Sean Couturier (14) is one of the leaders of a Philadelphia Flyers team that is one of the Stanley Cup favorites for 2021. Photo by @PHLFlyersNation (Twitter)
- The Colorado Avalanche (+750) are favored to win the 2021 Stanley Cup championship
- The Philadelphia Flyers (+1500), with better goaltending, might be a better value bet
- See the odds, analysis, and our three best picks as the best value bet for the 2021 champion
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman wants to start the season on Jan. 1 and play 82 games, but he has also indicated he knows that probably won’t happen.
Bettman won’t pick the start date as much as the COVID-19 virus will make that determination. Team officials privately predict the season will start in February and will include fewer than 82 games. The league will not go lower than 48 games.
The Avalanche (+750) are the favorites to win in 2021. They helped themselves through free agency. But the season’s uncertainty, even the potential for a shorter season, makes projecting a winner more challenging. A 48-game season would make the playoff race even more wide open than usual.
2021 Stanley Cup Championship Odds
|New York Rangers||+2500|
Odds taken Nov. 6 at DraftKings
Philadelphia Flyers Boast Ingredients to Win It All
The Flyers’ +1500 odds may be the best you will get on this rising powerhouse. The Flyers were the NHL’s sixth-best regular-season team last season, and yet they are still under the radar.
Here’s what you should like about the Flyers: Their goaltending, enticing odds, and general all-around talent.
At 22, goalie Carter Hart is going to do for the Flyers what Andrei Vasilevskiy did for the champion Tampa Bay Lightning. Hart is on the verge of becoming a superstar goalie. He can win games that the Flyers don’t deserve to win.
Carter Hart could be the best Goaltender in the Metro this coming season, and it’s not crazy to think this could come to fruition. pic.twitter.com/y1KqrleQ5M
— Jamey Baskow (@JameyBaskow) October 26, 2020
The Flyers ranked last season in goals-for (3.29) and goals-against ( 2.77). This is a team that is equally proficient on both sides of the puck. They have added offensive-minded defenseman Erik Gustafsson to bolster their puck movement.
The fact they are talking to the Winnipeg Jets about a Patrick Laine trade demonstrates how serious they are about this Cup run.
Pick: Philadelphia Flyers (+1500)
Even As The Favorite, Avs Still a Good Bet
If the Avalanche (+750) play as well as expected at the start of the upcoming season, their odds are going to become far less attractive.
Now is a time to bet the Avalanche. With Tampa Bay looking to move players off their roster for salary cap reasons, the Avalanche will be the NHL’s most talented offensive team.
Shouldn’t the Colorado Avalanche be signing a goalie?
— steve simmons (@simmonssteve) October 9, 2020
With the addition of Devon Toews and the continued improvement of Cale Makar, their defense is becoming more impressive. The only question about the Avalanche is whether their goaltending measures up to the other contenders. For example, the Flyers goaltending is more talented.
Also, a shorter season favors the Avs, just because it’s fewer games to lose their talented players to injuries.
Pick: Colorado Avalanche (+750)
Rangers Seem Like a Good Long Shot Bet
The Rangers didn’t have to trade Anthony DeAngelo. Kaapo Kakko will be a year older. Alexis Lafreniere will make some impact as a rookie. Talented goalie Igor Shestyorkin will improve every day. Mika Zibanejad has become a star. Artemi Panarin is a force.
There is plenty to love about the Rangers’ potential, particularly at +2500.
Strome in for two years at $4.5M cap hit per, Post has learned.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) November 5, 2020
Dan Quinn is one of the younger head coaches and has really made an impact on this team. It seems like this young Rangers team have rallied around his ideas and it looks like it is starting to pay dividends.
The Rangers could become this season’s Flyers, the team that makes a major leap to become one of the league’s better teams. If you make your Stanley Cup champion bet on the basis of payoff and potential, the Rangers have to be considered.
Pick: New York Rangers (+2500)
Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.