Look Beyond McDavid for Real Value
The Hart Memorial Trophy is an annual award for the NHL’s most valuable player. According to hockey betting sites, Connor McDavid is the absolute favorite right now.
But if you’re looking for value, you need to look outside of McDavid.
2022-23 NHL Hart Trophy Odds
Connor McDavid is tearing up the National Hockey League with 59 points in 30 games. He’s on course for a staggering 161 points, which would easily be a career high for the center.
Only five players in NHL history have scored more than 150 points, including Wayne Gretzky, who has done so nine times. If McDavid keeps that pace all season long, he’ll win the Hart. But that’s a big if. With 52 games remaining in the campaign, anything can happen.
With so many variables at play, the paltry odds you get for McDavid aren’t that inviting. Even if he wins the scoring title, it’s no lock that he wins the Hart. The Richmond Hill product has led the league in points four times but has only two Hart trophies.
If last year was his breakout season, this year propelled Jason Robertson to superstar status.
The fourth-year pro followed up his 79-point season with a stellar start that takes him to 118 points. J-Rob’s year was marked by an 18-game point streak in which he rocketed up the Hart Trophy rating.
Unlike McDavid, Robertson’s team is a first-place squad. How much that really matters is up for debate.
Remember that the award is for the player who is most valuable to their team. If you took Robertson out of the equation for the Dallas Stars, they probably wouldn’t be leading their division.
The Oilers, on the other hand, would still have the second-best scorer in the league (Draisaitl, 51 points) if McDavid fell.
With those odds, last year’s Hart Trophy winner earns a lot of respect. They should be a lot longer now for Matthews, who has gotten off to a slow start compared to last year.
While 35 points in 30 games is nothing to scoff at, AM34 isn’t even the best player on his team right now. It won’t surprise anyone when Matthews gets hot and starts scoring in big crowds, but those odds aren’t currently calculating.
It’s a good idea to wait for a better number or look elsewhere for value.
swell full of value
It’s hard to understand how good the value of Tage Thompson is right now.
At +5000 you get odds of 50:1. That means if you make that bet 50 times, you only need to win once to break even. It’s the epitome of a no-brainer considering how open this race is just 30 games into the season.
Thompson has set the league on fire this year and currently has the third-most points (44) in the NHL. The 6’7 scoring machine already has an amazing 13 multi-point games, including a pair of six-point games.
The 25-year-old had a small breakthrough last season with 68 points but has catapulted himself into a different stratosphere this year. Playing in Buffalo has given the rising star a measure of anonymity, but that’s about to change.
It would only take a McDavid mini dip to see Thompson’s inflated odds resolve into something far less favorable for bettors.
If there’s one Maple Leaf in the MVP conversation right now, it’s Mitch Marner.
The Leaf winger continues to make history with his torrid 23-game point streak. Marner now has 37 points this year and has only competed in two competitions where he hasn’t registered at least one point.
The former fourth overall has found a new gear this season. Now it’s time to get on the M-Bahn, because it doesn’t get any cheaper.
There’s something to be said about the best player on the best team. The Boston Bruins are the class of the NHL this season, and David Pastrnak is a big reason for that.
Pastrnak has 39 points this year, 16 more than his closest teammate. Talk about being valuable to your team.
The 26-year-old Czech is on schedule for a 114-point season, which would break his previous high of 95. The odds of +2300 on FanDuel sportsbook are looking a bit inflated.
Previous Hart Trophy winners
2022: Austin Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
2021: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
2020: Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers
2019: Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
2018: Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils
2017: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
2016: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
2015: Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
2014: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
2013: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
2012: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins