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2017 NHL Prop Bets: Who Will Score the Most Points and More

By Matthew Reese in Sports
| October 3, 2017 12:00 am PDT
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The 2017-18 National Hockey League season gets underway Wednesday, and TopBet.eu is making things interesting by posting season-long props in several different categories.

TopBet currently has betting odds on who will win the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender), the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (most goals), the Art Ross Trophy (most points), the Hart Memorial Trophy (most valuable player) and Norris Trophy (best defenseman).

Season props are a fun way to stay invested in the action throughout the year, and they can also line your pockets if you’re right. The favorites in 2 of those 5 props pay +500, while there are several legitimate sleepers in each category that pay +1000 or better.

Here’s a look at TopBet’s odds for each of those props, along with some analysis of the top favorites, a sleeper to watch and a betting prediction.

Vezina Trophy Odds, Favorites, Sleeper And Prediction

Sergei Bobrovsky is the defending Vezina winner as the NHL’s best goalie, but it’s 3 other goalies who are co-favorites for the award in 2017-18.

Montreal’s Carey Price, Washington’s Braden Holtby and Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray are tied atop the Vezina odds, while Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk is also ranked ahead of Bobrovsky.

Here are the full Vezina Trophy odds at TopBet:

  • Carey Price, Montreal: +500
  • Braden Holtby, Washington: +500
  • Matt Murray, Pittsburgh: +500
  • Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota: +800
  • Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus: +1000
  • Cam Talbot, Edmonton: +1200
  • Pekka Rinne, Nashville: +1200
  • Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers: +1200
  • Tuukka Rask, Boston: +1500
  • Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles: +1500
  • Corey Crawford, Chicago: +1500
  • Jake Allen, St. Louis: +1500
  • Ben Bishop, Dallas: +1600
  • John Gibson, Anaheim: +1600
  • Martin Jones, San Jose: +2000
  • Frederik Andersen, Toronto: +2200
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay: +2200
  • Mike Smith, Calgary: +3300
  • Craig Anderson, Ottawa: +3300
  • Field (any other player): +800
Vezina Trophy Favorites
  • Carey Price: The Montreal goalie won this award just 3 years ago, when he posted a 44-16-6 record, 1.96 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. But after Price’s 2015-16 season was cut short due to a knee injury, there were whispers last year that he might not have fully recovered from the ailment. He finished the year with a subpar (by his standards) 2.23 GAA and .923 save percentage, not the numbers you’d like to see from a Vezina favorite.
  • Braden Holtby: Holtby is another former Vezina winner, claiming the trophy 2 years ago after putting up a 48-9-7 record, 2.20 GAA and .922 save percentage. His numbers were even better last season (2.07 GAA, .925 save percentage), yet Holtby received only 4 of 30 first-place votes for the Vezina because of Bobrovsky’s stellar year for the upstart Blue Jackets. With the Capitals expected to regress this year after losing some top talent over the offseason, Holtby’s numbers could suffer accordingly.
  • Matt Murray: With 2 Stanley Cup rings already on his fingers, it’s easy to forget that Murray has only 62 games of NHL regular-season experience. After suiting up for just 13 games in 2015-16, Murray was technically a rookie last year when he posted a 32-10-4 record, 2.41 GAA and .923 save percentage. The knock on Murray’s Vezina chances is the wide-open style that the Pens play, meaning he’ll probably never rank among the NHL’s leaders in goals-against
Vezina Trophy Sleeper
  • Ben Bishop, Dallas: The Stars have been horrible defensively over the past few years, but that could suddenly change now that Ken Hitchcock has replaced Lindy Ruff behind the bench. Hitchcock has a history of producing top-5 defensive teams, and Bishop has already shown he can put up impressive numbers. 2 years ago in Tampa Bay, the 6-foot-7 tender led the league in goals-against average while ranking second in save percentage and shutouts. And if the Stars improve as much this year as everyone seems to expect, Bishop should have a strong win-loss record to go along with his other stats.
Vezina Trophy Prediction

Price probably wins the award, but the best value, in my opinion, is on Bishop.

Another sleeper to watch is Cam Talbot of the Oilers, with Edmonton expected to contend for top spot in the Western Conference. I don’t see Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets putting up similar numbers this year, while Rinne and Lundqvist are other goalies I highly recommend avoiding.

Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy Odds, Favorites, Sleeper And Prediction

Oddsmakers are also not projecting a repeat winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy, pricing defending champion Sidney Crosby third with sophomores Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews.

The Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin is a slight favorite to win the trophy in 2017-18, followed closely by the Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko.

Below are the full Rocket Richard Trophy odds at TopBet:

  • Alexander Ovechkin, Washington: +500
  • Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis: +550
  • Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh: +700
  • Patrik Laine, Winnipeg: +700
  • Auston Matthews, Toronto: +700
  • Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay: +800
  • Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay: +800
  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton: +1000
  • Patrick Kane, Chicago: +1200
  • Brad Marchand, Boston: +1200
  • Tyler Seguin, Dallas: +1500
  • Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh: +1500
  • Jamie Benn, Dallas: +1500
  • Max Pacioretty, Montreal: +1600
  • Field (any other player): +800
Rocket Richard Trophy Favorites
  • Alexander Ovechkin: It might seem a little strange to see Ovechkin listed as the favorite to score the most goals in the NHL this year, considering he didn’t even crack the top 10 last year. However, Ovie is a 6-time winner of this award, including 4 straight from 2013-16. The question is whether last year’s 33-goal campaign was just a blip on the radar or a sign of slowing down from the 32-year-old sniper.
  • Vladimir Tarasenko: The 25-year-old Blues sharpshooter is among the best players in the NHL yet to be recognized with a major award. He’s averaged nearly 40 goals per year over the last 3 seasons, and Tarasenko’s game really took off last year after being freed from the shackles of former coach Ken Hitchcock’s defensive system. He also doesn’t rely on the power play to get his cookies, ranking third in the NHL with 27 even-strength markers.
  • Sidney Crosby: Sid the Kid topped the league with 44 goals last year despite missing 7 games due to injury. That was his highest single-season goal output since 2009-10, although he did pot 32 goals in 41 games the following year before missing the rest of the season due to a concussion.
Rocket Richard Trophy Sleeper
  • Brad Marchand, Boston: I actually like Matthews to win the award, but it’s hard to call a guy a sleeper when he’s tied for third on the betting odds. So let’s look instead at Marchand, who is losing his reputation as a pest and becoming better known as an elite goal scorer. He’s lit the lamp 76 times over the last 2 years and may just be entering his prime at 29 years old, having posted career highs in goals, assists and points last year.
Vezina Trophy Prediction

As I just alluded to, I actually like Matthews to lead the NHL in goals this year.

He became just the fourth teenager to score 40 goals as a rookie last season, tying with Nikita Kucherov for second in the league. It only makes sense that Matthews will put up even bigger numbers this year, especially in a Toronto attack that ranked among the NHL leaders in goals in 2016-17 and should also be better with Mitch Marner and William Nylander also entering their sophomore seasons.

Art Ross Trophy Odds, Favorites, Sleeper And Prediction

Connor McDavid is the chalk in this prop, paying just +200 to beat out every other player in the NHL scoring race. It’s a race he won easily last year, posting 100 points as a sophomore to beat out second-place Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane by 11 points.

Not surprisingly, Crosby and Kane are ranked second and third, respectively, on the Art Ross odds. No other player pays less than +1200, so if you can correctly pick a darkhorse in this field, you could really cash in.

Here are this year’s Art Ross Trophy odds:

  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton: +200
  • Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh: +400
  • Patrick Kane, Chicago: +700
  • Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh: +1200
  • Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay: +1200
  • Nicklas Backstrom, Washington: +1200
  • Auston Matthews, Toronto: +1200
  • Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis: +1400
  • Jamie Benn, Dallas: +1400
  • Tyler Seguin, Dallas: +1600
  • John Tavares, N.Y. Islanders: +1800
  • Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim: +2000
  • Alexander Ovechkin, Washington: +2000
  • Brad Marchand, Boston: +2200
  • Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay: +2200
  • Patrik Laine, Winnipeg: +3000
  • Jack Eichel, Buffalo: +3300
  • Claude Giroux, Philadelphia: +5000
  • Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton: +5000
  • Field (any other player): +800
Art Ross Trophy Favorites
  • Connor McDavid: Only 19 players have cracked the 100-point plateau in a season since the turn of the century. McDavid accomplished that feat in just his second year in the league, factoring in on more than 40% of the Oilers’ 246 goals last year. And at 20 years of age, his best is almost certainly to come.
  • Sidney Crosby: Now on the other side of 30 years old, Crosby seems to becoming more of a finisher than the set-up man he was at the start of his career. Last season, he scored almost as many goals (44) as he had assists (45), a drastic difference from the 59:138 ratio of goals to assists that he put up from 2011-2014. We also need to consider the toll that back-to-back Stanley Cup championship runs may have taken on his body.
  • Patrick Kane: The Blackhawks sniper is incredibly consistent, averaging a point per game or more in 7 of his last 8 campaigns. If you can do that and play a full 82-game season, you’ll always be in the Art Ross trophy mix, and Kane won this award just 2 years ago. One thing that may hurt Kane’s chances this year, however, is the departure of skilled wingman Artemi Panarin to Columbus.
Art Ross Trophy Sleeper
  • Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay: At +2200, there’s tons of value here on the two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner. Stamkos collected 3 consecutive 90-point seasons from 2009-12 before injuries in 2014 and last year cost him a combined total of 110 games. That injury history is exactly what makes Stamkos a gamble here, but it’s also why he pays this fat of a price. Paired with another Art Ross candidate in Nikita Kucherov, Stamkos should put up huge offensive numbers as long as he can stay on the ice.
Art Ross Trophy Prediction

Sometimes the obvious choice can be the right one.

Barring injury, it’s really hard to imagine McDavid not claiming this award for the second straight year.

At +200 odds, it’s a risk more than worth taking.

Hart Memorial Trophy Odds, Favorites, Sleeper And Prediction

McDavid is an even bigger favorite to be named NHL MVP for the second straight year, paying just +150 return. Crosby is the only other player priced within close proximity of McDavid, ranking second at +275.

Matthews and Ovechkin are the only other players paying less than +1200 return, and there are a ton of guys at +2500 or greater that are worth a serious look.

Following is the full Hart Trophy board at TopBet:

  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton: +150
  • Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh: +275
  • Auston Matthews, Toronto: +800
  • Alexander Ovechkin, Washington: +900
  • Patrick Kane, Chicago: +1200
  • Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh: +1600
  • Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis: +1600
  • Carey Price, Montreal: +1800
  • John Tavares, N.Y. Islanders: +2000
  • Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay: +2500
  • Jamie Benn, Dallas: +2500
  • Erik Karlsson, Ottawa: +2500
  • Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay: +3300
  • Patrik Laine, Winnipeg: +3300
  • Jack Eichel, Buffalo: +3300
  • Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary: +4000
  • Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim: +5000
  • Tyler Seguin, Dallas: +5000
  • Braden Holtby, Washington: +5000
  • Brent Burns, San Jose: +6000
  • Nicklas Backstrom, Washington: +6000
  • Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh: +6000
  • Joe Pavelski, San Jose: +6000
  • Artemi Panarin, Columbus: +6000
  • Field (any other player): +800
Hart Trophy Favorites
  • Connor McDavid: Just how valuable is McDavid? Well, before he arrived in Edmonton, the Oilers hadn’t made the playoffs in nearly a decade. With McDavid, the Oilers nearly won the Pacific Division in his first full season (an injury shortened his rookie campaign). This year, they’re +900 at TopBet to win the Stanley Cup (only Pittsburgh at +800 is ranked higher). If Edmonton lives up to the hype, you can hand the award to McDavid right now.
  • Sidney Crosby: If McDavid has overtaken Crosby for the greatest-player-in-the-world title, Sid is a close second. That obviously makes him valuable. But Crosby has won just 2 Hart Trophies in his career, partly because he’s surrounded with so much other top offensive talent. The presence of Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang and Matt Murray actually hurt Crosby’s MVP chances.
  • Auston Matthews: Like McDavid, Matthews’ arrival in Toronto sparked an immediate turnaround for the Maple Leafs. Although talented youngsters like Mitch Marner and William Nylander were also huge parts of the Leafs’ improvement last year, Matthews will continue to get all the credit as the top overall pick in the 2016 draft. Next to McDavid, he may be the most irreplaceable player in the NHL.
Hart Trophy Sleeper
  • Ryan Getzlaf: Getzlaf has all the qualities that you look for in an MVP candidate. He can put up points, he can play a physical game, he’s strong defensively, and he’s the captain of a team that should do pretty well again this year. If he can just increase his goal production a bit (he’s been held to 20 or less in 5 of his last 7 full seasons) and the Ducks win the Pacific Division once again, Getzlaf should finally receive the MVP consideration he often deserves.
Hart Trophy Prediction

McDavid is the best player in the NHL, but MVP voters don’t always simply look that way. Your team needs to do really well, you need to stay healthy and you need to put up big numbers. It’s also worth noting that the Hart hasn’t gone to the same player in consecutive seasons since 2009, suggesting that voters often try to think outside of the box.

If they do, Matthews might have a shot, but the safe play here, even at the low odds, is McDavid.

Norris Trophy Odds, Favorites, Sleeper And Prediction

It probably makes sense that defending Norris winner Brent Burns isn’t the favorite because no player other than the legendary Nicklas Lidstrom has won consecutive Norris trophies since 1991.

The Senators’ Erik Karlsson (+225) and Burns (+375) are the top favorites, but there’s also a logjam beneath them as 6 players pay +1200 or less.

Check out the full Norris Trophy odds at TopBet:

  • Erik Karlsson, Ottawa: +225
  • Brent Burns, San Jose: +375
  • Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay: +700
  • Drew Doughty, Los Angeles: +850
  • Shea Weber, Montreal: +900
  • K. Subban, Nashville: +900
  • Ryan Suter, Minnesota: +1200
  • Kris Letang, Pittsburgh: +1200
  • Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg: +1500
  • Roman Josi, Nashville: +1500
  • Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis: +2000
  • Kevin Shattenkirk, N.Y. Rangers: +2000
  • Duncan Keith, Chicago: +2000
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona: +2500
  • Field (any other player): +800
Norris Trophy Favorites
  • Erik Karlsson: Karlsson’s value to the Senators was on full display in last year’s playoffs as he basically carried them to within an overtime goal of reaching the Stanley Cup Final – and he did it all on a bad foot. The two-time Norris winner collected 63 of 167 first-place votes for the award last year and was second on 86 other ballots after leading the Senators in scoring.
  • Brent Burns: From an offensive standpoint, Burns enjoyed a season for the ages last year. His 29 goals were the most by a blueliner in nearly a decade, and it tied for the Sharks’ team lead as well. He’s now 31 years old, however, and other than Lidstrom, no defenseman older than that has won the Norris since Al MacInnis in 1999.
  • Victor Hedman: Hedman may not be revered in the same way as Karlsson or Burns, but the fact that he received 106 third-place Norris votes last year tells you that he’s widely seen as the third-best defenseman in hockey. In what was a down season for Tampa Bay last year, Hedman still averaged nearly a point per game while playing nearly 25 minutes per contest.
Norris Trophy Sleeper
  • Kris Letang: With how much Letang’s been injured recently (he’s played 70-plus games just once since 2011) and how well the Penguins have done without him, it’s easy to forget just how good this guy really is. Letang averaged better than a point per game in 2012-13 (38 points in 33 games) and nearly did it again 2 years ago when he collected 67 points in 71 outings. Like a lot of these players who are on these props at long odds, health is Letang’s biggest issue.
Norris Trophy Prediction

Even if Burns was the deserving Norris Trophy winner last year, I think a lot of voters felt some remorse after seeing how Karlsson dominated the playoffs from his blueline position. (The voting is done before the playoffs, but results are announced afterward.)

That likely makes voters want to look in Karlsson’s direction this year, and I fully expect the Swede to put up the kind of season that earns their nomination.

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