Understanding NHL MVP Odds

The 2019-20 NHL season figures to be wide open with no overwhelming threat to win the Stanley Cup, and the race for the Hart Trophy (given to the NHL’s Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the season) figures to be no different.

The race to be named NHL MVP figures to be especially difficult to handicap this season, given the parity and overall uncertainty of the league.  However, that doesn’t mean we won’t make an attempt to do just that!  Let’s dive in.

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Is This Finally Connor McDavid’s Time to Take Down the NHL MVP

Old NHL mainstays Sidney Crosby (+700 to win MVP) and Alex Ovechkin (+1000 to win MVP) always deserve consideration for an NHL Hart Trophy futures bet. Each grizzled veteran superstar plays on teams that figure to contend for a Stanley Cup, and with the rare name recognition amongst die-hard hockey fans and casual watchers, either player figures to have a very real chance to add another Hart Trophy to their respective trophy cases.

New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall (+1400) is another name to keep an eye on, as the hyper-talented scorer took home the 2018 Hart Trophy award. Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (+1200) was the Hart Trophy runner-up that same season and figures to play a big part in the Avs chase for another Stanley Cup. Patrick Kane (+2200) is another previous Hart Trophy winner that figures to have the offensive production for MVP consideration, but like McDavid, his teams performance may pull down his chances to win the award.

Can Nikita Kucherov Cash in on His NHL MVP Odds Again?

Tampa Bay Lighting winger Nikita Kucherov had a season for the ages. The Russian sharpshooter helped power the Lighting to the most wins in hockey while becoming the first player to top 100 points in a season since 1996-97 when Mario Lemieux was able to do it. Kucherov also only played in just 62 games last season, making his 2018-19 season even more impressive.

Kucherov will look to help get the Lightning back to the Stanley Cup Finals after their record-setting 2018-19 season ended with a first-round sweep at the hands of the Blue Jackets. If Kucherov is able to win his second consecutive Hart Trophy, he would become the first player to do so since Alexander Ovechkin notched his second consecutive MVP in 2009.

Kucherov enters this season as the second biggest favorite to win the NHL Hart Trophy at +550.

Nov 30, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) skates on the ice during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Sleepers You Can’t Sleep On for the Hart Trophy Odds

The Boston Bruins came within a single game of winning the Stanley Cup and for them to have another shot at the Cup, they will depend on their 23-year old scoring savant David Pastrnak (+2800) to get them there.

Pastrnak (called ‘Pasta’ by fans) set a career high in 2018-19 with 38 goals in only 66 games, and it would not be a surprise whatsoever if Pasta took his game to the next level this season.  When you figure the Bruins are one of the main contenders to raise Lord Stanley’s Cup, if Pastrnak is the reason why they are in contention for another Cup Final appearance it could very well land him the Hart Trophy.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have three Hart Trophy Candidates in Auston Matthews (+1200), John Tavares (+2200), and Mitch Marner (+2500).  Any of these players are capable of stringing together a great season for a team that is starving for another crack at winning the Stanley Cup, but could also essentially cannibalize the vote by splitting it amongst three teammates.

NHL Hart Trophy Trends

  • There are no defensemen or goalies with available NHL MVP odds and it’s for good reason: In the last 15 years, only one non-forward has won the Hart Trophy (Carey Price in 2014-15)
  • The last time the NHL MVP award was given to a player on a non-playoff team was 1988 (Mario Lemieux) and has only happened four times in NHL history. In other words, bet on players that you anticipate will still be playing in May.
  • East-Coast Bias? In the post-lockout era, 10 of the last 14 Hart Trophy winners have come from the Eastern Conference.
  • A good rule of thumb to determine the NHL Hart Trophy winner is to spot the player that leads the league in goals scored, points, or both. Since the cancellation of the 2004-05 season, only two Hart Trophy award winners failed to accomplish this feat (Carey Price, 2014; Taylor Hall, 2018).
  • The median age for Hart Trophy winners over the last 11 years is 28. First-time winners have taken home the Hart Trophy in the last five seasons.

As always, the experts here at OddsUSA will help you all along the way.  Good luck and happy wagering!