NHL Hart Trophy Odds: Can Anyone Stop Nathan MacKinnon From Winning?

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz
NHL Hart Trophy Odds: Can Anyone Stop Nathan MacKinnon From Winning?

With the playoffs starting in about two weeks, a lot of the dust has settled on the 2023-24 NHL regular season.

One thing that is still up in the air is who will be the league's most valuable player, and be awarded the Hart Trophy in June. The race now has a favorite, but there are some potential betting opportunities on other candidates.

Let's dive into the Hart Trophy odds via the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

NHL Hart Trophy Odds

Nathan MacKinnon-380
Nikita Kucherov+400
Connor McDavid+800

Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche (-380)

Having been finalist three times, it appears that this year the award is Nathan MacKinnon's to lose.

He likely would be an even bigger favorite if he still had his home point streak active. He recorded a point in the first 35 Colorado Avalanche home games, but that came to an end on March 28th.

MacKinnon currently sits second in the league in points with 130. He's at 48 goals and has six games left to play, and getting to a big, round number like 50 matters a lot to certain voters.

Another thing that plays into the voting process is team success. The Avs are in second in the Central Division -- three points behind the Dallas Stars.

MacKinnon's underlying numbers are strong. Colorado produces 8.03% more expected goals (xG) with him on the ice than when he's off the ice at five-on-five.

It is important to keep in mind that these awards are voted on by humans. There are certain voters out there who will vote for MacKinnon because they simply believe it's his turn. This gives him a slight leg up on his two closest competitors -- both of whom have won the award in the past.

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning (+400)

The winner in 2018-19, it appeared that Nikita Kucherov would not get back to being considered an MVP candidate after that. The highest finish he had since winning was 12th place last season.

It's not like he wasn't good in any of those seasons; it was mostly an injury thing. He was excellent last season and, perhaps, could have warranted more consideration. He finished tied for third in points (113).

He's been on a different level this season. leading the league with 133 points. That's the second most points of the salary cap era.

When Kucherov won his first MVP, the case against him was simply that the Tampa Bay Lightning were too deep for him to be considered the most valuable player to his team. This year, that shouldn't be the case. They still have the likes of Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy, but those three aren't having great seasons. That's especially true for Vasilevskiy, who is negative in goals saved above expected this season.

The talented player who has boosted Kucherov the most has been Brayden Point. These two form a dynamic duo, and Point has potted 43 goals this season. Yet, he still trails Kucherov by 48 points.

In the 2017-18 season, the 41-point gap between Taylor Hall and his closest teammate was cited as a reason for him winning the award. If that criteria is used again, Kucherov could get some first-place votes.

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (+800)

Third in odds -- but not to be easily dismissed -- is Connor McDavid.

You can't write off McDavid's chance of winning the Hart any year until further notice. He's won the award two of the last three seasons and finished runner-up the other season.

Even during a season which he was 114th in scoring after one month, McDavid is a threat to win the scoring title. He has 127 points and sits only 6 behind Kucherov.

Since the All-Star break, McDavid has been going scorched earth in the assist department. He has 50 assists in 29 games -- more than any other player has points. He's on the verge of reaching 100 assists this season. That feat has only been accomplished by players in the GOAT conversation -- Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Bobby Orr.

That is a narrative that could lead voters to vote for McDavid. Another narrative would be that he dragged the Edmonton Oilers back into the playoffs after their dismal start to the season. Since Edmonton fired head coach Jay Woodcroft on November 12th, McDavid leads the league in points and points per game.

There also may be some voters who simply believe that Connor McDavid is deserving of the MVP every season because he's the best player in the world.

Getting this price on McDavid at any point of the season to be MVP is nice, so it's definitely worth considering a wager on him to take home the hardware again.

Looking for more NHL betting opportunities? Check out all of the NHL odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.