So long as BetOnline continues to dish out NHL Hart Trophy odds throughout the season, we’ll provide an update highlighting some odds shifts from time to time.
While Friday’s odds expire at puck drop, there will be some new odds out in a hurry, possibly as early as Saturday afternoon. We’ll certainly get a chance to bet on these futures again throughout the season.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some notable shifts we’ve seen since the last time odds were released.
Matthews Makes His Move
As recently as Feb. 2, Maple Leafs sniper Auston Matthews sat with +1000 to take home Hart Trophy honors, but a scoring binge from the American pivot shrunk his odds all the way down to +275 at BetOnline, trailing only Connor McDavid (+150) to take home the NHL’s greatest individual honor.
He’ll be the overwhelming favorite to win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal-scorer as Matthews’ 16 tallies has him sitting with a four-goal lead over Vancouver’s Brock Boeser while Matthews also has three games in hand on his North Division foe and four once Friday night’s action wraps up.
Here are the NHL’s goal-scoring leaders before play on Feb. 19, with games played in parentheses:
- Auston Matthews – 16 (17)
- Brock Boeser – 12 (20)
- Nikolaj Ehlers – 10 (16)
- Leon Draisaitl – 10 (18)
- Tyler Toffoli – 10 (15)
- 6 players tied with 9
Matthews scored five goals in the first three games of February, took a two-game break and then potted another five this week across three games against the lowly Ottawa Senators. That gives him 10 goals in eight games for the month while he’s gone goalless in just five of his 17 games on the season.
We knew he could score, but Matthews is putting on a show and appears to be a serious 50-in-50 threat this season.
Sun Rising on Huberdeau
Over in Sunrise, Florida, left winger Jonathan Huberdeau is staking his claim as a name to watch in the Hart Trophy race moving forward.
Since Feb. 2, Huberdeau has seen his odds shrink from +2550 to +1200 thanks to a big week that saw the Quebec native tally three goals and five points in wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes.
The showing against Carolina was special as Huberdeau notched a goal and a beautiful spinorama before netted the overtime winner on a breakaway to grab the extra point for a Panthers team that actually leads the NHL with a .786 points percentage heading into the weekend’s action.
— Spinorama 🔄 Hockey (@spinohockey) February 18, 2021
Huberdeau’s 20 points places him in a three-way tie with Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes and Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom for eighth in the league, but with just 14 games played, he actually ranks sixth in the NHL with 1.43 points per game on the season.
With six goals and 13 points across eighth games in the month of February, Huberdeau has certainly put his name into the Hart Trophy hat.
Halling Out of the Race
When Taylor Hall signed a one-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres in free agency, the buzz was that he and Jack Eichel would form the NHL’s latest unstoppable duo, even in a difficult East Division.
He increased such expectations with a power play goal in the season opener, but has fallen flat on his face since. That opening-night tally remains his lone goal on the season and while he has eight assists to his credit in 13 games, Hall is also -10 on a Sabres team that is once again in shambles.
On Feb. 2, Hall sat with reasonable +1850 odds to win his second Hart Trophy , but has slipped all the way to +2800 and is certainly nearing miracle territory in the process.
Hall put on a late-season show to steal the Hart from Nathan MacKinnon in that 93-point 2017-18 season, and he’ll have do to that and much, much more if he’s to overcame drastically longer odds.
Get Rich With Mitch?
For reasons unbeknownst to me, Matthews’ right-hand man Mitch Marner has also seen his odds stretch out despite putting up points with the best of em’ this season.
On Feb. 2, Marner boasted +1750 average odds to win the 2021 Hart Trophy, but now finds himself alongside Hall and others at +2800 at BetOnline.
This one is certainly a head-scratcher. All Marner has done in that time is collect three goals and 13 points in eight games while he sits behind only McDavid and Leon Draisaitl with 27 points on the season. He’s just one behind Draisaitl and five behind McDavid, all while playing against the same opponents.
Picking up where they left off!
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) February 19, 2021
Of course, it will be tough to overcome his center Matthews should he continue to find the back of the nearly every night, but you never know what can happen moving forward.
All his longer odds have done is add value for those who believe he can potentially lead the NHL in points and take home the Hart Trophy in the process.
No Love for Nate
Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon has found himself in the Hart Trophy conversation on an annual basis in recent years, and he was one of the leading favorites as recently as that Feb. 2 cutoff when he possessed +525 odds.
MacKinnon has been out with a lower-body injury and will have missed exactly three weeks when he returns on Sunday, but he currently finds himself with +1400 odds at this point.
It’s not that he hasn’t produce with 15 points in 12 games, but he hasn’t separated himself with the pack as he sits in a four-way tie with Sean Couturier, Steven Stamkos and Jordan Staal with 1.25 points per game on the season while he’s scored just three times as well.
His 6.1% shooting rate will skyrocket upon his return, but MacKinnon is well back of the pack at this point and would need to go on a serious tear to finish out his season.
It’s certainly possible, however, and like Marner, the longer odds just adds value to those who plan on backing him as a longer shot than he was was he got injured.
No Bread on Broadway
In his first season with the New York Rangers, Artemi Panarin — or The Bread Man — earned a Hart Trophy nomination alongside MacKinnon and Draisaitl thanks to a 95-point season that tied him with Boston’s David Pastrnak for third-most in the NHL.
There hasn’t been much of a drop in production as his 16 points in 13 games this season is a 1.23 points-per-game pace that sits slightly under his 1.38 mark from a season ago.
The problem is the Rangers have buckled under increased expectations, currently sitting 27th in the NHL with a .433 points percentage while their playoff hopes in the difficult east are just about on life support only 15 games into the season.
As a result, Panarin has gone from +950 average odds on Feb. 2 all the way down to +2500 alongside names like Patrik Kane, Brayden Point, Pastrnak and Stamkos.
Hart Trophies just don’t go to non-playoff players anymore, so I would suggest fading the Bread Man at this juncture.