New York Rangers Shesterkin and Fox among betting favorites for Vezina and Norris
Coming into this season the New York Rangers were considered a borderline playoff team. Despite hiring Gerard Gallant and making some key moves in the summer, there were plenty of legitimate questions.
After an excellent start and a record of 22-9-4 for 48 points many experts are asking if this team can contend for the Stanley Cup this season.
Betters have noticed too, and it is reflected in where the odds are leaning for some major awards.
Shesterkin and Fox among betting favorites
The race for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender is much tighter among three top candidates who have emerged.
Toronto’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and the New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin are co-favorites at +450 at BetMGM ahead of Toronto’s Jack Campbell, whose odds have shortened from +2500 at the start of the season to +650. Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper (+4000) is being backed by a book-high 14.8 percent of the bets, while Shesterkin has been supported by 18.1 percent of the money and is the book’s biggest liability.
Campbell is being backed by 8.3 and 10.8 percent, respectively. He’s also the +400 favorite at DraftKings ahead of Shesterkin (+450) and Vasilevskiy (+600).
The James Norris Trophy awarded to the best defenseman also appears to be a three-horse race.
Colorado’s Cale Makar is +250 at BetMGM and +400 at DraftKings. That’s ahead of the Rangers’ Adam Fox (+330, +400) and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman (+600, +500).
Makar is the overwhelming leader with 53.6 percent of the bets and 70.0 percent of the money wagered at BetMGM. He’s the book’s biggest liability in the market.
McDavid odds on favorite to win MVP
Connor McDavid is the odds-on favorite to win the Hart Memorial Trophy but that isn’t scaring the public away from the Edmonton Oilers’ star captain.
McDavid is vying to be named the league’s most valuable player for the third time, and he’s the +200 favorite to do so at BetMGM and DraftKings. Despite the short odds, McDavid is being backed by 39.9 percent of the bets and 76 percent of the money wagered on the award at BetMGM.
That makes McDavid the biggest liability at the sportsbook despite being the heavy favorite.
He was a unanimous winner last year, sweeping all 100 first-place votes available from the Professional Hockey Writers Association. He joined Wayne Gretzky (1982) as the second unanimous Hart winner in league history.
McDavid entered Friday tied for the league lead in points with teammate Leon Draisaitl at 53. While Draisaitl leads the NHL with 26 goals, McDavid is No. 1 in assists with 34.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is second at +350 at both sportsbooks, while Draisaitl is being offered at +400 by DraftKings and +600 at BetMGM. However, it’s Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, a finalist last year, who is second at BetMGM with 20.4 percent of the total bets.
Ovechkin is second with 6.3 percent of the money wagered on the Hart market, while Draisaitl has been backed by 7.1 percent of the tickets and 4.7 percent of the money. Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, another 2021 finalist, is being backed by 4.4 and 1.0 percent, respectively with +1200 odds after opening at +700.
Matthews (+300) is also vying with Draisaitl (+250) and Ovechkin (+350) to win the Rocket Richard award as the leading goal scorer. Matthews is six goals behind Draisaitl, but Toronto has played two fewer games and Matthews missed the first three games of the season after leading the league with 41 goals in 52 games last year.
–Field Level Media