The 2023 Stanley Cup Favors the Dog: An NHL Playoffs Betting Analysis

Panthers Lead Playoff Underdogs Success Story

The Florida Panthers may be felines, but they’re more like dogs considering how successful they’ve been as one this Stanley Cup Playoffs teams. Florida swept the Carolina Hurricanes and made it three straight series’ where they won as the underdog. More impressively, Florida’s 12 wins all came at dog money. But that’s not all as we uncover more in this 2023 NHL Playoffs betting analysis.

Underdogs in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dogs Have Over 60 Percent Success Rate Straight-Up

Since the start of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, underdogs have gone 46-29. This is only counting games where the underdog was lined at even NHL odds (+100) or longer. This 62.3 percent win rate would leave most dog bettors with heaps of winnings.

It’s not just Florida either. Vegas, which is one win away from joining the Panthers in the Stanley Cup Finals, is 5-2 as an underdog this postseason. Still, Florida’s run has been lucrative for its bettors. Panthers’ backers would be up over 14.2 units had they bet one unit on them every game.

But this is not the first time it’s happened. In fact, upon further NHL playoffs betting analysis, the Panthers are just the newest “Cinderella Story”.

The Wild Wild West: Western Teams Have Done It Repeatedly

It may be something about the West Coast, but several of its teams have gone on underdog runs in the playoffs. The Los Angeles Kings went all the way in 2012 as the eighth seed. Much like Florida now, the Kings rode a hot goalie (Jonathan Quick) and upset the Presidents’ Trophy winners (Vancouver).

In 2006, the Edmonton Oilers were another eight-seed that went to the Stanley Cup Final. Like Florida and Los Angeles, Edmonton upset the Presidents’ Trophy winners in Detroit. Of course, Dwayne Roloson also went on a roll in net. See a trend?

The NHL playoffs betting analysis identifies that an underdog can go as far as their goaltenders can take them. The 2004 Calgary Flames and 2003 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim were also low-seeded underdogs that rode the phenomenal play of their goaltenders to a cup appearance.

But Can the Underdogs Go All The Way?

But wait. Of the examples listed above, only the Kings went on to win the Cup. Edmonton, Calgary, and Anaheim all lost in the Stanley Cup Final to the higher-seeded opponents. Either Dallas or Vegas will be seeded higher than Florida in the Stanley Cup Finals. And Florida, as they have been lined, will likely be an underdog again.

Still, the Kings did it before and proved that home-ice advantage is not the most important thing. Florida is 6-1 as a road team this postseason. Their only loss came in their first game against Boston. Looking at the NHL scores today, Florida has looked nothing like an underdog. This team may be one. But best of luck to any one who wants to bet against it.

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