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Carlson Catches Burns in Norris Trophy Odds

San Jose defenseman Brent Burns warming up.
Brent Burns is no longer the outright favorite for the 2019 Norris Trophy as Washington's John Carlson has pulled even in the futures odds. Photo by mark6mauno (flickr) [CC License].
  • The Capitals’ John Carlson has become the Norris Trophy co-favorite along with the Sharks’ Brent Burns at +450.
  • San Jose’s other Norris contender, Erik Karlsson, has faded to +1100.
  • Looking deeper at the statistics, there’s value further down the list.  

Two months into the NHL season, the 2019 Norris Trophy odds have seen a great deal of movement. At our last check-in, Brent Burns was the favorite at +600. While he has continued his strong season and seen his odds get even shorter, he now he has company at the top.

Here’s where the odds for the top-ten favorites currently stand at Bovada.

Odds to Win the 2018-19 Norris Trophy

Player (Team) Odds at Bovada (Dec. 5) Preseason Odds
Brent Burns (Sharks) +450 +650
John Carlson (Capitals) +450 +1500
Drew Doughty (Kings) +750 +900
 Kris Letang (Penguins) +750 OFF
Roman Josi (Predators) +950 +2000
Ryan Suter (Wild) +950 +3000
Mark Giordano (Flames) +1100 OFF
Victor Hedman (Lightning) +1100 +400
Erik Karlsson (Sharks) +1100 +250
PK Subban (Predators) +1100 +1000

Carlson is a Deserving Co-Favorite

Carlson deserves to be up there with Burns as the favorite at this point, if not ahead. He is tied with Burns and Morgan Rielly for second in scoring among defensemen (29 points). He also has a much better +/- (+15 for Carlson vs -3 for Burns) and logs more minutes (25:34 for Carlson vs 23:37 for Burns).

On top of that, Carlson’s Capitals lead the Metro with 33 points in 26 games, while Burns’ Sharks are off to a disappointing start, sitting third in the weak Pacific division with 31 points in 28 games (plus a -4 goal difference on the year).

Doughty’s Odds Should Be Longer

Do not bet on Drew Doughty at this point. His odds are only this short because of his name. While he’s logging an NHL-high 26:49 per night, he’s also -8 for a terrible Kings team. Plus/minus isn’t a great stat since it doesn’t account for quality of competition. But almost all of the defensemen listed above are playing against opponents’ top lines, night in and night out.

Calgary’s Mark Giordano is the Value Bet

Giordano is top five among defensemen in points and plus/minus. He is also driving play about as well as anyone on this list, boasting the second-best Fenwick (56.3%) among the top-ten Norris contenders, trailing only Erik Karlsson (57.7%)

His Flames, meanwhile, are first in the Pacific Division and have a +15 goal difference, third-best in the Western Conference. Despite having David Rittich and a regressing Mike Smith between the pipes, they are allowing just 2.8 goals per game. That’s a testament to the defense corps. Giordano leads all Flames in ice-time at 24:27, three minutes more than his closest teammate (TJ Brodie).

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Sascha was a hockey player in his youth, a lawyer in his capricious mid-20s, and has been SBD's lead oddsmaker/number cruncher since 2014. He writes about everything you can possibly put odds on. He's happiest when those things are football, baseball, hockey and basketball (in that order).