Last Updated Oct 03, 2022, 6:18 PM

NHL PLAYOFFS PICKS, PREDICTIONS, ODDS

Prior to the 2023 NHL regular season, we asked the VegasInsider NHL Experts handicapping stable for their futures predictions on which team will win the Stanley Cup and much more. 

The betting experts responded with their best bets and we’ve listed all of the Top Consensus Picks below, plus we included a breakdown of each of the categories. 

2023 STANLEY CUP BETTING FAVROTIES

Our experts believe the best bet to win the Stanley Cup in 2023 are the Carolina Hurricanes, given opening odds to win at +1000. The 'Bunch of Jerks' went seven games in both of their playoff series, defeating the Bruins in Round 1 before falling to the Rangers in Round 2.

Surprisingly, last year's defending Stanley Cup champions the Colorado Avalanche weren't the favorite among VI betting experts to lift Lord Stanley again. The Avs have the shortest odds to repeat as champions at +450.

Last year's Eastern Conference representative in the Stanley Cup, the Tampa Bay Lightning, were amongst the top teams picked from our handicappers - given opening odds to win at +1000.

Despite choking in the playoffs multiple times, specifically the first round, the Colorado Avalanche at +1000 were a Top 5 pick among VI hockey cappers. The Edmonton Oilers showcased one of the league's best offenses last season, as many of our experts are also high on the McDavid-Draisaitl connection.

Edmonton has the longest odds to win the Stanley Cup among Top 5 capper picks at +1300, falling one series shy last season after getting swept in the Western Conference Finals by Colorado.

Listed below are the VegasInsider Experts Stanley Cup consensus picks. 

2023 Stanley Cup Consensus Picks

  1. Carolina 6 (33.3%)
  2. Colorado 5 (27.7%)
  3. Edmonton 3 (16.6%)
  4. Tampa Bay 2 (11.1%)
  5. Toronto 1 (5.5%)
  6. N.Y. Islanders 1 (5.5%)

Conference Championship Future Picks

Similar to our Stanley Cup Consensus Predictions, our VegasInsider NHL Experts provided their top picks on which teams will win both Conference Finals. 

VI experts believe the Hurricanes have the best chance to advance into the Stanley Cup and win the Eastern Conference. Despite the top three teams above as the top picks to win the conference, our experts have a few other teams to watch out for.

The New York Rangers received two of the 18 votes to win the Eastern Conference, looking to see a repeat appearance behind the play of Vezina contender Igor Shesterkin. The Rangers are +900 to win the conference, but the other New York team - the Islanders - are also getting some love to win the Eastern Conference at +1600.

Last year's President's Cup winners the Florida Panthers only received one vote to win the Eastern Conference. The Panthers were the NHL's best team last season before an early exit in the playoffs at the hands of inter-state rival Tampa Bay. The Panthers have short odds to win the conference at +450.

The Avalanche are the favorites to win the Western Conference again, given short odds at +300. The Calgary Flames made the Top 3 picks from our VI betting experts, a team that saw many offseason moves including the arrival of Nazem Kadri.

Interestingly enough, of the 18 VI NHL handicappers not one picked a team outside of the Top 3. The Western Conference picks were a unanimous sweep among the teams above, surprising with many high on the Minnesota Wild this season at +800 with Hart Award contender Kirill Kaprizov.

It does seem the conference is Colorado's to lose however, so picking outside the Top 3 might be a reach despite the short odds for teams like Minnesota or even the Vegas Golden Knights at +600.

2023 NHL Point Totals Picks

Along with picking the winners of the Stanley Cup and both the conferences, we had our VegasInsider handicappers focus on another popular futures betting market – NHL Point Totals. For this betting poll, the 18 VegasInsider NHL experts provided us with their top ‘over’ and top ‘under’ picks for each of the four divisions.

Check out the most popular picks below and for more analysis and breakdown, be sure to visit our NHL Point Totals Odds.

NHL Point Totals - Over Picks

NHL Point Totals - Under Picks

2023 NHL Hart Award Picks

Our NHL VI Experts offered up their top three choices to win the NHL Hart Award, the league's Most Valuable Player, in the 2023 regular season based on three betting ranges. 

  • Favorite - Up to 20/1 (Bet $100 to win $2,000)
  • Middle Range - 21/1 to 30/1
  • Long Shot - 31/1 and Above

Check out the top consensus picks below from our VI NFL Experts and for more analysis and breakdown, be sure to visit our NFL Most Valuable Player Odds.

NHL PLAYOFF SERIES BETTING

The 2022 Playoff Series Results and Odds can be viewed below for the four rounds.

2022 NHL PLAYOFFS BETTING RESULTS

RoundFavorites-UnderdogsPuck Line FavoritesOver-Under
First 34-1725-2631-18-2
Second 14-811-119-13
Conf Finals8-25-53-7
Cup Finals 4-22-43-3
Overall60-2943-4646-41-2

NHL PLAYOFF HISTORY

The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 in six games of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

History Archive

STANLEY CUP FINAL WINNERS (LAST 10 YEARS)

  • 2022 - Colorado Avalanche
  • 2021 - Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 2020 - Tampa Bay Lightning
  • 2019 - St. Louis Blues
  • 2010 - Washington Capitals
  • 2017 - Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2016 - Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2015 - Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2014 - Los Angeles Kings
  • 2013 - Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2012 - Los Angeles Kings

NHL PLAYOFF SCOREBOARD

The NHL Scoreboard not only provides the scores for the NHL Playoffs, but so much more.

The NHL Scoreboard is shown in periods, three to be exact. 

An NHL ice hockey game consists of 60 minutes, divided equally by 20 minutes and they’re labeled first (1), second (2), and third (3). Similar to other professional sports, the NHL doesn’t have ties anymore so you won’t see stalemates on the NHL Scoreboard anymore. In order to prevent ties, the league has created not one but two options to create a winner and a loser.

OVERTIME AND SHOOTOUTS

When you viewing the VegasInsider.com NHL scoreboard, you’ll sometimes see a 4 or 5 listed next to the third period. The fourth period (4) is known as Overtime, which is a 5-minute period and the first team to score becomes the winner. If the game is still tied after the overtime period, the NHL Scoreboard will go to the fifth (5) period or the Shootout. Each team is given three penalty shots to score on their opponent and whoever has more goals is deemed the winner. If the score remains tied, a ‘sudden death’ format will follow until a winner is declared. Make a note that Shootouts don't take place in the NHL Playoffs. 

The key feature is the Betting Odds and the NHL Scores provides a consensus line that is created by multiple sportsbooks in the United States. The NHL shows their line in Money-Line format which means you just have to pick the winner of the game. The O/U is abbreviated for the Over-Under or Total, which is a wager that accounts for all goals scored in the game. Bettors can go ‘high’ or ‘low’ for this matchup and cheer for both offensive or defensive units. Make a note that goals scored in the shootout only add ‘one’ goal to your total outcome.

The ATS column could easily be the most important feature on the NHL Scoreboard and it’s clearly for bettors looking for Against the Spread result. After the game is completed, the winning team is highlighted with a “Red Check” plus they also receive a “Cover” label in the ATS column. The Over or Under is given as well for the total, and don’t be surprised to see the word ‘Push’ which is a synonym for tie in the sports betting industry. If you are in a state where sports betting is legal, please check out our online sportsbook directory to find the best and most secure places to make NHL bets.

NHL PLAYOFF FORMAT

"THE FIRST TO WIN 16"

After the field of 16 is determined, the first team to win four best-of-seven series will be deemed the NHL Champion. 

In each of the best-of-seven series, the team with the higher seed will have home-ice advantage and they will host the first two games. 

The lower seed will then host the next two games and the remaining three games, if necessary, will be alternated with the higher seed hosting Game 5 and 7 while the lower seed hosts Game 6. 

In simple terms, the NHL Playoffs Format for a best-of-seven can be viewed as 2-2-1-1-1. 

NHL PLAYOFF SERIES BETTING

One of the most popular betting markets in the NHL Playoffs is the series prices, which focuses on the head-to-head matchup between two teams in the best-of-seven series. 

Also, bettors can wager on the Exact Outcomes for those series and those payouts are great.

NHL PLAYOFF BETTING TYPES

  • Money-line: This is an easy one. Simply pick which team will win outright. Say the Predators are up against the Avalanche in a series matchup – pick one team over the other to bring home the win. New bettors especially bet on the money-line as it's the simplest way to bet on a game.
  • Puck-Line: Like money-line, here you choose a team to win or lose outright. However, the difference lies in guessing how much they win/lose by. This number is always going to be -1.5 and +1.5, which is set by the sportsbooks. If you bet on the team -1.5, then they must win the game by two or more goals to cash your wager. And if you take the puck-line underdog (+1.5), then you're hoping that your team wins outright or loses by one goal to win your wager.
  • Totals: Also called over/under, this bet determines whether the final score will – combined – will be over or under what the sportsbook thinks.
  • Props: This betting market continues to rise in popularity and betting on both specific player and team statistics will increase your viewing pleaure. 
  • Live Betting: Forgot to put your bet in? No problem, just pull up the latest Live Betting markets or what many also call In-Game Wagering. These wagers can allow you to press, chase or even get out of wagers that you don't want any part of. The options are limitless and the action is Live! 
  • Futures: Feeling the itch to bet already? Futures can be placed weeks or sometimes months ahead of the game. For example, maybe you think the New York Rangers will bring it home this year in your NHL Playoffs Picks. Place a bet now ahead of the postseason to get in on the ground floor. Just pay attention as the odds can change, and your choice can even be knocked out!
  • Parlays: Called accumulator bets in the UK, parlays are a series of bets. The NHL Playoffs is the perfect time for parlays, where you can lay down a small bet of say $10 across five games. Win all five and you could be looking at a hefty return with your NHL Playoff Picks.

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