Following the lead of the NBA and its postponement of the season the NHL followed suit the next day. Commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear that the league wants to resume action with a Stanley Cup championship. In like manner, gamblers are anxious for action to resume with the NHL odds. Specifically, even non-hockey fans agree that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are the best postseason in all of the sports. Gambling action is significantly higher on the playoffs than the regular season. Further, unlike the NBA, any number of teams can win the Stanley Cup.
2020 NHL Futures and COVID-19 Update
|NHL Betting Online Odds at SBG:||Boston Bruins 6/1, Vegas Golden Knights 6/1, Tampa Bay Lightning 7/1, Colorado Avalanche 10/1, Philadelphia Flyers 10/1, St. Louis Blues 10/1, Washington Capitals 10/1, Dallas Stars 16/1, Pittsburgh Penguins 16/1, Edmonton Oilers 20/1, Toronto Maple Leafs 20/1, Nashville Predators 25/1, Calgary Flames 30/1, Vancouver Canucks 30/1, New York Islanders 40/1, Arizona Coyotes 50/1, Winnipeg Jets 50/1, Carolina Hurricanes 60/1, Minnesota Wild 60/1, New York Rangers 60/1, Columbus Blue Jackets 80/1, Florida Panthers 80/1|
NHL Lines Still Available for Wagering
Although there are no games scheduled at the present time gamblers can still get sports betting action on the NHL. Most sportsbooks are still offering odds on the Stanley Cup and conference championships. Gamblers can also get action on props for such items as the most valuable player. In the same way, odds are available for Coach of the Year and the best goaltender (Vezina Trophy).
At the onset of the NHL postponement of games come factors to consider that are different from other sports. First, the NHL does not have the same type of large revenue TV deal that the NBA has. Gate revenue means far more to the NHL than it does to the NBA and other sports. This means that the possibility of playing games in empty arenas is not nearly as appealing to the NHL as it would be to the TV rich NBA. Yet for NHL odds action, playing games in empty arenas may have to be done.
Accordingly, when the play does resume the NHL is not likely to have much if any regular-season action. That is because of arena dates and TV contracts. As it stands the season could potentially carry into July, if not longer. Correspondingly the complication of ice conditions will be a factor the longer into summer the season goes. In warm weather cities, games from the month of June on can cause poor ice conditions, adversely affecting the quality of play.
Due to the likelihood of the regular season being contracted the idea of extra playoff teams is quite likely. What sets hockey apart for having the best playoffs in pro sports is that underdogs often prevail. Eight seeds beat one seed in the NHL Playoffs frequently. While in the NBA that is a virtual impossibility. There are teams not quite in eighth place in both conferences that could have made the postseason had games not been canceled. The end result could mean a compromise of additional qualifying teams.
Of course, the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins were steamrolling towards top seed for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In a similar way, the Vegas Golden Knights had strong momentum when play was stopped. In spite of this, the current suspension of action changes everything.