- Boston goalie Tuukka Rask is now the odds-on favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP
- Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Binnington have the shortest odds among the Blues
- Who offers the best value for bettors?
The Boston Bruins will be taking on the St. Louis Blues in the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. The first game of the series is set to go down on Monday, May 27, at 8 p.m. ET.
Boston beat the Toronto Maple Leafs (4-3), Columbus Blue Jackets (4-2), and Carolina Hurricanes (4-0) to get here, while the Blues beat the Winnipeg Jets (4-2), Dallas Stars (4-3), and San Jose Sharks (4-2).
Betting odds for the Conn Smythe-winner have been changing throughout the playoffs and, before Game 1 of the finals, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask is a huge favorite to win the trophy and there is no question that he deserves to be.
Updated 2019 Conn Smythe Odds
|Player||Odds at Bovada|
|Tuukka Rask (BOS)||-120|
|Jaden Schwartz (STL)||+325|
|Jordan Binnington (STL)||+350|
|Brad Marchand (BOS)||+750|
|Patrice Bergeron (BOS)||+1800|
|David Pastrnak (BOS)||+2000|
|Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)||+2000|
|Alex Pietrangelo (STL)||+2500|
|Charlie Coyle (BOS)||+3000|
|David Krejci (BOS)||+3000|
|Torey Krug (BOS)||+4000|
|Ryan O’Reilly (STL)||+4000|
|Brayden Schenn (STL)||+5000|
|David Perron (STL)||+5000|
|Oskar Sundqvist (STL)||+5000|
|Tyler Bozak (STL)||+5000|
*Odds from 05/22/19.
Why have the odds changed?
Before Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Boston forward Brad Marchand was favored to win the Conn Smythe with odds of +250, and rightfully so. He had 15 points at that time and was looking like he wasn’t going to slow down. He played just fine in Games 3 and 4 and is still second in the playoffs in scoring (7 G, 18 P). But he wasn’t the story of the Carolina series; his goalie was.
Rask, who was at +400, is now -120 after surrendering just one goal in the final two games against the Hurricanes and five total for the series.
Meanwhile, on the Blues side, forward Jaden Schwartz (12 G, 16 P) is second in the league in goals and T-3rd in points, which explains his rise from +1000 to +325.
Like Rask for the Bruins, Jordan Binnington was lights-out in the St. Louis net in the last two games of the conference finals. The rookie allowed just one goal over the final 120 minutes against San Jose and remains among the favorites at +350.
Is Rask worth betting on?
Tuukka Rask struggled a tad in the opening round of the playoffs, but since then has been the biggest part of Boston’s success. In addition to his league-leading GAA and SV%, he has two shutouts and a 12-5 record in the postseason.
He has only gotten better since the playoffs started, and although he is the favorite to win the Conn Smythe, at -120 there isn’t much value on him.
When he was plus money, that was the time to bet him. Now, betting him straight up doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Performing well in the finals is the most important part of winning the Conn Smythe; voters have short memories. One or two bad games will ruin his chances.
Since the Conn Smythe-winner always comes from the winning team, it’s safer to bet the Bruins’ series price at -155 than Rask at -120.
Who’s the best bet for each team?
I like Brad Marchand from the Bruins and Jaden Schwartz from the Blues, as I believe both these players will lead their teams in points this series.
For Marchand, he has proven time and time again that he is a playoff performer, and he’s been at his best the last couple seasons, scoring 35 points in his last 29 postseason games. He will get a ton of time on the power play, as usual, and at +750, there’s decent value there.
As for Schwartz, although he is a little short at +325, he has been St. Louis’ best player in the playoffs and is playing the best hockey of his career. Like Marchand, he gets a lot of power-play time and should chip in with some power play points.
If St. Louis wins this series, it’s more likely that he beats Rask a few times than Binnington completely shuts down a Boston offense that’s averaging 3.4 GPG in the playoffs.
Picks: Boston, Brad Marchand (+750); St. Louis, Jaden Schwartz (+325).
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