Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (+650) is the favorite on the opening odds for the NHL 2020-21 Hart Trophy. MacKinnon has never won the Hart. Photo by the Colorado Avalanche (Twitter).
- 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
|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.
#FantasyHockey top 50 centers:
1. Nathan MacKinnon, COL
2. Connor McDavid, EDM
3. Leon Draisaitl, EDM
4. Auston Matthews, TOR
5. Jack Eichel, BUF
Note: #Isles are only team with three players on the list (Barzal, Nelson, JGP)
Full rankings: https://t.co/ijHKV3ai1r
— Pete Jensen 🏒 (@NHLJensen) November 9, 2020
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.
Artemiy Panarin is on a different planet. MVP pic.twitter.com/ESVvI74vQK
— Fitz (@FitzGSN_) February 1, 2020
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.
Alex Ovechkin’s not leaving Washington anytime soon, but when he does, he plans to suit up one last time for his hometown club. 🏒 ⭐️ pic.twitter.com/CHDkDQxzx9
— theScore (@theScore) November 5, 2020
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.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
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)
Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.