Checking the Norris Trophy Odds: It’s John Carlson and then… Bueller?
The 2020 Norris Trophy odds have been a one-man race since John Carlson’s historic October. The Washington Capitals defenseman led the entire league – not just defensemen – in points for some time in October and he has kept growing that lead among defensemen.
The Capitals only played one game last week with the bye week instituted, but that didn’t stop Carlson from picking up multiple points. Carlson had two assists and was a plus-three rating in a 6-4 win against the New York Islanders.
Carlson now has a whopping 60 points (13 goals, 47 assists) in just 49 games this season. He is on pace for 22 goals and 77 assists for a grand total of 99 points. If he hits 100 points he’ll be the first defenseman since Brian Leetch in 1991-92 to reach the century mark. Hell, even 99 points would be the most since Leetch. Brent Burns holds the record among active defensemen with 83 points in the 2018-19 season.
Carlson is still sitting at -500 odds. As time moves along, it’s looking like more and more of a good bet for Carlson. He’s stretching his lead and the only risk he may face is a possible injury; even at that point, he could still win it with how well he’s played so far.
If Carlson does falter in some way, however, there are only a few defensemen behind him in contention.
Let’s run it down.
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The Rest of the Pack’s Norris Trophy Odds
Roman Josi (Norris Trophy odds: +400)
The captain of the Nashville Predators is still the defenseman that Carlson has to worry about the most.
Josi is right behind Carlson in points. However, in this instance, “right behind” means being 12 points back of the Capitals defenseman. He does have more goals (14) than Carlson, tying him with the injured Dougie Hamilton for the league lead among defensemen.
The Predators defenseman is also a plus-23 on the season, which is better than Carlson’s plus-17. The value of plus-minus has been questioned in recent years, but some voters could look at that. Josi has also averaged over a minute more per game (25:54) than Carlson (24:45).
Josi at +400 is Carlson’s biggest threat.
Victor Hedman (Norris Trophy odds: +800)
While the Tampa Bay Lightning are surging, Victor Hedman has been quiet offensively. He has just four points in 10 January games after recording 15 points in 14 December games.
Hedman is +800 for a reason.
Cale Makar (Norris Trophy odds: +1600)
Cale Makar is the darkhorse to look out for as the flashy defenseman on the Colorado Avalanche. He has the Calder Trophy in his sights, but could he get the Norris as well?
Makar missed some time with injury but still has 37 points in just 41 games. Cale’s chemistry with Hart Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon helps him out as well.
If you’re looking for a longshot, go for Makar at +1600.
Carlson is running away in the Norris Trophy race and it’s looking more and more like a slam dunk. However, if you’re more of a value bettor, take a look at Makar.