime period. The listing will specifically reference what the bet is for, so be sure to review to make sure you’re selecting what you want.
  • In the event of a complete cancellation of a season, futures bets will be voided and refunded.
  • Settlement of futures bets will not take place until the result has been determined, i.e., bets on the winner of the Stanley Cup won’t be paid out until the series is complete.

While that covers the bulk of what you need to know, there could be an oddball circumstance that arises. For situations in that category, it’s a good idea to take the time to review the house rules at the books you are playing on for complete details.

Recent Stanley Cup betting trends

The roots of the Stanley Cup goes back to 1893 when a team known simply as the Montreal Hockey Club was awarded the first title. In 1927, the Cup was awarded to the NHL champion and has remained that way ever since.

From then until now, the NHL has seen extraordinary growth. For decades, there were only a little over a handful of teams, known as the Original Six. Expansion has taken place several times since then, and we’re now up to 31 teams competing each season.

There were a number of stellar dynasties through the 1970s and 1980s, while the 1990s saw more of a mix of teams win the whole thing. Since 2000, the Cup has been awarded 20 times. Here are some of the more significant trends to emerge since then:

  • The Eastern and Western conferences are deadlocked at 10 wins each.
  • The Stanley Cup Final has gone a full seven games seven times over that span. There have been no sweeps as all series have gone at least five games.
  • There has only been one back-to-back winner: the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016-17.
  • The same two teams have made it to consecutive finals just once: the Detroit Red Wings over the Penguins in 2008 followed by Pittsburgh over Detroit in 2009.

When you scroll through the futures market, there’s a good chance that you’ll see last season’s finalists among the favorites. Be sure to keep in mind that going the distance two seasons in a row is an incredibly challenging task in the modern NHL.

Which teams are the favorites to win the 2021 Stanley Cup?

The Tampa Bay Lightning are the defending Stanley Cup champions. They defeated the Dallas Stars in a thrilling six-game final after an impressive run through the early rounds of the playoffs, and the team remains loaded with talent.

It’s no surprise that they’re one of the favorites to win it all again, but they’ve got some company at the top of the futures odds board. Two West Division teams are looking like serious Cup contenders. Here’s a look at the top three favorites.

  1. Colorado Avalanche: Colorado has assembled an impressive array of talent. It has begun bearing fruit already, but this is a team that looks like it’s just getting started. After an impressive 92-point regular season, the club made it to the second round of the NHL playoffs before being bounced by the Dallas Stars in seven games. A return to the postseason is nearly a given, while a run to the Cup is a definite possibility.
  2. Vegas Golden Knights: The Knights are one of the most impressive expansion franchises in the league’s history. The club made it to the Stanley Cup Final in its inaugural season of 2017-18, falling to the Washington Capitals in five games. Vegas returned to the playoffs the following two seasons, losing last year in the Western Conference final to the Stars. The team is rightfully among the favorites to represent the west next time around.
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning: After losing four times in the first three rounds of last year’s playoffs, the Lightning captured the Cup with a six-game series win over the Stars. While a repeat victory will be a tough trick to turn, this is a squad that remains loaded. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos lead a potent offense, while Conn Smythe winner Victor Hedman steers the back end. A repeat would be less than stunning.

Dark horse contenders for the Stanley Cup

There has been only one repeat winner of the Stanley Cup in recent times, so it’s far from a sure thing that the Lightning will make it happen again. Several of the other top favorites are certainly intriguing, but the ultimate winner could also come from further down the odds board. Here’s a trio of intriguing dark horse clubs to keep an eye on:

  1. Edmonton Oilers: For several seasons running, the Oilers have boasted two of the game’s top playmakers in Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. That hasn’t translated into noteworthy success in the postseason, but it’s not too tough to envision a scenario in which that script is flipped in a hurry. Edmonton could begin getting it going to recapture its former glory as soon as the upcoming season.
  2. New York Islanders: The Islanders were one of the most impressive stories of last year’s postseason. After securing a spot in the playoffs with a qualifying round victory over the Florida Panthers, the club smoked the Washington Capitals in five games in round one, followed by a hard-fought, seven-game win over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Islanders ultimately lost to the Lightning in the conference final, but that can serve as quite the building block.
  3. Chicago Blackhawks: No, this isn’t just a homer pick. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane still have gas left in the tank, and there’s an intriguing mix of talent around them. The club surprised the Oilers in the qualifying round last time around before falling to Vegas in round two. While far from the powerhouse Blackhawks teams that won three cups over six seasons not too long ago, this is a squad that could surprise and get it together quickly.

Stanley Cup winners over the past decade

Just six clubs have been awarded the Stanley Cup over the past 10 seasons. There was one repeat winner, and two clubs that won a pair of cups over a three-year span. We have been treated to a number of memorable final series over the past decade, as two have been decided in five games. Here’s a look back at the last 10 champions and runners-up:

SeasonWinnerRunner-upSeries Result
2019-20Tampa Bay LightningDallas Stars4-2
2018-19St. Louis BluesBoston Bruins4-3
2017-18Washington CapitalsVegas Golden Knights4-1
2016-17Pittsburgh PenguinsNashville Predators4-2
2015-16Pittsburgh PenguinsSan Jose Sharks4-2
2014-15Chicago BlackhawksTampa Bay Lightning4-2
2013-14Los Angeles KingsNew York Rangers4-1
2012-13Chicago BlackhawksBoston Bruins4-2
2011-12Los Angeles KingsNew Jersey Devils4-2
2010-11Boston BruinsVancouver Canucks4-3

Interestingly, in the early part of the decade, the Western Conference held a 4-1 edge. The story has been reversed over the last five campaigns, with the Eastern Conference racking up a mark of 4-1.

Has a Blackhawks player ever won the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Beginning with the 1964-65 NHL season, the Conn Smythe Trophy has gone to the player deemed the most valuable for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Dozens of legends of the game have received the award since then.

The Chicago Blackhawks had quite the drought on the Stanley Cup front before turning it around in recent times. The team won it all in 1960-61 over the Detroit Red Wings, but that would be the last crown for nearly five decades.

The 2009-10 team finally broke the streak with a win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and that was just the beginning of a run of excellence for the franchise. The club snagged another cup in 2012-13 with a victory over the Boston Bruins, and did it again in 2014-15 by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning.

At the conclusion of those three series, a Blackhawks star was honored with the Conn Smythe award. Here’s a look at the trio and what each accomplished:

  • 2009-10 Jonathan Toews: Over 22 games, Toews was a force for Chicago with seven goals and 22 assists.
  • 2012-13 Patrick Kane: A postseason of nine goals and 10 assists over 23 games was enough for Kane to get the honor.
  • 2014-15 Duncan Keith: The defensive leader notched three goals and 18 assists to skate away with MVP honors.

It’s fitting that the three top players for this era of Blackhawks hockey each managed to claim a Conn Smythe during the club’s run of excellence. The franchise leaders are always the ones to watch in big games, so keep that in mind when you get set to place any futures bets on the Conn Smythe award winner for the next Stanley Cup playoffs.

Best Illinois sports bars to watch Stanley Cup games

If you’re looking to head out to catch a Stanley Cup game, you naturally won’t want to miss a second of the action. While there are plenty of bars to check out across Illinois, only a select few are official Blackhawks bars.

*Due to state COVID-19 mitigation requirements, the hours of operation may vary. 

While we can’t promise that the boys from the Windy City will make it to the final series, we can say that the spots below make for choices to go out and enjoy the fastest game on ice:

  • OverTime Sports Bar & Grill
    • Address: 6714 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL
    • Phone: 773-993-0533
    • Hours: Mondays-Thursdays: 4 p.m.-midnight; Fridays: 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturdays: noon-2 a.m.; Sundays: noon-midnight

Noted for stellar burgers and wings, OverTime also has plenty of screens to catch the action. Beyond the solid food menu, you’ll also have a wide range of cocktails and brews to choose from in a festive atmosphere.

  • O’Malley’s Pub & Eatery
    • Address: 701 Hill Ave., Aurora, IL
    • Phone: 630-898-8700
    • Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily

Daily food specials are a popular attraction at O’Malley’s, but the menu goes much deeper than that. There are options aplenty to consider, and the same holds true on the beverage front. There are also theme nights and plenty of TVs to catch the games.

  • Blue Line Sports Pub
    • Address: 211 Elm St., Rockford, IL
    • Phone: 779-423-2125
    • Hours: Mondays-Thursdays: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturdays-Sundays: 11 a.m.-1 a.m.

A name like Blue Line points to a solid hockey bar, and it doesn’t disappoint. There are excellent food options, scores of screens and a great selection of cocktails. Blue Line is also known as a place to go for whiskey aficionados.

  • Bottoms Up Sports Bar & Grill
    • Address: 1807 S. Washington St., Naperville, IL
    • Phone: 630-364-2070
    • Hours: Sundays-Thursdays: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fridays-Saturdays: 11:30 a.m.-midnight

If you’re looking for a great neighborhood spot to catch the game in the Naperville area, this is the one. Bottoms Up offers a fun sports bar atmosphere with great sight lines, lots of screens, and plenty of food and beverage choices.

It’s tough to beat hockey, quality eats and your beverage of choice, and these are all top destinations to consider.

Also, keep in mind that you can legally and safely wager from your mobile device anywhere within state lines. You can always get your bets in before you head out, too, but the app can be your sidekick as you check out the live betting markets while the games play out.

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