Hart Trophy Odds: Toronto’s Auston Matthews and His Quest for 70 Goals

Four players have broken away from the pack and become odds-on favorites for the NHL’s Hart Trophy.

The league’s Most Valuable Player award has a new favorite among some sportsbooks’ Hart Trophy odds: Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews.

Here are the latest Hart Trophy odds across top sports betting apps.

 

Matthews (+195 on DraftKings) is the NHL’s leading goal scorer with 53 (statistics through games of March 4), nine more than runner-up Sam Reinhart, a Florida Panthers forward. Matthews won the Hart Trophy in 2022.

Matthews, 26, is in his prime. ESPN projects he will score 71 goals this season. Alexander Mogilny and Teemu Selänne are the last players to score 70 goals in a season, both scoring 76 goals in 1992-93.

The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2016 set a record for the fastest American player to reach 50 goals in a season, accomplishing the feat in only 54 games. Matthews was born in San Ramon, California, and moved to Scottsdale, Arizona as an infant. He grew up a fan of the Arizona Coyotes.

Matthews’ career high is 60, set in 2022. He has a chance to become the ninth player to score 60 goals in a season more than once. Pavel Bure of the Vancouver Canucks was the last to score 60 goals, who accomplished the feat in consecutive seasons in 1992-93 and 1993-94.

The Maple Leafs, without a Stanley Cup since 1967, are solidly in the playoffs. They are in third place in the Atlantic Division with a six-point lead over two Wild Card teams. Toronto has a 12-point lead over the New York Islanders for the likely final playoff spot.

Making the playoffs is almost a prerequisite for a player to win the Hart Trophy. If a player’s team doesn’t make the 16-team Stanley Cup playoff field, his credentials to win the Most Valuable Player are rendered non-existent.

The Other Three Favorites

Hart Trophy odds have made Matthews and these other three players the clear favorites.

  • Nathan MacKinnon, Forward, Colorado Avalanche (+230 on DraftKings): MacKinnon was the favorite through most of the season. He currently has a 30-game home scoring streak, the second-long streak from the beginning of a season since Wayne Gretzky’s 40-game streak in 1988-89. Colorado won the Stanley Cup in 2022 and is fourth in the Western Conference. MacKinnon is tied for the most points in the league with  105, tied with Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov’s 105. MacKinnon is fourth in the league in goals with 39.
  • Nikita Kucherov, Forward, Tampa Bay Lightning (+260 on DraftKings): He has 38 goals (fourth in the NHL) and 67 assists (second in the NHL). Kucherov won the 2019 Hart Trophy. Among the top nine favorites for the Hart Trophy, Kucherov’s team is in the most jeopardy of not making the playoffs. The Lightning are tied with the Detroit Red Wings for the two Wild Card spots in the Eastern Conference. But Tampa Bay holds a six-point lead over the New York Islanders and a seven-point lead over the Washington Capitals for that final Wild Card. Both the Islanders and Capitals have played three fewer games, so they have opportunities to close Tampa Bay’s lead. The Lightning have scored only one more goal than they have allowed — the smallest margin among the playoff teams. So, no matter how great Kucherov has played, his team’s performance might hold back his Hart Trophy chances.
  • Connor McDavid, Forward, Edmonton Oilers (+400 on DraftKings): Led by McDavid, the Oilers bounced back from a horrendous start. On American Thanksgiving, the Oilers were 30th in the overall standings. A coaching change helped turn Edmonton’s season around. McDavid won last year’s Hart Trophy and also won in 2021 and 2017. McDavid is universally acknowledged as the most talented player in the league. He has 23 goals and a league-leading 74 assists. His 97 points are third in the league. The Oilers are second in the Pacific Division and hold a nine-point lead for the final playoff spot.

The Next Tier

The next tier has talented players — worthy of winning the Hart Trophy — but this season there is a huge gap between the tiers. But with about 20 games to play in the regular season, a huge finish by one of the players below could shake up the Hart Trophy race. These next-tier players are longshots, for sure.

  • Connor Hellebuyck, Goalie, Winnipeg Jets (+4000): Hellebuyck is the main reason the Jets are among the top teams in the Western Conference. Hellebuyck leads the NHL in save percentage at .924 and is second in the league with a 2.25 goals-against average. Coming into the season, Winnipeg had the 18th-best odds to win the Stanley Cup at +5000. Colorado was the favorite at +900.
  • David Pastrnak, Forward, Boston Bruins (+5000): “Pasta” is the Bruins’ leading scorer and among the league leaders. He has 87 points (fourth in the NHL) and tied for fourth in goals (38). The Bruins are tied for second in points in the Eastern Conference, two behind the Florida Panthers.
  • Quinn Hughes, Defenseman, Vancouver Canucks (+5000): Hughes has the shortest odds to win the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman. Hughes is a two-way player — strong on defense and a threat on offense. He is tied for second in the NHL in plus-minus at +32. Hughes has 12 goals and 59 assists (71 points).
  • Elias Pettersson, Forward, Vancouver Canucks (+5000): Pettersson is one of the league’s most talented teams. He has 29 goals and 46 assists for 75 points. Vancouver leads the Western Conference in standings points.
  • Artemi Panarin, Forward, New York Rangers (+7500): Panarin is the Rangers’ leading scorer with 35 goals and 50 assists for 85 points. That total is fifth in the NHL. The Rangers, who were upset in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last year, are rolling this season and lead the Metropolitan Division and third in the Atlantic Division.

Hart Trophy Odds in October

To see a perspective on how Hart Trophy odds have changed over the season, on Oct. 16, as the regular season was getting underway, here were the top Hart Trophy odds from FanDuel:

  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers: +100
  • Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs: +1000
  • Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche: +1100
  • David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins: +1200
  • Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers: +1200
  • Matthew Tkachuk, Florida Panthers: +1200
  • Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils: +1700
  • Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild: +2000
  • Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning: +2000
  • Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche: +2000

The Hart Trophy will be awarded at the end of the regular season by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers Association in each NHL city.

Last 10 Hart Trophy Winners

  • 2022-23: Connor McDavid, Oilers (64 goals, 89 assists, 153 points)
  • 2021-22: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs (60 goals, 46 assists, 106 points)
  • 2020-21: Connor McDavid, Oilers (33 goals, 72 assists, 105 points in 56 games in Covid-shortened season)
  • 2019-20: Leon Draisaitl, Oilers (43 goals, 67 assists, 110 points)
  • 2018-19: Nikita Kucherov, Lightning (41 goals, 87 assists, 128 points)
  • 2017-18: Taylor Hall, Devils (39 goals, 54 assists, 93 points)
  • 2016-17: Connor McDavid, Oilers (30 goals, 70 assists, 100 points)
  • 2015-16: Patrick Kane, Blackhawks (46 goals, 60 assists, 106 points)
  • 2014-15: Carey Price, Canadiens (1.96 GAA, .933 SV%)
  • 2013-14: Sidney Crosby, Penguins (36 goals, 68 assists, 104 points)

More NHL Coverage: NHL Odds | Stanley Cup Odds | NHL Player Props | Best NHL Betting Apps | Best NHL Betting Promos

About the Author
Chuck Bausman

Chuck Bausman

Sports Betting Writer
Chuck Bausman is a sports betting writer at Gaming Today. Bausman has more than 30 years of experience in journalism. He is a former executive sports editor of the Philadelphia Daily News and managing editor of Philly Hockey Now. He is also a journalism professor at Rider University.

Get connected with us on Social Media