What Happened to My NHL Futures Bets?

With the news of the NHL’s plan to complete the 2019-20 season, hockey bettors are wondering, “What happened to my NHL season-long bets? 

It’s a great question and the answer (or answers) will be dependent upon your own individual sportsbook. Check the rules of your book for the final answer.

Stanley Cup & Conference Futures

NHL bettors that got in early on Stanley Cup or conference futures can rest easy. Those wagers should remain live. If you didn’t get in early but want to get a NHL futures wager in, you can take advantage of the expanded playoff field and check out the new board for both Stanley Cup and conference winner odds.

Tampa Bay, which is currently second in the Atlantic Division behind Boston, is the +500 favorite to win the Stanley Cup. The Bruins are a +300 favorite to win the Eastern Conference. The Lightning check in at +325.

If you got in early and the new 24-team playoff field gives you an advantage, don’t fret. All conference and Stanley Cup futures bets should remain active.

The Bad News

Bets made on regular season wins, point totals, division winners, and “to make the playoffs” props will almost all be voided. Again, check with your own online sportsbook to make sure, but most of these bets will be cancelled.

There may be some exceptions to the playoff props. It appears that Caesars will pay out on ‘YES’ to make the playoffs bets for all 24 teams. If you were fortunate enough to have wagered on Chicago, there is a hefty payout. The Blackhawks would not have come close to making the playoffs in a normal season.


Chicago Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning - June 15, 2015 | Stanley Cup Classics


If you had a win total bet that mathematically was a winner, it will still be voided. While that might leave a bad taste, consider those that bet on a win total that mathematically could not have won. Their bets will be voided as well and everyone will be given their wager back.

Bettors on Vegas to win the Pacific Division will be sad, as the Golden Knights were even money favorites. At the time of the NHL’s suspension, Vegas had a three-point lead over Edmonton with just 11 games to play.

The same holds for Vegas point totals. Bettors that took the Under 102.5 would have likely won. The Golden Knights would have had to have gone at least 8-2-1 in their final 11 games to go Over.

Regardless, all bets in these categories will be refunded.

Check Your Sportsbook’s Rules

There are some other bets that you will have to do some research on, like season-long awards. The Hart Memorial Trophy, for example, is given to the league MVP each year. The NHL will still award the Hart Trophy, but check with your sportsbook on whether or not your wager is still live.

It’s the same with player proposition bets.

Any of these various wagers may have certain requirements before any winnings can be paid out.

For example, some bets may explicitly state that all 82 regular season games must be played. Others may have a threshold – possibly 70 or 75 games played – before bettors can cash in on their winnings.

In any case, be sure to check your sportsbook’s rules prior to placing a wager. If there is one thing the coronavirus crisis has taught us, it’s that change is constant. Keep up with your online sportsbook’s rules to get the most out of your sports betting action.

About the Author

A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.

His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.

When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.