When Stanley Cup odds opened on June 26 – minutes after the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final – the New Jersey Devils were an afterthought, buried at +8000 (24th-shortest odds) after missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season and ninth time in the last 10 seasons.
Three and a half months later, on the first day of the 2022-23 NHL regular-season (Oct. 5), the Devils were still buried at +6600, but, in the eyes of the betting public, they weren’t an afterthought. They held a 2.7% share of the tickets, i.e., 2.7% of all bets on the Stanley Cup champion since June 26.
The Devils had the 22nd-shortest odds, but the eighth-largest ticket share as the public delivered the largest disproportionate vote of confidence in Stanley Cup betting. Their odds-to-tickets rank difference of +14 was the best among all teams.
The @NJDevils kept things rolling on the road Saturday, improving to 17-2-1 as the visitors this season to establish an NHL benchmark.#NHLStats: https://t.co/P011uxPRer pic.twitter.com/Zd2WOLpHxk
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 15, 2023
At the regular season’s halfway mark, the Devils now own 5.1% of the tickets, and the sixth-shortest odds (+1400), making them the biggest riser this season.
Here are the biggest risers and fallers (by odds rank) in Stanley Cup odds from the start of the regular season (Oct. 5) through Jan. 12:
Stanley Cup Odds: Risers
New Jersey Devils: +16
The Devils’ Stanley Cup odds peaked in mid-December at +1000 (fourth-shortest) thanks to a franchise-record 21 wins in their first 26 games. Ten losses in 13 games pushed them down to +1400, but public interest hasn’t waned.
Only six teams have a higher handle share (5.1%), and only five teams have a higher handle share (5%) than the Devils.
Boston Bruins: +11
No team has climbed more in handle rank than the Boston Bruins as they chase the best regular-season record of all time.
When the Bruins opened the season with the 12th-shortest odds (+2800), only 2% of tickets (13th) and 1.7% of the handle (21st) were on them to win the Cup. They’re now commanding 10.2% of tickets (second) and 9.7% of the handle (third).
The 18-spot jump in handle rank is the best in the league, two spots ahead of the Winnipeg Jets (32nd to 16th) and five spots ahead of the Dallas Stars (26th to 13th).
The Bruins are still atop BetMGM’s NHL Power Rankings.
Dallas Stars: +10
The Stars didn’t make the late-November list of risers; they had climbed just six spots from Oct. 5 (+5000, 18th) to Nov. 24 (+2200, 12th).
They made this mid-January list thanks to a gradual climb that most recently included a jump from +1800 to +1600, giving them the eight-shortest odds entering the second half. And the public is buying the strong first half.
The Stars have jumped 14 spots (28th to 14th) in ticket share (0.4% to 3%) and 13 spots (26th to 13th) in handle share (1% to 2.2%) since Oct. 5.
Seattle Kraken: +10
The Kraken also didn’t make the late-November list; at +8000, they were just five spots higher (21st) than seven weeks earlier (26th, +15000).
Another winning streak of at least five games – their third this season – has pushed the second-year franchise into the top half of the odds board (16th, +4000). But the rise hasn’t resulted in a higher handle share; they’ve dropped from 1% to 0.8% since Oct. 5.
Stanley Cup Odds: Fallers
Florida Panthers: -11
The Panthers’ inability to string together wins – zero winning streaks of at least three games this season – has kept them around .500 and shoved them down the odds board.
After opening with the fourth-shortest odds (+1000) in June and beginning the season with the third-shortest odds (+900), the Panthers have slowly faded, as have their bettors.
They’re now tied with the Los Angeles Kings for the 14th-shortest odds (+3000) and have gone from a 2.9% handle share (ninth) to a 1.1% share (19th). Only the Ottawa Senators have fallen more spots in handle ranking (-14).
St. Louis Blues: -8
After a bizarre start – an eight-game losing streak followed by a seven-game winning streak – had the Blues’ odds in constant flux, they’ve stabilized, although not in a good way.
Only 10 teams have worse Stanley Cup odds than the 2019 champions, who entered this season with four straight playoff appearances and 10 appearances in the last 11 seasons.
Since opening the season at +3000 (13th) with 1.8% (14th) and 2.1% (16th) ticket and handle shares, respectively, the Blues have plummeted to +10000 (21st) with 1.7% (17th) and 1.4% (17th) shares.
Edmonton Oilers: -7
Seven wins in their first 10 games kept the Oilers in the top 10 of Stanley Cup odds. Only 10 wins over their next 22 games pushed them outside the top 10. And they haven’t returned while struggling for consistency.
The Oilers have fallen from +1400 (sixth) on Oct. 5 to +2200 (13th) on Jan. 12, a drop accompanied by waning public interest. Over that time, their ticket share has dropped from 5% (fourth-highest) to 3.5% (ninth), and handle share has dropped from 4.5% (fifth) to 3.4% (ninth).
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