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NHL 2021 Playoff Betting Preview
The NHL Playoffs start on May 15 and feature two exciting all-Canadian matchups in the first round. Get ready for the playoffs with our betting preview on the series, and who we are betting on will win the Stanley Cup.
With the NHL set up different this year, Canadians are treated to two all-Canadian matchups in the first round – including the first between the Maple Leafs and Canadiens in more than four decades.
Get ready for the upcoming actions with our NHL 2021 playoff betting preview.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens
|Series Winner||Series Winner|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||1.33||3.50||Montreal Canadiens|
The Leafs open the series as a heavy favourite over the Canadiens – after dominating them during the regular season. The Leafs and Canadiens played ten times in 2021, with the Leafs going 7-2-1, picking up a possible 15 of 20 points.
The challenge for the Canadiens in this series is matching the firepower of the Maple Leafs. Toronto outscored Montreal 3.40 to 2.50 goals in the ten games – with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner contributing 25 points combined.
If the Canadiens could score more efficiently, they could have a chance against Toronto. However, if you remove their nine games against the Vancouver Canucks (41 goals), they were one of the least efficient offences in the NHL – dropping them to 2.42 goals per game (ranking 29th in the league).
We expect the Leafs to take care of business against the Canadiens in five games (one poor goaltending game from the Leafs) and move on to face either the Jets or Oilers.
Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs (1.33) to Win Series
Edmonton Oilers vs. Winnipeg Jets
|Series Winner||Series Winner|
|Edmonton Oilers||1.50||2.70||Winnipeg Jets|
The Edmonton Oilers open as the favourites against the Winnipeg Jets after winning seven of the nine meetings and outscoring them by 12 goals. Connor McDavid put up a whopping 22 points in those nine games – the most points and points per game he had against an opponent this season. Since the Oilers’ success, this season is directly tied to McDavid, it is clear why they were so good against Winnipeg.
Despite Edmonton’s winning record against the Jets during the regular season, we expect a closer series in the playoffs. The Oilers have not had much success in the playoffs with their core group. They made the playoffs once in the McDavid era and failed to make it out of the qualifying round (against underdog Chicago Blackhawks) last year.
The Oilers should win this series, but it would be much closer than the regular-season series between these two clubs.
Pick: Edmonton Oilers (1.50) to Win the Series
Early Prediction: Maple Leafs vs. Oilers
While the odds are unavailable on this matchup, we can still make an early prediction on the expected showdown in the Canadian Division Finals (or whatever they are calling these unique playoffs).
Toronto finished with a better record than Edmonton, thanks to a 6-1-2 record against the Oilers. The Leafs’ success against Edmonton was largely due to their abilities to slowdown McDavid. McDavid had only ten points against Toronto – the lowest total he had against any Canadian club. Without McDavid producing at the highest level, the Oilers could only muster 19 goals against Toronto. Expect the Leafs to continue to slow McDavid and Oilers offence – winning the series and advancing to the Conference Finals.
Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs Represent North Division in Conference Finals (TBA)
Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals
|Series Winner||Series Winner|
|Boston Bruins||1.65||2.35||Washington Capitals|
The first NHL playoff series to start features two of the best teams of the last decade – the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins. The Bruins and Capitals were evenly matched during the regular – with each side winning four of the eight games. The Bruins outscored the Caps by one goal (26 to 25).
The Bruins did a good job this season limiting Alexander Ovechkin – holding him to two goals and four points in eight games. Before this season, Ovechkin averaged a point per game against the Bruins (51 games, 50 points), pointing towards better numbers in the playoffs.
If Ovechkin is going to get hot during the postseason, the Bruins need their stars to match him. The Bruins got 28 points out of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Patrice Bergeron – solid numbers from their top line. The downside to those numbers is each guy had their highest or second-highest points total this season against the Capitals.
If they were only able to split the eight games with the Capitals, despite their stars producing their best numbers and Capitals’ captain posting his worse numbers, I would be worried if I was a Bruins fan.
I expect better numbers from Ovechkin in the postseason and T.J. Oshie to continue his hot streak (eight goals and ten points in his last 12 games) and like the Washington Capitals as the underdogs to win this series.
Pick: Washington Capitals (2.30) to Win the Series
Best Bet to Win the Stanley Cup
|Stanley Cup Winner|
|Vegas Golden Knights||6.50||6.50||6.50|
No team in the NHL this season was as good across the board as the Vegas Golden Knights. They ranked second in penalty kill, third in goals scored, first in goals against, and had the best SRS (simple rating system) in the league at 1.05.
They have the best tandem of goaltenders in the NHL this season – in Marc-Andre Fleury (26 wins, 1.98 GAA – third in the league) and Robin Lehner (13 wins and 2.29 GAA – eleventh in the league). The team has good scoring depth as well, with nine players averaging at least 0.5 points per game.
You add in the playoff pedigree of the team (43 playoff games over the last three seasons, most in the Western Conference over that span) – and this team is in a great position to win the Stanley Cup.
Pick: Vegas Golden Knights (6.50) to win the Stanley Cup
Best Online Sportsbooks to Bet on the NHL Playoffs
Find the best NHL odds on NHL games, NHL props, and the Stanley Cup winner at the online sportsbooks below. They are currently offering new bettors from Canadian a welcome bonus – which you can use to bet on the biggest games from the first round to the Stanley Cup Finals. Sign up through the links underneath to get your welcome bonus today!
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