With a few months left in the NFL season, the MVP odds have started to come to fruition. A pair of Boston Bruins are within striking distance, but Connor McDavid currently leads the way so far. At the beginning of the year, Evgeni Malkin David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand were all around the +3000 to +3500 range. Connor McDavid, Alexander Ovechkin, and Nathan MacKinnon were all around +500 to +1200. They have stayed pretty even throughout the entire year.
Recent NHL MVP History
Playoff appearances are almost a must if you have any chance of winning the Hart Trophy. Mario Lemiuex is the more recent winner where he won the award without his team making the playoffs. Odds are in your favor if you lead the league in points and/or goals. We also rarely see defensemen and goalies win the award. Forwards have the clear advantage, similar to quarterbacks in the NFL. I wouldn’t factor this much into this season, but MVP winners are mostly Eastern Conference players. Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon are both out west, and also in smaller hockey markets in comparison to Ovechkin, Pastrnak, and Marchand.
We have not seen an MVP winner over 30 in the last ten seasons, and that is looking to be the case again. McDavid is back in the mix after he won it back in the 2016-2017 season when he was 10 years old. Only 12 players in history have won it two or more times. McDavid will be looking to join that list.
Connor McDavid The Front Runner
Oddsmakers are looking at Conner McDavid as the front runner, which is not really much of a surprise. He is averaging 1.4 points per game, and is up over 80 points already. McDavid is a big name in hockey, and was taken first overall back in 2015. Widely considered to be the next big name in hockey, he is already looking to tally two MVP trophies before his 25th birthday. If you are looking at points and goals, he makes up the difference in goal scoring behind David Pastrnak with his assists. He is -8 on the season, but has Edmonton fighting for a playoff spot.
Are MVP voters projected to take the strength of the team around these names more seriously? It certainly looks that way with two Western Conference teams in the mix for the playoffs. Yet, the playoffs are not a for sure thing for either Colorado or Edmonton. If you took away McDavid or MacKinnon from their teams, would they still make the playoffs? No, they probably would not. That is looking like the difference between them and the names from Boston.
Boys In Boston
David Pastrnak is in a points race with a few other names, but is looking destined to lead the league in goals. Alexander Ovechkin and Auston Matthews are right behind him. Playing in Boston certainly helps his ceiling alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Pastrnak has 40+ assists and 40+ goals. It is a bit odd to see him behind MacKinnon and McDavid by so much. As mentioned above, we are likely looking at a scenario where voters are going to be taking the overall control of the team with McDavid a bit heavier. Pastrnak is averaging 1.40 points per game and has over seven game-winning goals. Which is tied for the second most in the league. If anyone has a chance to upset McDavid and MacKinnon it is going to be Pastrnak.
The other name in Boston is Brad Marchand who is closing in on 50 assists. He is a crucial part to the Bruins success. Not a major goal scorer in comparison to the names on the table, but likely to finish over 80 points with an excellent plus/minus. He just won’t have that juice to get over the hump. Boston is heading for one of the top point totals in the league, but voters are likely to look at them as a collective effort.
Big Names On The Outside
Alexander Ovechkin comes in at +1600 alongside Evgeni Malkin at the same odds. The two are having somewhat of an opposite season, as Ovechkin is a double-digit negative on the season. He also has 40 goals and 17 assists. Malkin has 40 assists and 18 goals, but is a double-digit positive. Both teams are likely headed for the playoffs, but they are not viewed as valuable in consideration to some of the other names here. Auston Mathews is at +1800, who is another future name of hockey that has already blossomed into one of the top young players in the game. Toronto is in the thick of a playoff race. Matthews has already blasted 40+ goals and is closing in on 30 assists. Averaging 1.19 points per game, he is a big part of a Toronto team that hasn’t had major production around him. In a different season, Matthews is likely headed for a potential MVP.
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