Oddmakers Shift Quickly on Stanley Cup & Conn Smythe Odds
Just a week ago, the Carolina Hurricanes were the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Oddsmakers were drooling and posted the sunbelt darlings at _200. After a pair of OT losses and a Sergei Bobrovsky 1-0 theft in Game 3, oddsmakers booted Carolina all the way to +2000 to drink from Lord Stanley’s chalice.
Carolina is all but eliminated in part because of Conn Smythe Trophy favorites Bobrovsky and Matthew Tkachuk.
The DraftKings futures have changed dramatically since the start of the Conference Finals. Florida is up 3-0, and the Vegas Golden Knights are up 2-0.
After Carolina’s vanishing act, the Vegas Golden Knights are now heavy favorites at +120. The Dallas Stars have fallen to +750.
Falling behind 2-0 in a series will impact your odds significantly.
The Conn Smythe Trophy will be hotly debated, if not contested, as the Florida Panthers have a pair of heroes, and the Vegas Golden Knights have a lot of heroes without one clear-cut frontrunner to get the little trophy before the big silver chalice.
Tkachuk has been a transformative presence for Florida. His physical play and leadership kept the team on the cusp of the Eastern Conference wild card, even as their playoff chances sank in the season’s final week. The Pittsburgh Penguins needed only to beat the two worst teams in the league, the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Panthers’ season would have ended in mid-April.
The Penguins’ inability to beat bad teams was the Panthers’ good fortune, and the spotlight has shone brightly on Bobrovsky and Tkachuk, who scored the OT winner in Games 1 and 2.
Tkachuk is sharing the MVP talk with Bobrovsky, who has arisen from a terrible slump this season. Bobrovsky has been brilliant since reclaiming his net against the Boston Bruins in Round One.
Bettors are moving their money to Bobrosvky. He’s going off at +210. Tkachuk is the second favorite at +400.
However, almost all Conn Smythe winners come from the winning team, so unless the Florida Panthers win the Stanley Cup, the winner will come from one of the Western Conference teams.
And that opens up more value.
Jack Eichel is currently well undervalued at +500. The 2015 second-overall draft pick, who fought with the Buffalo Sabres over disc replacement surgery and forced a trade to Vegas, has been their leading scorer. In 13 NHL Stanley Cup playoff games, Eichel has 15 points (6-9-15), and at even strength, he more than doubled Connor McDavid’s production in the second round.
The Golden Knights won in six games limiting McDavid to just three even-strength points. Eichel had seven points in that series.
On the flip side, Should Dallas overcome their 2-0 deficit, their choice is clear-cut and easy.
Roope Hintz has been one of the best players in the postseason. Without much media attention in Dallas, the talented center flies under the radar. Hintz has received almost no media attention despite scoring 22 points (10-12-22) in just 15 games. He is currently +1600.
Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill is another player who isn’t getting any press. The former third-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes is with his third team in three years. Still, it has provided steady, calm, and impeccable goaltending since taking over for Laurent Brossoit in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.
Hill has a second-best .930 save percentage and a 2.18 GAA in six starts. Currently, he’s a longshot at +2000, but it bears noting that Conn Smythe voters like goalies as a fallback option when there is no other clear-cut candidate.
And Vegas doesn’t really have a clear-cut winner.
Golden Knights forward Mark Stone is a good betting option, but he’ll need a few more goals to improve on +600. Jonathan Marchessault scored the late tying goal in Game 2, following his natural hat trick against Edmonton in Round Two. He’s a gamer rolling off at +1800.
There’s also an emotional reason to reward Marchessault if the Golden Knights win. Marchesauly is one of the original VGK Misfits.
The biggest longshot is currently Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal. The center, who won the Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009, is +30000 to win the Conn Smythe.
Of course, a Dallas win in Game 3 will change the Stanley Cup betting odds again, perhaps making Hintz less of a long shot and bettering the Stars’ odds of winning the Stanley Cup.
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