Updated Betting Lines as the NHL reveals its “Return to Play Plan”

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Matt Tenby
Matt has been a writer for American Betting Experts since 2019. He loves to watch, bet on and write about soccer but is also a huge NBA and NFL fan.

We take a look at the updated Qualifying Series and Stanley Cup odds after the NHL announced its “Return to Play Plan” on Tuesday.

The “Return to Play Plan”

After the NHL’s announcement on Tuesday, it appears hockey is on track to become the first major American sports to return to play this year. Sportsbooks are capitalizing on this by releasing odds for all eight qualifying round matchups and updated Stanley Cup odds.

The “Return to Play Plan” outlined by the NHL addresses four key phases. Phase 1 is currently in place, which is simply to isolate. Phase 2 is approaching, whereby players can return to the ice for voluntary training in small groups. Phase 3 involves organizations holding formal training camps, which cannot start any earlier than July 10. Finally, the eagerly awaited fourth phase will see hockey finally returning to our lives.

When Phase 4 of the “Return to Play Plan” starts, the top four teams in each conference will compete against one another in a round robin tournament to determine their seeding for the first round of the Playoffs. The eight other teams in each conference have been seeded based on points and will match up in best-of-five series for a place in the postseason. All contests will take place in two hub cities chosen from this list:

  • Chicago, IL
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Edmonton, AB
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Toronto, ON
  • Vancouver, BC

The Updated Betting Lines

Many of the sportsbooks now have the Qualifying Series lines on offer on site, allowing sports bettors to wager on individual match ups. Here are some of the Qualifying Series lines available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Eastern and Western Conference odds are also now available at the sportsbooks, as seen at FOX Bet here.

Finally, sportsbooks have updated their Stanley Cup odds ahead of the NHL’s return to action. The two teams favored to lift the Cup are unsurprisingly the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning. These two teams were the co-favorites prior to the stoppage in play and will remain that way going into the modified playoffs. Both the Bruins and Lightning are +600 odds to lift the Stanley Cup once play resumes.

The Bruins and Lightning both represent the Eastern Conference. Colorado Avalanche are favorites to lift the Stanley Cup of all Western Conference teams, at +800 odds. The biggest movers since the stoppage in play has been the Philadelphia Flyers of the Eastern Conference, who have seen their Stanley Cup odds slashed from +1600 to +800.

FanDuel currently have a great sportsbook offer to mark the return to NHL action. Place a $50+ futures wager on a team to win the Stanley Cup and earn a $10 bonus for every win out of their first five playoff games.

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