Connor McDavid Now Odds-On Favorite to Win 2021 Art Ross Trophy

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, right, of Germany, celebrates his goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets with teammate forward Connor McDavid during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

  • Edmonton Oilers’ phenom Connor McDavid is now the odds-on favorite to win the 2021 Art Ross Trophy
  • McDavid’s teammate, Leon Draisaitl, is the second-favorite at +225 odds
  • Is there value betting on another player to overtake McDavid in the scoring race?

Odds suggest that the Art Ross trophy is Connor McDavid’s to lose. The Edmonton Oilers’ captain is now listed as the odds-on favorite to win the trophy after opening the season with 27 points in 14 games.

McDavid’s teammate, Leon Draisaitl, is the only player within reasonable striking distance of McDavid. Draisaitl is at +225 in the updated Art Ross Trophy odds, while Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Mitch Marner is the next favorite at +1000.

Is McDavid a shoo-in to win his third Art Ross trophy in five years, or is there value backing another player at a better price?

2021 Art Ross Trophy Odds

Player (Team) Odds
Connor McDavid (Oilers) -118
Leon Draisaitl (Oilers) +225
Mitch Marner (Leafs) +1000
Patrick Kane (Blackhawks) +1900
Nicklas Backstrom (Capitals) +2000
Sidney Crosby (Penguins) +2100
Brad Marchand (Bruins) +2200
Auston Matthews (Leafs) +2200
Mark Scheifele (Jets) +2500
Jonathan Huberdeau (Panthers) +2600
Johnny Gaudreau (Flames) +2700
Mikko Rantanen (Avalanche) +2700
Mark Stone (Golden Knights) +2700
Jack Eichel (Sabres) +3000
Steven Stamkos (Lightning) +3000
Patrice Bergeron (Bruins) +3200
Kyle Connor (Jets) +3500
Anze Kopitar (Kings) +3500
John Tavares (Leafs) +3500
Blake Wheeler (Jets) +3700

Odds taken Feb. 9th at DraftKings

McDavid’s Torrid Start 

McDavid continues to see his Art Ross trophy odds improve after exploding for nine goals and 27 points in his first 14 games of the season. He was the preseason favorite to win the trophy at +275, but those odds have already increased to -118 over just one month of the NHL season.

McDavid is widely regarded as the best player in the NHL, so it’s no surprise he’s getting love from oddsmakers. The young phenom was also favored for most of last season before teammate Leon Draisaitl overtook him in the race. McDavid has won the Art Ross in two of his first five seasons, finishing second in two of the other three years.

McDavid is so good that injuries are really the only thing that could knock him out of this race. The 24-year-old missed seven games last season, which led to Draisaitl exploding in his absence and taking the reins in the scoring race. McDavid also missed 37 games in his rookie year in 2015-16 after breaking his clavicle.

What About Leon Draisaitl?

McDavid’s toughest competition for the Art Ross is once again coming from his all-star teammate. Leon Draisaitl is listed at +225 in the latest odds after opening the season with eight goals and 25 points in 14 games. Draisaitl opened at +500 to win the trophy but is quickly gaining ground in the odds thanks to his remarkable start.

While McDavid is the only back-to-back Art Ross winner this decade, there’s reason to consider betting Draisaitl. He’s playing on a different line than McDavid yet has just as many even-strength points and a much better plus-minus rating. Not only has Draisaitl proven he can drive his own line, but the German superstar actually leads the NHL in points per game (1.68) since he and McDavid were split up last season.

Draisaitl would be a great value bet if this were a normal season, but the shortened campaign makes it tough to bet against McDavid. There’s less chance of injury for McDavid with this schedule, and the phenom has the better linemate right now in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. With six games remaining against the lowly Senators, you have to back the guy who can make hockey look like a video game at times.

2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker

Other Contenders 

While McDavid and Draisaitl are on pace to finish top-two in league scoring for a second consecutive season, there are other players in the race that present some enticing value. Maple Leafs’ forward Mitch Marner is the third betting favorite at +1000 after exploding for 21 points in his first 13 games. He was only listed at +2000 when the odds first opened.

Marner has a decent chance of winning his first Art Ross in 2021, especially when you consider his linemate Auston Matthews is the runaway favorite in the Rocket Richard odds. Marner is leading all NHL forwards with 23:08 ice time per game and has the elite playmaking ability to be right there with McDavid and Draisaitl at the end of the year.

Another player gaining ground in the odds is Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals. He started the season at +10000 odds but has improved to +2000 after putting up 17 points in his first 13 games. The Capitals may be a top favorite in the East Division odds, but Backstrom hasn’t had a 90-point season since 2010. As consistent as he is, he doesn’t have the game-breaking talent required to overtake someone like McDavid.

The important thing you want to consider before making your bet is COVID-19. The all-Canadian North Division is the only division that has yet to have games postponed due to the virus, which makes Marner and Draisaitl intriguing value plays. But as long as McDavid stays healthy, it’s hard to see any of these other contenders denying the superstar his third Art Ross trophy in five years.

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Brady Trettenero