The second half of the NHL season is here, and the race for the Hart Trophy has altered drastically.
There’s still time to get good odds on the NHL MVP award, though, since there are about two months left in the regular season.
Here are the odds for the Hart Trophy.
NHL MVP Hart Trophy Odds 2024
We at The Game Day always track the latest NHL odds for the Hart Trophy:
For my betting tips, I’m using these NHL MVP lines that are current as of Thursday, Feb. 1, from bet365 Sportsbook.
- Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colorado Avalanche (-130)
- Nikita Kucherov, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning (+300)
- Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton Oilers (+400)
- Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (+1400)
- David Pastrňák, RW, Boston Bruins (+1400)
- Artemi Panarin, RW, New York Rangers (+2200)
- Elias Pettersson, C, Vancouver Canucks (+4000)
Ironically, Connor McDavid started the season at -105 to win the Hart, yet his chances of winning are fading as the Oilers are back in the hunt in the Western Conference.
McDavid’s odds lengthening has much to do with Nathan MacKinnon’s stunning run for the Avalanche. The perennial MVP bridesmaid led the league in points as of the All-Star break and had Colorado atop its division and near the top of the West.
Perhaps the only player aside from McDavid who can unseat MacKinnon is Nikita Kucherov, who already won the award in 2019.
2024 NHL MVP Best Bet
Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colorado Avalanche (-130)
With all due respect to McDavid, MacKinnon is the pick because of the psychology of Hart Trophy voters.
Those of a certain age might recall the plight of Susan Lucci, the longtime soap opera star who finally won an Emmy Award on her 19th nomination. MacKinnon is hockey’s version of that since he is a three-time Hart finalist and two-time runner-up.
With potential voter fatigue with McDavid, who has won the Hart two of the past three seasons, and MacKinnon’s multiple near misses, there will be the perception he’s due.
Plus, MacKinnon is having an otherworldly year. He’s shot near the top of the NHL points list and had the Avs atop the Central Division as of the All-Star break.
Thus, I’m betting that 2024 is the year MacKinnon finally takes home the hardware.
2024 Hart Trophy Favorites
Nikita Kucherov, RW, Tampa Bay Lightning (+300)
Kucherov is carrying the Lightning offensively this season, as usual. The MVP led the NHL in points as of the All-Star break and should get an added boost by keeping Tampa Bay in the playoff race despite goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy’s early-season injury.
Kucherov needed to put up 128 points to win the award the first time, and he is actually on pace to smash that mark this season. But the fact MacKinnon is keeping pace with him, and Colorado is far ahead of Tampa Bay in the standings, could damage Kucherov’s candidacy.
Still, if Kucherov continues his points pace, the Lightning wing has a great chance of winning the award again.
Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton Oilers (+400)
If you’ve been waiting for McDavid’s odds to lengthen, you’re in luck. But there’s real doubt whether he can win the award at this point.
Between voter fatigue and the two-time Hart winner barely clinging to the top five in points, McDavid’s candidacy is in real trouble. That his odds lengthened while Edmonton posted a franchise-record win streak isn’t good either.
There’s always a chance McDavid will go into Superman mode and steal the award. But it’s not looking good at the moment.
2024 Hart Trophy Sleepers
Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (+1400)
Matthews won the Hart in 2022 when he scored 60 goals, and he’s on pace to smash that mark in 2024.
He was the first NHL player to reach 40 goals, reaching that mark ahead of the All-Star Game, and Matthews should get the added benefit of playing in Toronto. The sport’s most influential media members hail from the financial capital of Canada, and they could carry Matthews to the award again.
Still, there is much more buzz around MacKinnon, who is Canadian, as opposed to Matthews, who is from Arizona.
But if Matthews can somehow get to 70 goals, it’ll be hard to argue he shouldn’t win the award.
David Pastrňák, RW, Boston Bruins (+1400)
Pastrňák is somehow more valuable to the Boston Bruins now than he was when he scored 61 goals a season ago.
With the retirement of mainstays Patrice Bergeron and David Krejčí, the perception was that Boston would decline, yet he is off to a smoking start again.
Pastrňák could benefit from the wide-open race above him. He’s not a center, which may affect his perceived value, and his goalscoring has tapered off slightly.
But if he can overtake Matthews and win the Rocket Richard, and MacKinnon, Kucherov, and McDavid falter, Pastrňák could be the last man standing.