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Betting on the Stanley Cup in Tennessee

The Stanley Cup is the greatest trophy in all of sports. The team that wins it has its roster etched right into the trophy itself, immortalizing that group’s run through the rigorous Stanley Cup playoffs forever. Nothing compares to the excitement and nonstop action of watching the Stanley Cup Final, and that experience becomes even more intense when you have money on the line with some Stanley Cup betting in Tennessee.

Where to bet on the Stanley Cup Final in Tennessee

There are a handful of great options to choose from when it comes to betting on the Stanley Cup in Tennessee. Online sports betting became legal in Tennessee in 2019, and the state finalized regulations in April 2020, opening the door for some of the nation’s top online sportsbooks to apply for licenses to operate in Tennessee. There are sportsbooks gearing up to meet all of your Stanley Cup betting needs as soon as online betting launches in TN.

How to bet on the Stanley Cup Final

There are a number of ways to get in on the action of betting on the Stanley Cup in Tennessee. You can bet on Stanley Cup futures in the weeks and months leading up to the finals, and then you can bet on the series and individual games while the finals are taking place.

Stanley Cup futures bets

Like most future betting options, odds on what team will win the Stanley Cup are generally up year-round. When one season’s Stanley Cup champion is decided, fresh odds on who will hoist the Stanley Cup the following year aren’t too far behind. Here’s a look at some current Stanley Cup future odds.

Future odds are fluid throughout the year. Teams will see their odds go up or down at different points in the season based on their record, injuries, trades, public perception and other factors that could influence which team eventually wins the Stanley Cup. Keep in mind that if you do place a futures bet on a team to win the Stanley Cup, your bet will be locked in at the price you bet it at, so you don’t have to worry about potential line movement down the road.

While minor line moves happen all season long, major Stanley Cup futures line moves start occurring during the postseason. As teams drop out of playoff contention, the remaining teams become far more likely to win the championship, and their odds go up with each successful round.

Stanley Cup Final series bets

When the Stanley Cup playoffs reach just two remaining teams, Tennessee sportsbooks will list the odds on each team to win the series. The series price is usually available throughout the entire series with adjustments after each game. For example, if the Nashville Predators are a +140 underdog to win the Stanley Cup against the Boston Bruins (-170) before the series begins, the series line might be reset at Nashville -105 vs. Boston -125 if the Predators were able to score an upset in Game 1.

Stanley Cup Final individual game bets

In addition to your futures bets and series bets on the Stanley Cup Final, you can’t go wrong with some individual game betting. There are multiple ways to bet on NHL games, too:

  • Moneyline: If you are just looking to bet on which team will win the next game of the Stanley Cup Final, moneyline bets are for you. The favored team (usually the home team in the finals) has its betting odds listed with a “-” while a “+” denotes the underdog’s odds. The “-” indicates how much you will need to bet to win $100, as a -140 favorite will require a $140 bet to pay out a profit of $100. The “+” indicates how much you will win if you wager $100, so a +120 underdog will pay out a $120 profit on a $100 bet. These ratios scale to whatever your bet size is.
  • Spread: NHL betting lines in the Stanley Cup Final also include the option to bet against the spread, which is also referred to as the puck line in hockey. The puck line is always -1.5 on the favorite, so if the Nashville Predators are moneyline favorites to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 3, Nashville will also be offered at -1.5 vs. Toronto +1.5. A bet on the Predators as -1.5 favorites will only pay out if the Predators win by two goals or more, while a Maple Leafs bet at +1.5 wins if Toronto wins the game or loses by one goal.
  • Over/under: Each NHL game throughout the season has a posted total, which is basically a projected number of total goals scored in the game. If the line on a Predators vs. Maple Leafs game is 6.5 goals, bettors can bet on over 6.5 goals if they believe the teams will combine to score seven or more total goals in the game or under 6.5 if they believe the teams will score six or fewer. A 3-2 Nashville win would result in a total of five goals, paying out bettors who bet on the under.
  • Proposition bets: Prop bets are available throughout the year at some sportsbooks, but during major events like the Stanley Cup Final, there are generally a lot more of them available than you’d see during the regular season. Proposition bets are wagers on events that occur within a game that don’t have to be tied to the final score of the game. Some examples include lines like will Roman Josi record over or under 1.5 assists, will the Predators as a team have over or under 5.5 penalties, and which team will score the first goal of the game.
  • In-game betting: Live betting gives Tennessee bettors the chance to place live bets from their sportsbook’s website or mobile device in real time. In-between whistles and during commercial breaks, sportsbooks that offer live betting are constantly updating betting lines on everything from what team will win the game to which team will score the next goal. These lines are rapidly changing based on what’s happening on the ice.

History of the Stanley Cup Final in Tennessee

The Nashville Predators joined the NHL as an expansion team at the start of the 1998-99 season. After going through the growing pains that generally come with being a brand new franchise, the Predators started enjoying consistent regular season success starting in 2003-04. But while they made the playoffs 11 times over 14 seasons form 2003 through 2016, the Predators only made it out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs three times, and they lost in the second round in each of those three instances.

The 2016-17 postseason was different, and the deep run helped the Predators’ popularity reach an all-time high in Tennessee. Starting as a big underdog in the first round against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Predators pulled off a stunning upset over Chicago in their best-of-seven series, not only beating the Blackhawks but sweeping them out of the postseason four games to zero. A pair of 4-2 series wins over the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks paved the way for the Stanley Cup Final to make its way to Tennessee for the first time ever as the Predators would meet the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Through the first five games of the series, the home team dominated. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period of Game 1 and held on for a 5-3 win before winning Game 2 by a score of 4-1. The Predators returned home and rode the momentum of the incredible Tennessee home crowd to a 5-1 win in Game 3 and a 4-1 win in Game 4. Pittsburgh cruised to a 6-0 win in Game 5 and carried that momentum into a gutsy 2-0 win back in Nashville to win the Stanley Cup.

Despite the loss, Nashville’s newfound popularity has not waned. The Predators are one of the few teams in the NHL to consistently sell out or exceed 100% capacity during every game. Tennessee fans can’t wait to see their Predators hoisting the Stanley Cup some day.

Stanley Cup Final betting tips

Watch out for hot goaltenders

There are many facets of the game that you need to handicap when breaking down NHL Stanley Cup Final betting options. How do the four lines stack up against one another in the offensive and defensive zone? How are both teams’ special teams units performing? Will home ice be much of a factor in this game? Just to name a few.

But sometimes, a red-hot goalie just trumps every other factor you try to break down. After all, the goaltenders are the only two players who are on the ice for virtually the entire game. If one is just playing out of his mind, it has a cascading effect across the rest of the series:

  • The goaltender himself is feeling confident and in a groove.
  • The goaltender’s teammates are also feeling confident, like they can’t lose with their stopper playing at this high of a level. This allows them to loosen up and take chances in the offensive zone.
  • Conversely, the team that can’t find a goal might become frustrated and start second-guessing shot selections, looking for the perfect shot to try to beat this guy instead of sticking to a game plan.

The opposing team may eventually solve the hot goaltender and flip the script on the series, but until it does, it isn’t a bad idea to roll with the hot hand.

Use the tempo of the series to your advantage

The first period or two of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final can often be slow-paced as the two teams feel each other out or feel the effects of nerves as one or both teams get momentarily caught up in the moment. But as each team settles in to the series, the astute Tennessee hockey fan can start picking up trends on how this series is going to go.

Sometimes both teams are defensive-minded clubs with great goaltenders that are just waiting for the perfect moment to strike. This type of matchup will generally produce low scores, making the under a good bet throughout the series. The +1.5 puck line is another good option in games where goals are at a premium, and there is often value on the road team on the moneyline since a bounce or two is likely to decide the game anyway.

On the other hand, two teams that are comfortable skating up and down the ice trading prime scoring chances are likely to see their totals go over throughout the series. High-scoring series also make favorites more tempting on the -1.5 line, as more goals mean a higher chance of the favorite breaking away.

Other series have a clash in styles, but maybe tend to lean one way or the other based on which team is at home or trailing in the series. Whatever the case may be, look for series trends and take advantage of them.

Bet on desperation, especially at home

You’ll never get a better effort from an NHL team than you will from a team facing elimination in the Stanley Cup Final. A team facing elimination in the first round might roll over and die, but any team good enough to win three best-of-seven series to get this far is going to have some major fight in it with its season on the line.

And even if it isn’t an actual elimination game, some spots clearly call for desperation. A home team that loses Game 1 at home knows it can’t afford to head to the opposing team’s building down two games to zero. A team that lost Game 1 and Game 2 on the road knows that it must win Game 3 at home to have a shot at winning this series.

Both teams will be giving it their all. It isn’t like the opposing team isn’t trying its hardest to win the Stanley Cup and to take advantage of the situation. But you can’t emulate the motivation that comes from a true must-win scenario, and teams with their back against the wall generally make a good bet.