The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to take their fans and customers at Ontario sportsbooks on a wild ride this season. One thing both groups can count on is star forward Auston Matthews. If the Leafs are going to make the playoffs, Matthews will be a critical component.
Matthews is on pace for 68 goals this season, which would be his career high and would be eight more than he had in his Hart Trophy winning season of 2021-22. That was only a 73-game season, but even accounting for that he’s scoring goals at a career-best pace. Matthews has missed just one game this season.
But how are his chances to be the NHL’s Most Valuable Player for the second time? We have general NHL Hart Trophy odds at OntarioBets.com for a deeper look at the field, but here we are more concerned with Toronto’s alternate captain. Here is a chart comparing his Hart Trophy season with this season:
Auston Matthews Current Pace Vs. 2021-22 Hart Trophy Season
NHL Hart Trophy Candidates
Entering Wednesday, Auston Matthews is fourth in Hart Trophy odds across several Ontario sports betting apps, with odds hovering between +900 and +1300. So who are the favorites?
Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon is atop the boards at major sportsbook operators. In fact, the Avalanche forward is better than even money during a season in which he is contending for both the Art Ross Trophy as the league leader in points and an outside contender for the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goalscorer. He’d have some work to do to catch Matthews for the latter distinction (MacKinnon has 32 goals going into Wednesday’s games, 10 behind Matthews) but the key difference is that his team is better. Colorado has +872 odds to win it all at Pinnacle Ontario Sportsbook, trailing only the Edmonton Oilers (+670).
Up next is Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning, with odds hovering between +260 and +300. Kucherov, the Hart Trophy winner in the 2018-19 season, leads the league in points with 90 and is tied with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the top spot in assists with 56, one more than MacKinnon. Kucherov has been so consistent that he has had more games with three or more points this season (13) than he has had games with no points (nine).
The thing that might hurt Kucherov’s bid is the same factor that could hamper Matthews: Their teams are decent but not great and their NHL Stanley Cup odds reflect that. Tampa Bay is one point ahead of Toronto for the third and final automatic qualifying playoff spot in the Atlantic Division (though the Leafs have three games in hand). McKinnon’s Avs are comfortably in second place in the Central Division.
Third in NHL MVP odds is McDavid, who already owns three Hart Trophies and aims for a fourth. He has 77 points but only 21 goals for Edmonton, which recently had a 16-game winning streak to vault into Stanley Cup contention after a rough start to the season.
Can Matthews lead his team all the way? Check out Maple Leafs Stanley Cup odds at OntarioBets.com.
You can pretty much forget about a non-forward winning the Hart Trophy this season. The last goaltender named MVP was Montreal’s Carey Price in 2014-15. And the most recent defensemen so honored was Chris Pronger of the St. Louis Blues in 1999-2000. Defenseman Quinn Hughes of the surprising Vancouver Canucks has odds anywhere from +1700 and +4000 at various sportsbooks, not close enough to be a real contender.
2024 Stanley Cup Odds
Across the board, the Edmonton Oilers have surged into a role as the new Stanley Cup favorite in the past few weeks even though they’re still only third in the Pacific Division. Their 16-game winning streak from Dec. 21 to Jan. 27 saw to that. The Oilers have +750 at NorthStar Bets Ontario Sportsbook to lift the trophy in June.
Colorado is the No. 2 choice with most sportsbooks, though Caesars Ontario Sportsbook has the Avs third at +850, behind Boston (+800). The Bruins are the third choice at most sports betting sites, with odds between +850 and +1000. After that, consensus starts to fall apart. The defending champion Vegas Golden Knights are in the mix after the top three, along with the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks, New York Rangers and Dallas Stars.
As for the Maple Leafs, they are there or thereabouts with the top 10 teams in title odds along with the Winnipeg Jets. This is one example of why we recommend having multiple sportsbook accounts if you can swing it. The best value for hockey betting in Ontario might only be a click away; if you don’t like your chosen team’s price with one operator, try another.