Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon are dominating this season and are neck-and-neck in the Hart Trophy odds race as NHL MVP. However, there are some questions as to whether or not one of them will run away with the crown. There are some underdogs worth examining in the race as well.
Connor McDavid (Hart Trophy Odds/NHL MVP Odds: +125)
Connor McDavid is still second in the league in points with an incredible 80 points (30 goals, 50 assists) in just 54 games. His Oilers teammate, Leon Draisaitl, leads the league in points with 83 points (29 goals, 54 assists) in those same 54 games. That could take some of the votes away from the superstar.
McDavid “only” has three points in three February games. He has the bigger name and more starpower, but he’ll need to outscore Draisaitl to make sure he gets all of those votes.
Nathan MacKinnon (Hart Trophy Odds/NHL MVP Odds: +200)
Nathan MacKinnon is the driving force behind the Colorado Avalanche. He is their main star and points leader. He is several points shy of Draisaitl and McDavid, but his 74 points (30 goals, 44 assists) in 52 games is still quite impressive. He also has the Avalanche in pretty good position for the playoffs while the Oilers are on the bubble.
MacKinnon has also had a slow start to February with two points in three games, but he is still on a pretty good stretch after 14 points in nine January games.
Which Underdogs are Making a Run?
Auston Matthews (Hart Trophy Odds/NHL MVP Odds: +1800)
Auston Matthews is carrying the Toronto Maple Leafs in the playoff race and his point totals are climbing.
Matthews recently scored his 40th goal of the season to tie Alex Ovechkin for the lead league. He has 28 assists to go along with those 40 goals for 68 points in 55 games. He is still 15 points off Draisaitl for the league lead, but he is in ninth place and is the force behind the Maple Leafs.
The Toronto superstar is also on a tear recently with eight points (four goals, four assists) in four games this past week.
Matthews’ odds will undoubtedly come down from +1800 as his point total continues to go up. If you want an underdog as a value bet, Matthews is a pretty good choice.
David Pastrnak (Hart Trophy Odds NHL MVP Odds: +400)
David Pastrnak isn’t exactly a longshot, but his odds have some value to them. Pastrnak is the only player in the middle tier between McDavid (+125) and MacKinnon (+200) and then Brad Marchand (+800) and the rest of the +1600 or higher longshots.
Pastrnak has a chance to catch McDavid in points as well. He is only five behind McDavid with 75 points (38 goals, 37 assists) in 55 games for the Boston Bruins.
If you don’t want to risk it on Matthews but still want some value, how about a serving of Pasta?