NHL betting: Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar are Conn Smythe favorites

·5 min read

On Monday night, the Colorado Avalanche became the first team to punch their ticket to the second round of the NHL playoffs when they completed their sweep of the Nashville Predators. In a league that currently features six series tied at two games a piece, the Avalanche have separated themselves and currently sit as +225 favorites to win the Stanley Cup. No other team has better than 6-to-1 odds. As a result, the Avalanche feature five players in the top 10 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, given to the NHL playoff MVP.

Avalanche stars sit atop the leaderboard

We know the Colorado Avalanche will be in the second round of the playoffs, something we can't say about the 14 other teams currently in the postseason. For that reason, the odds for their players might be slightly inflated, but this team is the Stanley Cup favorite for a reason. This team is littered with stars and five of those stars currently have odds of 25-to-1 or better to win the NHL playoff MVP.

Nathan MacKinnon is the current favorite to win the Conn Smythe at +550. MacKinnon is tied with four others for the league lead in playoff goals. He scored a goal in all four games of the first-round sweep over Nashville.

Right on MacKinnon's tail is teammate Cale Makar. Makar was named as one of the three finalists to win the Norris Trophy, given to the league's best defenseman in the regular season. In the first round, Makar had 3 goals and 10 points. Makar directly contributed to 10 goals for Colorado, which is more than Nashville scored in the entire series (9). Makar is +600 to win the Conn Smythe.

NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 07: Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29), left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92), center Nazem Kadri (91), right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) and defenseman Cale Makar (8) talk during Game 3 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche, held on May 7, 2022, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Five Avalanche players are amongst the favorites to win the Conn Smythe Award, given to the NHL playoff MVP. (Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is 20-to-1 to win the award. Kuemper was top five in wins, shutouts and save percentage during the regular season. He missed Game 4 of the series against Nashville after taking a stick to the eye in Game 3. There's hope that the injury isn't overly serious, despite how scary it looked.

MacKinnon's two usual linemates round out the Avalanche atop the leaderboard for the Conn Smythe. Mikko Rantanen had five assists in the first round, and he sits at 20-to-1 to win the award. Gabriel Landeskog had three goals and six points against Nashville, and he's at 25-to-1 to bring home the playoff MVP. The trio didn't play together in the first round, but I'd expect them to be reunited at some point.

Other teams' favorites

In order to win the Conn Smythe, your team is almost certainly going to have to win the Stanley Cup. The last player to win the award in a losing effort was Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who went 15-6 while posting a .945 save percentage and 1.62 goals against average during the 2003 playoffs for Anaheim.

Since 2000, the award has gone to 10 forwards, five defensemen and six goaltenders. While there's a slight slant to the forward position, it's not like the NFL where you can almost completely eliminate any non-quarterback from the MVP race before a game is even played.

Maybe you're not buying the Avalanche this year. They've fizzled out in the playoffs despite dominant regular seasons and first rounds in the past. Below, I've included the current betting favorite to win the Conn Smythe for the 14 other teams still in the playoffs. I've also included their current series score and their current Stanley Cup odds.

Florida Panthers

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. Washington (-300 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: +600

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov (both 16-to-1)

Calgary Flames

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. Dallas (-275 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: +750

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Jacob Markstrom and Johnny Gaudreau (both 25-to-1)

Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. Tampa Bay (-120 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: +900

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Auston Matthews (14-to-1)

Carolina Hurricanes

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. Boston (-125 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: 10-to-1

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Sebastian Aho (28-to-1)

Tampa Bay Lightning

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. Toronto (+100 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: 12-to-1

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Andrei Vasilevskiy (25-to-1)

Pittsburgh Penguins

Boston Bruins

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. Carolina (+105 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: 16-to-1

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand (both 50-to-1)

Edmonton Oilers

Minnesota Wild

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. St. Louis (-130 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: 16-to-1

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Kirill Kaprizov (22-to-1)

St. Louis Blues

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. Minnesota (+110 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: 25-to-1

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Ryan O'Reilly and David Perron (both 50-to-1)

New York Rangers

  • Current series score: 1-3 vs. Pittsburgh (+475 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: 35-to-1

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Igor Shesterkin (50-to-1)

Dallas Stars

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. Calgary (+210 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: 40-to-1

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Jake Oettinger (100-to-1)

Washington Capitals

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. Florida (+240 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: 50-to-1

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Alex Ovechkin (66-to-1)

Los Angeles Kings

  • Current series score: 2-2 vs. Edmonton (+200 to win)

  • Current Stanley Cup odds: 66-to-1

  • Current Conn Smythe favorite: Jonathan Quick (200-to-1)

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