- Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon is favored to win playoffs MVP ahead of the first round
- MacKinnon’s odds have shortened from +1800 to +1150 after getting three points in the seeding round
- See the updated odds for all the top contenders to win this year’s Conn Smythe trophy below
Despite not earning the first seed in the Western Conference round robin play, it’s Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon who opens the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the favorite to take home the Conn Smythe trophy as the NHL’s playoff MVP.
MacKinnon, who notched three points in his three round robin contests with Colorado, leads the pack with +1150 odds for the MVP trophy. He was the highest-ranked forward on the qualifying round opening odds at +1800, slotting in behind Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Boston’s Tuukka Rask.
Now, the 24-year-old has turned the tables after his point-per-game opening round.
2020 Conn Smythe Odds
|Player (Team)||Odds at DraftKings|
|Nathan MacKinnon (Avalanche)||+1150|
|Carter Hart (Flyers)||+1500|
|Sebastian Aho (Hurricanes)||+1700|
|Sean Couturier (Flyers)||+1700|
|Nikita Kucherov (Blue Jackets)||+1700|
|Tuukka Rask (Bruins)||+1700|
|Mark Stone (Golden Knights)||+1800|
|Andrei Vasilevskiy (Lightning)||+1800|
|David Pastrnak (Bruins)||+2000|
|Brad Marchand (Bruins)||+2100|
|Alexander Ovechkin (Capitals)||+2200|
|Brayden Point (Lightning)||+2300|
|Mikko Rantanen (Avalanche)||+2300|
|Claude Giroux (Flyers)||+2400|
|Jordan Binnington (Blues)||+2500|
|Ryan O’Reilly (Blues)||+2500|
|Robin Lehner (Golden Knights)||+2500|
|Max Pacioretty (Golden Knights)||+2700|
|John Carlson (Capitals)||+3000|
|William Karlsson (Golden Knights)||+3000|
Odds as of August 10. For more players visit DraftKings
After no defencemen cracked the top 30 in the opening round picks, a few have rocketed up into much better odds at taking home the award. Norris Trophy finalist John Carlson (+3000) of the Washington Capitals leads the way at 21st, followed by Dougie Hamilton at +4000 further down the list.
Vasilevskiy dropped to eighth on the list after posting average stats in the first three games of the postseason. His 2.29 goals-against average and .921 save percentage had him placed firmly in the middle of the 31 goaltenders who played in opening round games – at 16th and 17th respectively.
Victor Hedman shows his frustration as he's forced to the locker room following an apparent ankle injury pic.twitter.com/menWgz86CG
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) August 9, 2020
The Lightning have also caught the injury bug, losing their top defenceman Victor Hedman to an apparent ankle injury against the top-seeded Flyers in the final game of the round robin. This makes the likelihood of a late playoff run slimmer, as the 2019 President’s Trophy winners ready themselves for a first round rematch with the upstart Columbus Blue Jackets.
MacKinnon and Avalanche Poised for Deep Run
On the other side of the coin, the Avalanche have found their legs in a promising round robin. They came within a goal of the top spot in the conference, but the Vegas Golden Knights bested them on an Alex Tuch overtime winner to take first place for themselves on August 8.
Despite the loss, MacKinnon did have a goal in that final game against Vegas and added assists in their first two games of the NHL return – assists against St. Louis and Dallas.
If you’re looking for a safe Conn Smythe bet in Colorado, MacKinnon is as safe as they come. He’s led the team in scoring every year since 2016-17 and did so by 43 points this past year due to an injury to Gabriel Landeskog.
Avalanche 3 – Flames 2
— Cameron Richardson (@therichreport) April 14, 2019
And even with impressive regular season statistics, he exceeds that production when it matters most in the postseason. MacKinnon’s career playoff points per game is 1.14 – he has 32 points in 28 career games.
Bettors can grab the Avalanche at +625 odds to win the Stanley Cup, which are second-best odds in the NHL behind Vegas (+550). With good odds and a bona fide superstar poised for a productive postseason, Mackinnon is a deserved favorite to win the Conn Smythe.
Don’t Sleep On Stone
While MacKinnon still provides good value even as the favorite at +1150, Mark Stone had an even more productive opening round for the Vegas Golden Knights. He notched five points in his three games, including back-to-back two-point games against Dallas and St. Louis.
Last season was an emergence for Stone when he proved he can lead in the playoffs. The Winnipeg native had 12 points in seven games against San Jose. That was by far the most production he’s manufactured in the playoffs – a previous run to the conference final with Ottawa in 2017 yielded just eight points in 19 games.
While he trailed Max Pacioretty for the team lead in points, Stone had the advantage in points per game (0.97). He notched 63 points in 65 games, as opposed to Pacioretty’s 66 points in 71 contests.
Bettors should consider Stone if they’re searching for a sleeper – his odds for a Conn Smythe win are currently +1800. With his team sitting as Stanley Cup favorites, there’s great value to be found with this selection.
Pick: Mark Stone (+1800)
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