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Connor McDavid’s Art Ross Odds Improve to -275 Despite Shrinking Lead in Scoring Race

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in NHL Hockey

Jan 4, 2020 · 6:10 AM PST

Oilers' captain Connor McDavid at practice
Connor McDavid's Art Ross Trophy odds have improved to -275 despite Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon closing the gap in the scoring race. Photo by Connor Mah (Flickr).
  • Connor McDavid’s Art Ross Trophy Odds have improved to -275
  • Nathan MacKinnon (+600) is only two points back of McDavid in the scoring race
  • Read our preview below as we predict which player is the best bet

Connor McDavid (43 GP, 22G, 64 PTS)  is now the runaway favorite in the 2020 Art Ross Trophy odds despite the gap closing on the leaderboard. Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon, in addition to Boston’s David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand are all within five points of McDavid and teammate Leon Draisaitl (43 GP, 23G, 63 PTS) in the scoring race.

Does McDavid deserve to be such a heavy favorite or is there better value elsewhere in the scoring race?

2020 Art Ross Trophy Odds

Player (Team) Odds
Connor McDavid (Oilers) -275
Leon Draisaitl (Oilers) +275
Nathan MacKinnon (Avalanche) +600
Brad Marchand (Bruins) +800
David Pastrnak (Bruins) +1600
Artemi Panarin (Rangers) +3300
Jack Eichel (Sabres) +3300
Jonathan Huberdeau (Panthers) +3300
Patrick Kane (Blackhawks) +5000
Nikita Kucherov (Lightning) +6600

Odds taken Jan. 3

McDavid Heavy Favorite

Connor McDavid only has a one-point lead over teammate Draisaitl in the Art Ross Trophy race, but oddsmakers love the chances of the Canadian superstar taking home the scoring title. McDavid’s odds have improved to -275 despite him having an underwhelming month of December (by his standards).

McDavid managed three goals and 15 points in 14 December games and was outscored by 21 other players in that span. Among those players included Pastrnak, MacKinnon and Marchand, who are now all within five points of McDavid in the scoring race.

McDavid is being favorited to win the award because he’s a generational talent who already won the trophy in 2017 and 2018. Since he entered the league, no player in the NHL has scored more points than the young phenom. While the Oilers only have three wins in their last 12 games, it’s important to note that the last time McDavid won the trophy Edmonton missed the playoffs.

MacKinnon Closing Gap

Nathan MacKinnon still has +600 Art Ross Trophy Odds despite only trailing McDavid in the scoring race by two points. What might be most impressive about MacKinnon’s 25 goals and 62 points in 41 games is he’s done it through injuries to linemates Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog.

Another thing working in favor of MacKinnon is Colorado’s schedule. The Avalanche had to face one of the toughest first-half schedules in the league, but according to Power Rankings Guru, their remaining schedule is the easiest in the entire NHL. The Oilers, meanwhile, have the 10th hardest schedule remaining.

What’s working against MacKinnon is his supporting cast. The Avalanche have depth players like Andre Burakovsky, Val Nichushkin and Nazem Kadri who can contribute on offense, while the Oilers’ success often depends on the production of McDavid and Draisaitl.

Longshots Worth Betting On?

There are plenty of intriguing longshots, but there are two players who really stand out. Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau and Columbus’ Artemi Panarin both dominated in December and are each within 10 points of McDavid in the scoring race.

Both Panarin (+3300) and Huberdeau (+3300) had career years in 2018-19 and are now on pace for the first 100-point seasons of their NHL careers. Given their first-line roles and extensive time spent on the power play, their excellent production should continue for the rest of the season.

Huberdeau and Panarin are still a tier below McDavid and MacKinnon when it comes to raw talent, but an injury or slump here or there could lead to one of these studs stealing the trophy.

Betting Advice

It’s very tempting to lay down money on MacKinnon or even Huberdeau given the latest odds, but McDavid is the most talented player out of the group and still the best bet.

The Oilers are still just five points back of the Pacific Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights and should make a strong playoff push in the second half, especially if they make some moves at the trade deadline.

McDavid’s best NHL month has historically been March, as he’s gone off for 32 goals and 90 points in 58 March contests. That’s when you should expect the superstar to start pulling away from this group and make an inspired effort to help end Edmonton’s two year playoff drought.

Pick: Connor McDavid (-275)

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