NHL betting: Why Alex Ovechkin is a good bet for NHL MVP

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  • Washington Capitals
    Washington Capitals
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  • Alex Ovechkin
    Alex Ovechkin
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Alexander Ovechkin won the Hart Trophy, given to the NHL's MVP, in 2008. He won the award again in 2009. He won it for the third time in 2013. Despite being an all-time great, Ovechkin has not won the award since. He's still put up gaudy offensive numbers, but there are newer and sexier names out there that had moved Ovechkin to the back burner. 

Now Ovechkin, 36, is on pace to have the best season of his illustrious career and has jumped back to the front of mind for fans across the league. Ovechkin currently sits at +800 to win the Hart Trophy.

Ridiculous start for Alex Ovechkin

In the 2007-08 NHL season, Ovechkin scored 65 goals in one of the more impressive individual seasons in recent memory. Through his first 22 games of that season, Ovechkin had 13 goals, 10 assists and 23 points. 

The Washington Capitals and Ovechkin have played 22 games this year. Ovechkin's stats? 19 goals, 18 assists, and 37 points. He's performing almost 50% better than he did in a season that won him an MVP, despite being 14 years older. 

SUNRISE, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 04: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his goal at 18:11 of the second period against the Florida Panthers on November 04, 2021 at the FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Alex Ovechkin is off to the best start of his storied career. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

While "on pace for" statistics are often deceptive, Ovechkin is on pace for 71 goals, 67 assists and 138 points over an 82-game season. Ovechkin's career-highs are 65 goals, 59 assists and 112 points. He's on pace to break all three totals. In his 17th NHL season, the NHL's fourth all-time leading goal scorer is reaching new heights, which is truly remarkable.

Ovechkin's competition

With about seven weeks in the books, you might as well consider the NHL MVP playoff picture as "Alex Ovechkin vs. the Edmonton Oilers."

Connor McDavid is the current betting favorite to win the MVP at +140. He's coming off a truly insane shortened season in the spring of 2021 and has basically picked up where he left off. McDavid ranks fifth in goals, first in assists and third in points. 

McDavid's teammate in Edmonton, Leon Draisaitl, might not have the name recognition or attention that McDavid has. However, he's certainly got the talent and production. Draisaitl is currently the only NHL player with 20 goals. He also has a three-point lead on second-place Ovechkin for the scoring title. Draisaitl currently sits at +300 to win the Hart Trophy.

Despite the stiff competition, I think this is a positive development for Ovechkin's prospects of winning the award. With the other two favorites being teammates, there's a good chance that they split votes. There's no player on Washington that Ovechkin will be sharing the spotlight with. 

If Ovechkin keeps this up, it'll be a hell of a story. This is one of the greatest players in NHL history who has had a mini-resurgence to reach yet another level at the age of 36. Often times, these awards need to have some type of narrative attached to them. There's no lack of storyline here. I think there's plenty of value backing Ovechkin to win the Hart Trophy at his current +800 odds.

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