Lightning vs Canadiens Odds & Stanley Cup 2021 Bets To Back
Adrian Dater | 8 mins
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Not since 1993 have the venerated Montreal Canadiens been to a Stanley Cup final. Not since … last year has the Tampa Bay Lightning been there.
The Canadiens were, with some betting websites, 500-1 underdogs to make the Cup final before the season. They barely made the playoffs, but have knocked off three straight teams who were favored to advance past Montreal. Once the perennial gatekeepers of the Cup, with 24 championships and a haughty air of entitlement to it, the Canadiens are now the scrappy, underdog darlings of the hockey world.
The Lightning are now the big, bad bullies that plenty of people would like to see knocked off. Some think they got an unfair advantage in getting here, with two players (Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos) missing most of the season to injuries. That meant their salary cap hits got sidelined as well; then both got healthy just in time for the playoffs, when their cap hits didn’t matter anymore.
Let’s take a look at the series from a Stanley Cup betting perspective with the best online sportsbooks and make some picks:
Lightning vs Canadiens Odds in Stanley Cup Final
|Lightning Win Series||-250|
|Canadiens Win Series||+200|
|Lightning Win 4-0||+600|
|Lightning Win 4-1||+350|
|Lightning Win 4-2||+400|
|Lightning Win 4-3||+400|
|Canadiens Win 4-0||+1800|
|Canadiens Win 4-1||+1100|
|Canadiens Win 4-2||+700|
|Canadiens Win 4-3||+650|
Stanley Cup final odds via BetMGM ➜ are current as of publication. Check out our BetMGM sportsbook review as well.
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Top Stanley Cup Final Prop Odds
There are plenty of NHL betting prop wagers you can choose for the series, where the payouts are higher for success. Be careful, though: They’re also the easiest to lose. Here are a couple, though, that I think are decent wagers at DraftKings sportsbook ➜:
1. Cole Caufield to score a goal in Game 1 (+240): The Canadiens youngster has been tremendous so far in the postseason, and he has shown he loves the big stage.
2. Brayden Point to score a goal in Game 1 (+114): The Lightning forward leads all NHL players with 14 goals so far in this postseason. His nine-game scoring streak was snapped in Game 7 against the Islanders, so this is a good time to start another.
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Lightning vs Canadiens Betting Analysis & Pick
It looks lopsided on paper. The Lightning has four strong lines, a tough, veteran defense and probably the best young goalie in the league in Andrei Vasilevskiy. They have been here before and don’t seem any less hungry for Lord Stanley’s silver punchbowl.
The Canadiens, however, have heard this kind of thing before in these playoffs. Three times already, they have heard they aren’t good enough to beat their upcoming opponent and the NHL odds reflected that.
Obviously, if the Canadiens are to have any hope of winning for the first time since 1993, they need goalie Carey Price to be just as good as he already has been in these playoffs and that is considerable. Caufield needs to keep scoring and Montreal needs a big series from its veteran defenseman, former Norris Trophy winner Shea Weber, especially on the power play.
Home-ice advantage usually matters in the Cup final, but Tampa Bay’s could be heightened for this series. While the Lightning can play in front of full crowds at Amalie Arena, at press time the Canadian government still was imposing a limit of 3,500 at Bell Centre. Maybe that will change (and let’s hope it does) but if not, it gives the Lightning even more of an advantage.
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I just think the Lightning look hungry enough to win back-to-back Cups for the first time since Pittsburgh in 2016-17. They just have too much depth for the Canadiens. Yeah, Montreal looks really hungry as well. But the Lightning not only has the hunger, but more talent and depth.
Series Pick: Lightning in 6.
Who Will Win the Conn Smythe Trophy?
Conn Smythe 2021 Odds
Stanley Cup final odds via Unibet ➜ are current as of publication. Check out our Unibet sportsbook review as well.
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Our Pick To Win the Conn Smythe
Brayden Point: With 14 goals, he seems like an obvious pick to me. Provided, of course, that Tampa Bay wins the series and he scores a few more goals. Even if he doesn’t score any more, however, he still might win it. It’s hard to see how anyone else will top his goal total in this postseason.
Even if Nikita Kucherov continues to have more points than Point, I think Point would win the sentimental vote. There is plenty of bitterness around the league that Kucherov was able to miss the entire regular season and not have his massive salary count against the cap. Point’s biggest competitor for the Conn Smythe, I think, is Price. If the Habs win the series, the veteran goalie almost certainly win it.
3 Stanley Cup Final Betting Tips
Take the under more often than not: Both teams, especially the Lightning, have high-end offensive talent. But the two hottest goalies in the league are in play here. Price has been a giant killer so far, and Montreal has a relentless forechecking system. Goals won’t come easily in this series.
Expect a split in the first two games: I always like the road team to win a game among the first two in the Cup final. Winning on the road gets a lot tougher later in a series (just look at the Islanders-Lightning semifinal series). I think Price will find a way to steal one of the first two.
Fade Caufield a bit: Cole Caufield has become a huge fan favorite in Montreal and has nine points in the playoffs. But, while I think he will score a goal in Game 1, I think the big, rugged defense of the Lightning will slow him down as the series moves along.
Stanley Cup Final 2021 Schedule
Game 1: Monday, June 28, 8 p.m., Canadiens at Lightning, NBCSN
Game 2: Wednesday, June 30, 8 p.m., Canadiens at Lightning, NBCSN
Game 3: Friday, July 2, 8 p.m., Lightning at Canadiens. NBC
Game 4: Monday, July 5, 8 p.m., Lightning at Canadiens, NBC
Game 5: Wednesday, July 7, 8 p.m., Canadiens at Lightning, NBC*
Game 6: Friday, July 9, 8 p.m., Lightning at Canadiens, NBC*
Game 7: Sunday, July 11, 7 p.m., Canadiens at Lightning, NBC*
* - If necessary