2023 NHL Playoffs Betting Guide: Bets & Predictions – All You Need to Know 2023 NHL Playoffs Betting Guide: Bets & Predictions – All You Need to Know

After seven months of intense battles across North America (several games were played in Europe as well), we have the very best 16 teams in the strongest professional hockey league on the planet.

These 16 outfits are now set for the ultimate showdown in the prestigious Stanley Cup trophy quest. Not surprisingly, US online sportsbooks offer many opportunities to get your bets and predictions in.

The Colorado Avalanche are the reigning champions after beating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the final a year ago. Both teams have made it to the playoffs this time, meaning the replay is very much a possibility.

Now that we have all the matchups ready across all divisions, it is the best time to closely examine the power rankings and each team’s chances of going all the way in the playoffs bracket. All the best US sportsbooks will offer a lot of hockey markets, including major players DraftKings Sports, BetMGM Sports, and FanDuel.

Head to our NHL Predictions & Expert Picks page for more great ice hockey bets!

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Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers

With 135 points and a staggering 65-12-5 record, the Boston Bruins completely dominated the league and won the President’s Trophy by some distance. They finished the regular campaign with the second-best offensive and, by far, the best defensive record in the competition.

Their rock-solid defensive line is unparalleled this season, and we can already say it will be tough to outplay this group of players in a best-of-seven series.

Naturally, the Bruins are the main favorites to go all the way, a smart pick could be Boston to win the Stanley Cup at the +300 odds.

Boston’s inaugural obstacle will be the Florida Panthers in a very exciting clash on so many levels. Namely, these two outfits are the previous two Presidents’ Trophy winners.

They favor opposite playing styles, as the Bruins are the best defensive team in the league, while the Panthers don’t play defense. Lastly, it will be exciting to see Brad Marchand and Matt Tkachuk going up against each other in the clash of the big stars.

Based on everything we have seen in the regular season, the Bruins are massive favorites here, and we can hardly see the Panthers getting more than a single win. There might be a nice value in the +150 odds offered for the Bruins to win the series in a -2.5 games handicap. You could also find other good spread betting opportunities (see our in-depth guide: 219077-us-sports-betting-101-how-does-spread-betting).

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Maple Leafs and the Lightning will lock horns in the replay of the last year’s Eastern Conference first-round matchup. The Lightning advanced in a seven-game series exactly a year ago and then went on to reach the third successive Stanley Cup final.

Tampa Bay did not exactly shine this season, but one can never underestimate the talent they possess. However, Toronto had a very strong campaign in general with 111 points, and they deservedly carry a slight favorites’ tag ahead of the series.

The last season’s series between these rivals went all the way to seven games, and we would not be surprised to witness the same scenario this time around. The Over 6.5 games in this series are a bet paid at the exciting +205 odds.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders

The Carolina Hurricanes have jeopardized their Metropolitan Division ambitions with a significant slide in the form in the last couple of months. Nevertheless, they still managed to preserve the top spot in the division and will face the New York Islanders at the beginning of the playoffs run as a reward.

The Islanders only edged it to the playoffs thanks to a strong run-in. They rely much more on defense and Ilya Sorokin between the pipes, but we doubt the mighty Russian will be much of a help in this very difficult series.

The 'Canes swept the Islanders back in the 2019 Eastern Conference second round (their previous playoffs meeting), and they also won three of four outings against the NY outfit in the regular season this term.

You can hardly make a mistake backing the Hurricanes to advance in this series at the -200 odds, but we would not push them any further in the Eastern Conference.

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New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers

We’ve all kind of cheered for things to play just as expected in the final weeks of the regular season to get the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils to lock horns in the postseason action for the seventh time in their history.

The Rangers came out victors in four of six such occasions, but the Devils had the last laugh in the 2012 Conference Final. This is a fantastic matchup between two highly talented rosters.

Whichever of the two outfits comes through is very much capable of causing Carolina problems in the potential second-round matchup.

Sadly, we believe the Bruins are untouchable, but if you think otherwise, the Devils are +550, and the Rangers are +750 to win the conference. Additionally, you can back the Over 6.5 games in this mouth-watering series at the +205 odds.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Seattle Kraken

The Seattle Kraken fought for their bare lives in the final week of the regular season, and they eventually managed to secure the postseason action at the expense of the Buffalo Sabres. The Kraken became the first team to make it to the playoffs in their second season since Quebec Nordiques in 1981.

Unfortunately for their fans, they will face a mission impossible right at the first obstacle as the early draw has given them the reigning champions, the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs did not cruise through the regular season as expected, but they certainly did show moments of brilliance on many occasions along the way.

We expect these moments to happen more often in the playoffs, and we see the Avs as the biggest Western Conference contenders. You can back Colorado to win the conference at the +275 odds.

Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild

This is going to be an intense series between two stern defensive lines and with some bad blood among the fans and the skaters. Ryan Suter had been a key piece of the Minnesota Wild defense for nine years before the Wild were forced to trade him to the Stars due to his massive contract.

After wearing Dallas ' shirt for eight years, Minnesota’s defensive leader John Klingberg did the opposite. Frankly speaking, we can’t see either of these outfits hurting the Avalanche in the potential next-round matchup. If there is a series worth skipping from a betting point of view, it’s this one.

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets

The Vegas Golden Knights somehow sneaked their way to the Western Conference on the back of some strong displays from the defensive line and an impressive set of goalies led by Logan Thompson.

The Pacific Division winners will face the Winnipeg Jets in the opening round of the playoffs. The Golden Knights are pretty big favorites after completing the regular season sweep of the Jets, winning all three games against them.

Nevertheless, we don’t expect the Golden Knights to go too deep in the playoffs with at least two of three stronger teams than them (at least on paper) in the mix. If you think otherwise, the Golden Knights are +450 to win the Conference.

Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

The Edmonton Oilers head into the playoffs as probably the hottest team in the league. They’ve pushed strongly for the Pacific Division crown but ended up just a couple of points shy of the Golden Knights despite winning each of the last nine regular-season affairs.

The run involves impressive victories over the Golden Knights, the Kings, and the Avalanche, among others. If a team can beat the Avs over seven games in the Western Conference, it’s Edmonton. After all, they have the MVP front-runner Connor McDavid leading the league’s best offensive line by a mile.

Leon Draisaitl is enjoying an outstanding campaign of his own. It seems the Oilers have expanded the roster and gotten some much-needed width in the last couple of months. We see them as the clear favorites in this matchup against the Kings.

If things go right, they have the capacity to beat even the Bruins in a potential final. There is certainly value in these +650 odds offered for Edmonton to win the Stanley Cup.