Most bettors have their eyes on the teams left standing in the NHL playoffs — Carolina, Dallas, Florida, and Vegas. However, they’re forgetting the players left in the mix, the ones eligible to win the prestigious Conn Smythe Trophy. This might be the best bet left in the postseason. We’ve analyzed it and narrowed in on two players to bet for Conn Smyth award, which we’re giving out for free here!
But before we get to the free picks, it would benefit us to even know the betting odds. On the cusp of the conference finals, the following players are the biggest favorites to win the Conn Smythe, per the top-used NHL betting sites:
These odds will fluctuate wildly over the next few days as the conference championship series take shape. So if you want to take advantage of the likes you see above, it’s best not to wait much longer.
Before you decide who to to bet for the Conn Smythe Trophy — effectively the NHL playoff MVP award — you must first decide which team will win the Stanley Cup. That’s because this honor will undoubtedly go to the best player on the winning team. That’s just how these things work, whether it’s the NHL or another sports league.
When it came to our choice(s), we decided to split our money up into two — one player from a Western Conference team, the other from an Eastern Conference. This postseason has been unpredictable as is so this is a risk-management strategy in response. With that said, here’s who we’re backing with money:
Yep, we’re indeed favoring the Canes over the Panthers out East. And Slavin is the top reason why. He, along with Brent Burns, are keying the Hurricanes to victory up to this point. Burns and Slavin have been lockdown on the blue line, surrendering a meager 1.02 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 and controlling about 60% of the shot attempts. Behind the two, Carolina has allowed the second-least amount of goals among all playoff teams.
Honestly, you could make a strong case for either Slavin or Burns here. But here’s one reason why we’re giving Slavin the edge over his teammate: penalty kill. He’s at 90 percent up to this point. Reason number two behind our Slavin pick: the plus-minus rating. At +14, it’s the best in the whole playoffs. Slavin has allowed just three goals in 5-on-5 situations. His contributions are palpable any way you measure it.
Last thing on Slavin (or Burns), he also has the “narrative” going for them. Look, media voters of this award, love a good story, and the Canes winning despite injuries to the likes of Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen, and Max Pacioretty is an A1-news story. Those players are either forwards or wingers so the Carolina defense has had to step — and step up they have. Combine all this together and Slavin has an almost bulletproof case here. It probably also helps two of the past three Conn Smythe winners were defensemen so you know voters value the position.
We had a much tougher time choosing between Dallas and Vegas in the Western Conference. These two teams, for the most part, are evenly matched. Ultimately, we gave the Stars the slight edge because of a sneaking suspicion the Golden Knights goaltending situation will implode. It hasn’t yet despite playing multiple back-ups, but that dam can break at any time.
In fact, we’re betting that Stars forward Hintz causes that dam break. With the Oilers now out of the playoffs, Hintz becomes the biggest offensive threat of anyone remaining. He has 19 points in 13 playoff games, the most among players still left (and second overall). Hintz is leading the way for Dallas in almost every offensive category per 60 minutes — points (3.42), shots (9.57), and shot attempts (17.43).
Hintz could be the difference-maker in the Western Conference series, and if so, that’ll boost his trophy chances significantly. Remember, this award, unlike other Finals MVP awards, measure the entire postseason, not just the final series. Hintz has had multiple clutch moments this playoff run already (a hat trick in the first round and scores in elimination games). Another clutch moment against Vegas would fuel the “narrative” we mentioned before.
The Conn Smythe award effectively fits into the NHL special bets category. These are wagers on things not directly related to any specific games going on. To find more of these types of bets (e.g. NHL draft wager too), hit one of the bookmakers featured underneath. All five scored favorably in our latest sportsbook review section.
You can literally go from reading this sentence to signing up to a sportsbook within a few short minutes. The sign-up process is quick and pain-free across the board so don’t let that deter you from locking in these Conn Smythe bets, which we’re confident will get you paid!