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Opening Odds to Win 2020-21 Hart Memorial Trophy – MacKinnon, McDavid Top Contenders

Kevin Allen

by Kevin Allen in NHL Hockey

Updated Mar 4, 2021 · 1:57 PM PST

Nathan MacKinnon
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon waits for a face off against the New York Islanders in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver, in this Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, file photo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
  • Nathan MacKinnon (+650) and Connor McDavid (+700) are the favorites to win the 2020-21 Hart Trophy as NHL MVP.
  • Five of top 11 favorites have previously won the Hart
  • See the opening 2021 NHL Hart Trophy odds, our analysis, and a pick to win the award below

Dynamic Nathan MacKinnon’s status as the +650 favorite to win the Hart Trophy in 2020-21 was predictable. He was runner-up for the award in 2019-20 and oddsmakers have labeled MacKinnon’s Avalanche co-favorites to  win it all next season

As strategies go, betting on the best player from the Stanley Cup favorite to win the Hart Trophy has merit.

The 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning won 62 games in the regular-season and Kucherov won the Hart. But the Lightning didn’t win the Stanley Cup. In fact, the last time a Hart winner won the Stanley Cup  was 2003-04 when Martin St. Louis won it and then played a major role in helping his Lightning win the championship.

MacKinnon, 25, can be as electrifying as Connor McDavid. He has topped 90 points in each of the past three seasons and would have likely topped 100 if the COVID-19 virus not forced the NHL to end the season early.

2020-21 NHL Hart Trophy Odds

Team Odds
Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) +650
Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers) +700
Artemi Panarin (New York Rangers) +950
Nikita Kucherov(Tampa Bay Lightning) +1100
Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers) +1250
Jack Eichel (Boston Bruins) +1400
Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs) +1600
David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins) +1700
Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lightning) +1700
Taylor Hall (Buffalo Sabres) +2000
Jonathan Huberdeau (Florida Panthers) +2000
Elias Pettersson (Vancouver Canucks) +2000
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) +2200
Mitch Marner (Toronto Maple Leafs) +2200
Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders) +2500
Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) +2500
Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins) +2500
Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins +3000
Sebastian Aho, 1997 (Carolina Hurricanes) +3000
Mark Stone (Vegas Golden Knights) +3000

Odds taken Nov. 9 at DraftKings

Some Believe MacKinnon Deserved Hart Last Season

Even though Draisaitl won the Hart by a 1,309-1,162 point advantage, some members of the Professional Hockey Writers Associated thought MacKinnon was the better choice.

Draisaitl totaled 91 first-place votes, compared to 48 for MacKinnon. The argument for MacKinnon was that he was a greater force and more valuable to his team than Draisaitl. It was the second time MacKinnon was second in Hart voting.

You can find plenty of reasons to support the idea that MacKinnon is the favorite: He’s entering the prime of his career, the addition of puck-moving defenseman Cale Makar gives him another weapon to utilize, the Avalanche improved in the offseason, and the team will win plenty of games this season.

Don’t forget about Rangers’ Artemi Panarin

Artemi Panarin is Mr. Consistency and Mr. Durability.  Over the past five seasons, Panarin’s season goal-scoring totals have been 30, 31, 27, 28, and 32. His assist totals have grown every season over the past four seasons (43, 55, 59, and 63.).

How impressive was Panarin last season? He received 24 first-place votes for the Hart and finished first, second, or third on 99 ballots.

He’s missed six games over the past five years.  He posted 95 points last season, and he could have a better season in 2020-21 if the Rangers improve like pundits believe they will.

You Can Find Betting Value in Middle Odds Picks

Alex Ovechkin has won the Hart Trophy three times, he’s still a threat to lead the NHL in goal scoring and his Washington Capitals are a contender. He’s sitting  at +2500 in the current Hart Trophy odds. That’s good value when you consider his chances and his odds.

Another Hart winner Evgeni Malkin is +2500. Elias Pettersson is a fun bet at +2000. It is likely too early for him, but no one would be shocked if he had bloated offensive numbers while leading the Canucks to the top of the NHL standings.

If you like longer odds, Patrick Kane (+5500) is another former winner that offers intrigue. His team is weaker, but Kane has a reputation of being one of the league’s most consistent competitors. He’s the kind of player who could make it his goal to have a superior season.

Best Value May Come from Aging Superstar

If you like to play it safe in your betting, McDavid should be your choice. He’s the NHL’s most dashing player. No one is more exciting, although MacKinnon is very close.

If McDavid can stay healthy, and he’s had trouble in that area, he’s always going to be a serious Hart contender.  At +700, he’s worth betting.

But if you are looking at both odds and potential, former winner Sidney Crosby is attractive at +2200. He’s still among the league’s top players. His scoring winger Jake Guentzel is healthy. Crosby might be 33, but he’s still a premium player. An injury undermined him last season, but he still produced at a 94-point pace. Especially with the NHL season likely to be shortened, Crosby is a quality bet.

Pick: Sidney Crosby (+2200)

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