Sportsbook Favorites to Win Hart Memorial Trophy
Posted by: Anthony Yaylor
We may be more than halfway through the online NHL betting season, but how the second half will turn out is anybody’s guess. Nevertheless, sportsbooks will always do their best to try to predict, or project, how the second half of the season will unfold. A big part of that will undoubtedly involve foretelling which player will take home the highest-individual award a hockey player can be nominated for; the NHL’s Hart Memorial Trophy.
The Hart Memorial Trophy has been a prestigious award given to the ‘player judged most valuable to his team’ since 1924. 54 different NHL players have received the coveted nomination, including online NHL betting legends like Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, and Gordie Howe. Being able to share an award with anyone of those three is mythical and something any player should strive for. So, from what we’ve seen this season, which athletes are at the forefront of the MVP discussion?
Considering that Sidney Crosby has already won the award twice in his career, he is as good as candidate as any. Additionally, Crosby is coming off a season in which he won the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and has continued his MVP-caliber play throughout 2017. But as we near the end of the NHL season, sportsbooks aren’t favoring Crosby above his competition. In fact, most hockey betting sites are starting to tilt the odds in favor of Connor McDavid, the Edmonton Oiler’s captain.
Nevertheless there are some sites that favor Crosby over McDavid and the type of odds each player faces depends on which sportsbook you visit. In reality, since both players make such large contributions, it depends on which play style you favor.
McDavid is known for his speedy and tactical maneuvering, oftentimes drawing more than one defender in order to deliver the perfect assist. McDavid’s skills allow him to lug multiple covers, more often than not freeing up a zone to which an open man will find. Meanwhile, Crosby is known for enforcing his will upon opponents, scoring at will, and putting up his numbers in fewer games.
Another potential has to be Montreal Canadiens’ goaltender Carey Price. Price is making his return from a devastating knee injury that sidelined the Canadian for nearly 11 months. Price actually took home the Hart Trophy after the 2014-15 season that saw him go 44-16-6 and put up a .933 save percentage. Also, Dallas Star captain Jamie Benn has been making a decent case for himself in the MVP discussion.
Other online NHL betting notables include Erik Karlsson who may not be at the forefront of the Hart Trophy, but has made a rather convincing case in the James Norris Memorial Trophy discussion. The Norris Trophy is awarded to the best defenseman in the NHL and who is more deserving that Karlsson, two-time winner of the award. Nonetheless, sportsbooks are pegging this year’s Norris Trophy race as a heated contest between Karlsson, and the Predators’ PK Subban.