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Oddsmakers Give Love to Matthews in Preseason Hart Trophy Futures

The hype surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t be higher right now. Their group of elite rookies who took the NHL by storm last season are another year older and one of them – Auston Matthews – is a superstar in the making.

About to celebrate his 20th birthday, Matthews has all but been announced as the Leafs’ new captain after scoring 69 points in a Calder Trophy-winning rookie season and Bovada has him as the third favorite – behind McDavid and Crosby – to win this year’s Hart Trophy at odds of +850.

He and the Leafs shocked a lot of people by sneaking into the playoffs with a roster that had an average age of 25.7 but they flat out blew people away when they took two of the first three in their series against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals. Matthews had four goals in that series and he’s primed to have a massive offensive campaign with William Nylander and Patrick Marleau as his projected linemates.

Usurping the faves will not be easy but there’s no reason why Matthews shouldn’t contend for both the Hart and Art Ross trophies in his sophomore season. We all saw what McDavid did in his second year in the NHL and Matthews is just as talented as his World Cup of Hockey teammate.

If the Leafs contend for a top spot in the Atlantic in 2017-18 and Matthews pots 40 goals again, it’s hard to imagine he’s not shown some love in the MVP vote.

Here are the rest of the preseason Hart Trophy odds:

2017-18 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Connor McDavid (EDM)+150
Sidney Crosby (PIT)+250
Auston Matthews (TOR)+850
Alex Ovechkin (WSH)+900
Patrick Kane (CHI)+1400
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)+1500
Evgeni Malkin (PIT)+1800
Carey Price (MTL)+2000
John Tavares (NYI)+2000
Steven Stamkos (TB)+2500
Jamie Benn (DAL)+2500
Nikita Kucherov (TB)+2500
Erik Karlsson (OTT)+2500
Patrik Laine (WPG)+4000
Jack Eichel (BUF)+4000
Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)+5000
Brad Marchand (BOS)+6000
Tyler Seguin (DAL)+6000
Braden Holtby (WSH)+6000
Brent Burns (SJ)+6000
Joe Pavelski (SJ)+6000
Nicklas Backstrom (WSH)+6000
Artemi Panarin (CBJ)+6000
Phil Kessel (PIT)+6000
Mark Scheifele (WPG)+6600

Odds as of September 13 at Bovada

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Winning the Hart Trophy in his second season in the NHL by taking a whopping 88 percent of the first-place votes for the award, Connor McDavid affirmed his status as a superstar in 2016-17 and will open 2017-18 as the odds-on favorite to win the Hart for a second straight year.

Looking to become the first Oiler to earn the trophy in consecutive seasons since some guy named Wayne Gretzky won it eight years in a row, Connor has some big skates to fill. His +150 odds at Bovada imply he’s up for the task and it can’t hurt that he’ll have his running mate Leon Draisaitl back in the saddle after the two were signed to massive long-term deals.

Oddsmakers aren’t just in love with McDavid, they’re pretty high on his team too, pegging the Oilers with a +1000 line to lift a certain famous mug. That 10/1 number puts Edmonton behind only the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins and ahead of teams like the Blackhawks and Capitals.

Most of the faith in the Oilers stems from the talents of their latest Hart Trophy winner and if they’re going to contend for the Cup this year, it will come at the cost of McDavid’s more than capable shoulders.

2017-18 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Connor McDavid (EDM)+150
Sidney Crosby (PIT)+250
Auston Matthews (TOR)+850
Alex Ovechkin (WSH)+900
Patrick Kane (CHI)+1400
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)+1500
Evgeni Malkin (PIT)+1600
Carey Price (MTL)+2000
John Tavares (NYI)+2000
Steven Stamkos (TB)+2500
Jamie Benn (DAL)+2500
Nikita Kucherov (TB)+2500
Erik Karlsson (OTT)+2500
Patrik Laine (WPG)+4000
Jack Eichel (BUF)+5000
Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)+5000
Brad Marchand (BOS)+6000
Tyler Seguin (DAL)+6000
Braden Holtby (WSH)+6000
Brent Burns (SJ)+6000
Joe Pavelski (SJ)+6000
Nicklas Backstrom (WSH)+6000
Artemi Panarin (CBJ)+6000
Phil Kessel (PIT)+6000

Odds as of August 18 at Bovada

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If you haven’t watched hockey any time during the last two NHL seasons, do yourself a favor and YouTube “Connor McDavid highlights”.  The 20-year-old captain of the Edmonton Oilers produces fireworks almost every time he steps on the ice and it’s helped to get the franchise he plays for back into the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

McDavid, who has 15 points in his last eight games, has a chance to break the century mark in just his second year in the league and is now the heavy favorite at Bovada to take home the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player.

At this point, it’s tough to argue that there’s a more valuable player in the NHL. He’s led the Oilers on a 9-1 run and given them a good shot at winning the Pacific after three straight wins against other teams in the division. Edmonton has never won a Pacific Division title and McDavid has more than a little to do with the Oilers' rejuvenation.

If you’re not incredibly pleased with the -500 value on number 97, you may want to take a flyer on Sidney Crosby at +300. McDavid may be ready to take the torch from Sid as the best player in the league but the two-time Hart winner is not ready to pass it. With 84 points – and a league-leading 43 goals – Crosby has been dragging his banged-up team behind him and the case can definitely be made that he’s been just as valuable to his team as McDavid has been to the Oilers.

That said, it’s unlikely the voters miss an opportunity to anoint a new golden boy and I would fall out of my chair if they were to select anyone other than McDavid as the league’s best player.

2016-17 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Connor McDavid (EDM)-500
Sidney Crosby (PIT)+300
Patrick Kane (CHI)+550
Brent Burns (SJ)+700
Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ)+2000

Odds as of April 3 at Bovada

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If he weren’t so gosh darn entertaining, I might be getting tired of writing about Brent Burns, the Sharks’ stud blue-liner who does a lot more than protect his own end. I’ve been touting Burnsy as a candidate in the Hart Memorial race for a while now but it hasn’t been until recently that the idea has picked up a serious head of steam.

The six-foot-five Ajax, Ontario native has played in every one of the Sharks’ 63 games to date and has collected himself an astounding 27 goals and 67 points – five points off the NHL lead. What Burns is doing this year is absolutely unprecedented in this day and age and with the second-best defensive point shares number in the league, he’s doing it without letting his team get burned on the other end.

Bovada now has Burns at +175 to become the first d-man to take home the award since Chris Pronger and that’s a far cry from the +1000 line they pegged him with a little under a month ago.

Connor McDavid, the +120 favorite in the race, will have something to say down the stretch and if the Oilers are able to gain significant ground on the Sharks in the Pacific, No. 97 is basically a lock to win. The 20-year-old leads the NHL with 72 points in 64 games and has, with the help of Cam Talbot and some guys who can actually play defense, brought the Oilers back into relevance.

The race between Connor and Brent should be one of the more compelling stories as the regular season winds down and with the Sharks and Oilers set to play each other two more times, there’s plenty of fodder for debate.

2016-17 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Connor McDavid (EDM)+120
Brent Burns (SJ)+175
Sidney Crosby (PIT)+299
Patrick Kane (CHI)+1200
Evgeni Malkin (PIT)+2000
Devan Dubnyk (MIN)+2600
Alexander Ovechkin (WAS)+3500
Tyler Seguin (DAL)+4000
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)+4000
Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ)+5000

Odds as of March 3 at Bovada

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Little has changed at the top of the Hart Trophy odds list past Connor McDavid’s and Sidney Crosby’s odds getting significantly shorter. No. 97 and No. 87 have really separated themselves from the rest of the pack and are creating a lead that resembles something close to the ones Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis did in the glory days of the Tour de France.

The dominance asserted by these men is the only comparison I’m trying to make as I’m fairly certain Connor and Sid are doing what they’re doing based mostly on God-given talent and that they probably have a much healthier competitive relationship than Floyd and Lance did, but I digress.

I’ve written before about how the parallels between Crosby and McDavid are scary and if Connor wins the Hart – like he’s the favorite to do right now at Bovada – you can probably just fill in the blanks for the rest of his career based on what Sid has done, like a color by numbers. I’m obviously kidding but the similarities are hard to reject. Like Captain Cros, McDavid was given the C as a teenager after showing his transcendent talent on a terrible team in his rookie season, and after just a year of NHL experience, both men turned their respective teams into contenders.

With 59 points through 52 games, Connor leads the man he’s being compared to so fiercely by three points. Crosby has gotten to his 56-point total in just 43 games but to be fair, he’s surrounded by a much more talented cast. In many cases, McDavid is single-handedly winning hockey games and is keeping his team in the hunt for a Pacific Division playoff spot.

There’s a legitimate chance that Crosby can win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal scorer, the Art Ross as the league’s leading point getter and the Hart as the league’s MVP. Alex Ovechkin is the last man to accomplish that feat as he completed the trifecta back in 2007-08 when Crosby played just 53 games.

If there was one man that I think could usurp either of these superstar centers in the MVP race, it would be Brent Burns. My argument for the Sharks D-man is that if you took him off the roster, it would be more devastating than if you took Connor or Sid out of their respective lineups. Burns is tied for first in defensive point shares and sits just six points back of the lead pace set by the Oilers’ captain.

It would be out of the norm for NHL voters to give the award to the blue-liner but in my mind, it would be easily justified. He’s getting decent value with a +1000 line at Bovada and I think he’s a much better candidate than both Patrick Kane and Devan Dubnyk.

Here’s the complete list of Hart Trophy futures:

2016-17 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Connor McDavid (EDM)+120
Sidney Crosby (PIT)+180
Evgeni Malkin (PIT)+700
Patrick Kane (CHI)+1000
Devan Dubnyk (MIN)+1000
Brent Burns (SJS)+1000

Odds as of February 1, 2017 at Bovada

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Almost halfway through the 2016-17 NHL regular season and things just keep getting weirder. The Blue Jackets have won 16 straight games, Devan Dubnyk is posting the best numbers of any goalie in the league and four Canadian teams are currently in a playoff position. Need to be leveled out with a bit of normality? Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby are leading the odds in the Hart Memorial Trophy race. OK, good, that feels better.

The two men I speak of, the two Canadian golden boys, sit one point apart in the NHL points race and both are exactly +9. The only difference between the two captains right now is how they’re earning their points. McDavid is skilfully gliding around defenders, drawing multiple covers and dishing the puck to an open man who normally has a wide open net to slot the puck home to. Crosby, on the other hand, has been scoring at will and has done his damage in seven fewer games.

For my money, this race is between these centers and Bovada agrees with that analysis, pegging Crosby with +140 odds to take home the MVP trophy and picking McDavid as the +125 favorite.

An argument can be made for Dubnyk right now with how important he is to the Wild but I just can’t see the NHL giving such a coveted award to a guy who is succeeding because of the system he plays in. Minnesota is one of the most disciplined teams in hockey that gives up very few high-quality scoring chances.

It's not an argument that Brent Burns is the most valuable player to his team right now. He has 35 points, is +12 and is playing nearly 25 minutes a game. The Sharks have surged up the Pacific Division standings and are starting to look like the Cup contenders I was touting them as before the season started. The issue here is that the NHL is terribly biased toward forwards and only two non-forwards – Chris Pronger and Carey Price – have won the Hart since the turn of the millennium. Burns is one of my favorite players in the league and doesn’t give up his responsibilities at the defensive end in search of offense like a certain point-scoring Swede.

I don’t think he’ll win but “The Beard” could be worth a punt at +1800 if he continues to lock it down at the back end and score at almost a point-per-game rate.

Click here for Calder Trophy odds.

Click here for Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy odds.

Click here for Vezina Trophy odds.

Click here for Norris Trophy odds.

Here's the complete list of Hart Trophy futures:

2016-17 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Connor McDavid (EDM)+350
Sidney Crosby (PIT)+700
Devan Dubnyk (MIN)+850
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)+900
Carey Price (MTL)+950
Brent Burns (SJS)+1000

Odds as of January 4 at Bovada

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As hockey pundits like to remind us, “it’s still early,” but with most teams in the league having at least 10 games under their belts, there are definitely some players to be excited about and we can absolutely start making wild speculations on who will win the end-of-season hardware.

Bovada has released futures lines for all the major awards and if you’re surprised by who’s leading the odds right now in the MVP race, you should probably withdraw all your funds from your online sports betting accounts and send them to me to manage for you.

Connor “The Goat” McDavid is the best player in the NHL and in my opinion, it’s not even close. He currently leads the league in points and is just one off the lead in goals scored. I literally say “wow” out loud when I see him grab the puck on the rush and slide by opposing blue-liners like they're pylons. You can get him for +350 on Bovada right now and if he stays away from the boards this season, that number will only go down as his point total goes up.

It’s not just the eye test that he passes. He was named captain of his Oilers before the start of the season and he’s taken to the role like a fly to crap. Edmonton is 7-2 since McDavid took the C and eerily resembles a Pittsburgh Penguins team that was the last to give a teenager a captaincy.

That teenager was, of course, Sidney Crosby. The following 2006-07 season, Sid the Kid went on to score 120 points and was named the overwhelming majority winner of that year’s Hart Memorial Trophy. Sounding familiar? The parallels between Crosby and McDavid’s careers so far are uncanny and if I know anything about the NHL, it’s that they love anointing their golden boys.

Click here for Calder Trophy odds.

Click here for Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy odds.

Click here for Vezina Trophy odds.

Click here for Norris Trophy odds.

Here's the complete list of Hart Trophy futures:

2016-17 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Connor McDavid (EDM)+350
Steven Stamkos (TB)+700
Carey Price (MTL)+850
Sidney Crosby (PIT)+900
Patrick Kane (CHI)+950
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)+1000
Joe Pavelski (SJS)+1100
Alexander Ovechkin (WSH)+1100
John Tavares (NYI)+1400
Erik Karlsson (OTT)+1600
Jamie Benn (DAL) +1800
Tyler Seguin (DAL)+1800
Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)+2000

Odds as of November 1 at Bovada

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The NHL is almost back in session after the atrocity that was the World Cup of Hockey ended and while we wait for the sentencing of when, where and what awful format the next tournament will take, we can look forward to the regular season and start betting on who will be taking home the hardware at the end of the season.

Bovada has odds up for the Hart Trophy for the league’s Most Valuable Player and unsurprisingly, Sidney Crosby leads the way at +350. The two-time Stanley Cup champion and two-time Hart winner ended last season with 85 points after a dismal first half. Once Sid started to click with his linemates last year, he became borderline unstoppable and if they retained any of that chemistry, the Penguins should be one of the most entertaining teams in hockey.

The defending Hart winner Patrick Kane comes back at +700 which seems like pretty good value for a guy who has the most recent success winning the trophy and who plays for a team that always has its prices inflated. Kaner ran away with the scoring race with 106 points last year and earned Most Valuable Player honors by receiving 121 of the 150 first-place votes.

Sophomore superstar Connor McDavid hits the list at +950 odds but in all honesty, this seems like a stretch. The NHL writers who vote on this award weigh team success heavily and it’s unlikely the Oilers do much this year except maybe sneak into the playoffs. McDavid has all but been named the captain of Edmonton, though, and has many MVP-caliber seasons on the not-so-distant horizon.

The only defenseman to make the list is Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators. The Swede led the league in assists last year and was by most accounts – including mine – robbed of the Norris Trophy. No defenseman has won the Hart since Chris Pronger did it in the 1999-00 season with his +52 plus/minus ratio and none had done it before him since the great Bobby Orr won the award three times in a row from 1969-70 to 1971-72. +2000 for Karlsson is a tasty line but it’s probably not worth it.

Newly signed Steven Stamkos at +1100 is my favorite play on the board. Stammer has had three seasons where he scored more than 90 points and is the undisputed leader of the Tampa Bay Lightning. If the Bolts have the season I am expecting them to, their captain will 100 percent be in the conversation.

Click here for Calder Trophy Odds.

Click here for Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy Odds.

Here's the complete list of Hart Trophy Futures:

2016-17 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Sidney Crosby (PIT)+350
Patrick Kane (CHI)+700
Alexander Ovechkin (WSH)+850
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)+900
Connor McDavid (EDM)+950
John Tavares (NYI)+1000
Jamie Benn (DAL) +1100
Steven Stamkos (TB)+1100
Tyler Seguin (DAL)+1400
Carey Price (MTL)+1600
Claude Giroux (PHI)+1800
Evgeni Malkin (PIT)+1800
Erik Karlsson (OTT)+2000
Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)+2000
Anze Kopitar (LAK)+2500
Corey Perry (ANA)+2500
Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)+4000
Joe Pavelski (SJS)+4000
Nikita Kucherov (TBL)+4000
Joe Thornton (SJS)+5000

Odds as of October 5 at Bovada

Archived Articles

The NHL resumes it’s regular season schedule following a largely successful All-Star Weekend in Nashville, but as the season winds down, Patrick Kane’s foothold on the Hart Trophy just gets stronger.

Kane is dominating the points leaderboard as he has recorded 30 goals and 43 assists for 73 points – 15 points ahead of second-placed Jamie Benn. His dominant play, coupled with the Chicago Blackhawks’ excellent play during the regular season campaign, has the American now sitting at -300 to win the Hart Trophy at online shop Bovada.

At +300, Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals has an excellent shot at winning the league’s MVP. Washington’s netminder has been a key reason the Caps have enjoyed their season thus far as he’s put up a 30-5-3 record with an exceptional 2.07 goals against average and .929 save percentage. The Caps are currently the league’s top team with 74 points heading into post-All-Star play.

Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators has shot up the futures board and is now sitting at +1800. The defenseman has 52 points but his Senators are struggling to remain in the playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

Click here to check out the latest Rocket Richard Trophy odds.

Click here to check out the latest Calder Trophy odds.

2016 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Patrick Kane (CHI)-300
Braden Holtby (WAS)+300
Jamie Benn (DAL)+1100
Tyler Seguin (DAL)+1400
Erik Karlsson (OTT)+1800
John Scott (MON)+100000

Odds as of February 2 at Bovada

Archived Articles

Patrick Kane has been playing out of his mind this season. The Chicago Blackhawks winger leads the league in points and assists while currently sitting second in goals and fourth in plus/minus. Taking all that into account, it shouldn't be a surprise to see that Kane is the odds-on favorite to win the Hart Trophy this season according to Bovada.

Dallas Stars linemates Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn are the next two behind Kane. The Stars offense has scored well more than any team in the league thanks to Seguin and Benn, who are second and third in goals scored.

Only two other players have been listed by Bovada with Vladimir Tarasenko and Henrik Lundqvist both posting some long odds.

2016 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Patrick Kane (CHI)-120
Tyler Seguin (DAL)+300
Jamie Benn (DAL)+350
Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)+1000
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)+1000

Odds as of January 5 at Bovada

Archived Articles

Through a quarter of the season, Patrick Kane has put on one of the most impressive offensive runs in NHL history. The Blackhawks winger is leading the league in points and assists, while averaging more than 1.5 points per game. Not surprisingly, Kane is the favorite to win hardware at the end of the season, with Bovada listing the American at +200 to win the Hart Trophy.

Only three players are remotely close to Kane with Dallas Stars top-liners Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn both listed at +500 and New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist at +600.

Only one defenseman made the cut with Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators being the long shot at +4000. The Swede is second among defenseman in points and third in ice-time.

2016 Hart Trophy Winner
PlayerOdds
Patrick Kane (CHI)+200
Jamie Benn (DAL)+500
Tyler Seguin (DAL)+500
Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)+600
John Tavares (NYI)+1200
Alexander Ovechkin (WSH)+1200
Sidney Crosby (PIT)+1200
Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)+1200
Carey Price (MTL)+1600
Steven Stamkos (TB)+2000
Carey Price (MTL)+2000
Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)+2500
Claude Giroux (PJI)+2800
Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)+3500
Erik Karlsson (OTT)+4000

Odds as of December 2 at Bovada

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