NHL betting lines have changed following Commissioner Gary Bettman’s announcement this week regarding the league’s return plan for the 2019-20 season according to TheLines.com, part of the PlayUSA network.
However, the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning remain the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The updated betting trends reflect a modified playoff format, according to TheLines.com which tracks odds in the US regulated sports betting markets.
The NHL has yet to confirm the actual date on which play will resume, but once up and running the new format for the Stanley Cup Playoffs will include 24 teams, a round of eight play-in series, and first-round byes for the top four seeds in each conference.
Boston reopened after Tuesday’s announcement at +650 on DraftKings — paying $650 profit for every $100 bet — and +600 on FanDuel. The Bruins were +550 on DraftKings and +650 on FanDuel when the season was postponed in March. DraftKings moved Tampa Bay to +700 from +750, and FanDuel’s line moved to +600 from +700.
The odds for teams in markets where sports betting is legal saw significant moves, too. The Colorado Avalanche reopened this week at +900 (DraftKings) and +750 (FanDuel), changing from +1000 and +850, respectively. DraftKings moved the Vegas Golden Knights to +800 from +1000, and FanDuel moved the line to +850 from +900.
“With first-round byes, the new format gives a distinct advantage to the top four seeds in both conferences and the updated lines reflect that,” said Brett Collson, betting analyst at TheLines.com. “With so much pent-up demand for sports betting, we expect relatively heavy betting in regulated sports betting markets across the US. So the betting lines should continue to move before the first puck is dropped.”