With past winners such as Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby, the NHL MVP is arguably the most prestigious NHL award, and with it comes exciting NHL MVP odds every year.
Sportsbooks open NHL betting odds before the season on who will win the award and keep adjusting the line as the season progresses.
Bettors will see NHL betting odds on the MVP odds move as some players take their teams to expected heights, while others crash and flame out over the gauntlet that is the NHL regular season.
The award is selected by a committee of experienced hockey writers with the winner is revealed about a week after the Stanley Cup Finals concluded.
Who is the Favourite to be the MVP at this Moment?
A month into the NHL season, the biggest names in the game are dominating NHL Betting Odds to win the 2020 Hart Trophy, including four previous winners of the award.
NHL MVP Top Five Odds
- Connor McDavid +225
- Nikita Kucherov +550
- Nathan MacKinnon +800
- Taylor Hall +950
- Sidney Crosby +950
While McDavid leads the odds to win MVP, as of November 5, 2019, he ranks only fourth in points, behind two Boston Bruins and his Oilers teammate Leon Draisaitl. The performances of those players, plus the others in the top-five, make it an interesting question of who will be the NHL MVP.
Four Goaltenders Crack the Top-15
- Carey Price +2500
- Ben Bishop +2800
- Sergei Bobrovsky +2800
- John Gibson +3000
Some of the best goaltenders early in the season have cracked in the top-15 for NHL MVP odds.
However, none of the odds four goaltenders in the NHL lead the league in shutouts, wins, GAA or save percentage. When some goaltenders, such as Tuuka Rask, play more games, they could move into the top-15 and see other names drop out.
No defenders crack the top 15 for NHL MVP odds
It has been a long time since a defensive player won the NHL MVP award, and it is hard to see anyone doing enough this season to overtake the top forwards or even goaltenders to challenge for the NHL MVP.
Predications at the Start of the 2019-2020 Seasons
At the start of the year, Connor McDavid was the favourite to win the award at +375 NHL betting odds.
A month in, McDavid’s only improved his odds to win MVP. McDavid has consistently played like an-MVP in his young career and is often considered the best player in the NHL. However, what has held him back from winning the award on multiple occasions is his team performance.
Now, with the Oilers leading the Pacific Division early, McDavid’s case to add his second MVP is strong. When McDavid won the MVP in 2017, the Oilers finished with 103 and made the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Early into the 2019-20 season, the Oilers are on pace for 113 points, their most points since 1986, when Wayne Gretzky won the Hart Trophy.
A few recent winners also find themselves in the mix for this year’s MVP. Taylor Hall (2018 winner), Nikita Kucherov (2019 winner) and Sidney Crosby (2007 and 2014) are proving as challenges to McDavid’s claim as the best NHL player this year.
Still, it is hard to bet against McDavid, his playmaking abilities and how he has the Oilers clicking early in the season.
Of course, for many players winning the Hart Trophy pales in comparison to winning the Stanley Cup. However, players leading the MVP odds are often linked to the teams with the best Stanley Cup odds.
NHL MVP Betting
Betting on who will win the Hart Trophy involves some strategy every year, as much goes into the selection committees’ considerations when they award the trophy.
What Position Should You Focus on Betting?
Forwards, and more recently wingers, have dominated the Hart Trophy Award. Since the 2004-05 NHL lockout, every NHL MVP except one has been a forward. In recent years, wingers have started to pick up the award more often than centres.
Goaltenders Chances on the Decline
With NHL games seeing an uptick in goals the last few seasons, the chances of a goaltender winning the award have declined.
Goaltenders used to challenge for the award, back when the NHL was suffering through a scoring shortage. Now, however, goal scorers and playmakers get the most love from the writers when they vote for their Hart Trophy winner.
Can the MVP come from a Non-Playoff Team?
While not impossible, it takes a historical season to win the NHL MVP when playing for a non-playoff team.
The last team it happened was 1988 when a young star named Mario Lemieux bested Wayne Gretzky in points and goals with 70 and 168.
Outside of that year, only three players in the last three decades have finished as finalists for the Hart Trophy when playing for a non-playoff team (less than 5% chance of being in the top-three).
Regular Season Performance
Since NHL awards are handed out after the Stanley Cup Finals, bettors should remember that the Hart Trophy is awarded based only on regular-season performance.
Players win a separate award, the Conn Smythe, for being the best player in the NHL playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals.
Also, anything players say about other players deserving the award, should not be taken into consideration. There is the Ted Lindsay Award, which is given to the most outstanding player voted by other NHL players.
Why is the NHL MVP Trophy Called the Hart Memorial Trophy?
The name of the trophy comes from the man who donated it to the NHL.
David Hart, the father of former Montreal Canadiens coach Cecil Hart, donated the trophy to the NHL in 1923. The original Hart Trophy was retired to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1960, and a new trophy called the Hart Memorial Trophy (often shortened to just Hat Trophy) replaced it. T
he trophy has been awarded every year, excluding 2004-05.