Most hockey bettors tend to focus on big-picture NHL odds, such as who will win Stanley Cup. Just as important, though, are the individual awards. They often shape the playoff picture, and they can definitely be moneymakers. That's why we've decided to drop our NHL players' prop picks.
Four awards are currently generating the most attention. The Hart Trophy, which is the NHL's MVP award, always commands the most action. That's where we'll begin.
Here are the odds to win the 2021 Hart Trophy, courtesy of Bovada:
Make sure to double-check these NHL lines before deciding on a wager. All odds are subject to shifting, but the player awards can be particularly turbulent.
The other NHL players' props we'll be focusing on are Defensive Player of the Year (Norris Trophy), Goalie of the Year (Vezina Trophy), and Rookie of the Year (Caldwell Trophy). Let's get to some NHL picks!
NHL Props Picks
Before we get to our predictions, this is just a reminder that we're using everyone's performance to this point in the 2020-21 NHL season while attempting to project forward. Okay, let's hop to it for real.
NHL MVP Pick (Hart Trophy)
One of the best ways to nail down potential MVP candidates is to look at the NHL's points leaders, which combines the number of assists and goals a player has scored. Historically, the MVP winners are always going to rank in the top five of this category, and the overall leader is typically the odds-on favorite.
That trend continues this year. Connor McDavid (+200) of the Edmonton Oilers currently leads the entire league in points. However, his teammate and, ironically, the reigning MVP Leo Draisaitl (+400) is in second place and only a mere two points behind him.
In this situation, we like to go with someone else. McDavid and Draisaitl are inevitably going to cannibalize votes from one another. We currently prefer Mitch Marnon (+1100) of the Toronto Maple Leaves. Not only is he third in total points, but he headlines a first-place squad, which is always a useful bonus in these discussions.
OSB Prediction: Mitch Marnon (+1100)
NHL Defensive Player of the Year Picks (Norris Trophy)
Check out the latest odds for NHL Defensive Player of the Year:
There is no clear cut way to deviate from what appears to be the consensus here. Cale Makar (+205) should be Defensive Player of the Year.
Much of the proof is in the odds themselves. The second-year defenseman—and last year's winner of the Calder Trophy—has a commanding lead on the next best option. Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning comes in at +500. Third place is John Carlson of the Washington Capitals, who is a +1100 and would also happen to be our alternate pick.
And yet, all contingency consideration is ultimately for naught. Makar has been absolutely dominant this year. He is both racking up the points for a tantalizing Colorado Avalanche team, and his defensive data reads like a myth. Check out his ranks across the following categories, via Yahoo Sports:
- Shot attempt share: First (61.6 percent)
- Shot attempts for/60 minutes: Second (66.5)
- Shot attempts against/60 minutes: Fourth (41.4)
- Scoring chances for/60 minutes: Fourth (31.8)
- Scoring chances against/60 minutes: Sixth (17.1)
- Scoring chance differential: First (65.1 percent)
- Expected goals for/60 minutes: 13th (2.74)
- Expected goals against/60 minutes: Second (1.40)
- Expected goals differential: First (66.2 percent)
- Goals for/60 minutes: Seventh (4.18)
- Goals against/60 minutes: 32nd (1.61)
Forgive us for not making a strong case for anyone else. There isn't one.
OSB Pick: Cale Makar (+205)
NHL Goalie of the Year (Vezina Trophy)
Check out the latest odds for NHL Goalies of the Year:
Gravitating towards an established option here is the safe bet. Someone like Andrei Vasilevskiy (+550) of the Lightning or Carter Hart (+750) of the Philadelphia Flyers makes a ton of sense.
But we're not here to play it safe.
While few people are talking about him as a viable option, we're all over Philipp Grubauer (+1600) of the Avalanche. He has literally been the most or second most important player on what's become the NHL's best defense.
Lots of people will be worried about whether he'll stick between the posts. After all, he's just supposed to be a replacement for Pavel Francouz. Still, with a save percentage north of 93, Grubauer has a genuine chance of keeping the job long term.
OSB Pick: Philipp Grubauer (+1600)
NHL Rookie of the Year (Calder Trophy)
Check out the latest NHL Rookie of the Year odds:
This is the easiest award for us to project. The NHL almost always winds up giving the Calder Trophy to the rookie who finishes the season with the most points.
This year, that's going to be Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild (+150). No, at the moment, he's actually not in the lead. But the 23-year-old has started to show more prolonged flashes of superstar passing and puck-handling.
It's only a matter of time before the numbers start to catch up with his talent.
OSB Prediction: Kirill Kaprizov (+150)
Check out this list of the best online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your NHL betting: