NHL Picks: Rocket Richard Odds and Analysis
Alex Ovechkin has won the Rocket Richard trophy six of the last seven years, with only Sidney Crosby managing to get to the top and break up his streak in 2016-2017. With such a dominant force still competing for the award, there are a few things you must consider when you are handicapping and making NHL picks for the Rocket Richard race across sports betting sites.
There is a distinct difference between a player being capable of finishing top 10 in goals and actually winning the goal scoring title. You can pencil in a healthy Ovechkin for 364 shots and 44 goals, his averages over the last 6 full seasons. So the first order of business when you are picking somebody to win is to figure out a scenario where they can take down the king. If they can’t reach the 44 goal benchmark under reasonable circumstances, you shouldn’t bet them. The winner will probably have to get over 44 but if they can’t get to 44 they have no chance.
Players have to be able to get to 220 shots to hit 44 goals at 20% shooting, which is very high, but possible. Even allowing for 20% shooters only 44 forwards in the NHL qualified under these conditions in 2018-2019.
Here are some names to consider for the Rocket Richard award, using FanDuel odds:
NHL Picks for the Rocket Richard Trophy
Alex Ovechkin +650 (use our FanDuel Sportsbook promo code to get these odds)
He just celebrated his 34th birthday and he should be slowing down, but if you’re familiar with Ovechkin you know “Russian Machine never breaks”. Betting on a down year from Ovechkin is nothing more than a guess. He has played at least 78 games in every full season dating back to 2011 and has cracked 50 goals four times in that span. His worst goal total since 2011 is 32.
The aging curve should catch up to Ovi at some point, but nobody really knows when. His price may not look attractive if you like chasing long shots, but his pedigree is unmatched and blindly betting Ovechkin over the course of his career would have returned a huge profit. +650 on the guy who has won 6 of the last 7 is a nice price.
Patrik Laine +1400
Laine should be one of the favorites to win this award with the caveat that he must be signed before he can be considered. His elite shot, and his opportunity in the “Ovi spot” on the power play makes him one of my favorites to win. If he doesn’t start the season with a contract that also takes a huge threat out of the race for everybody else. His recent comments complaining about his linemates lead me to believe he will be traded, so keep an eye out for Laine news.
Auston Matthews +1600
After getting off to a blazing start last year with 10 goals in 11 games, Matthews was sidelined for 14 games with a shoulder injury. He still finished with 37 goals despite missing all that time, good for 7th in the league in goals per game. Matthews is also a volume shooter getting off 3.7 shots a game with a 14.7% shooting percentage. He is slated to start the year with William Nylander and Andreas Johnsson on his wings, arguably the best linemates he has had in his 3 year career. A new power play coach coming over from Florida, Paul McFarland should reinvigorate a talented unit that got stale in the second half of the season last year.
Tyler Seguin +6000
In Dallas, Tyler Seguin routinely plays with two other elite players and with the addition of Joe Pavelski linemates should continue to be good this year even if they decide to try and balance the top two lines. Dallas also should improve on the power play with Seguin staying in his familiar spot on the left side of a formation that will include Alexander Radulov, Joe Pavelski and Jamie Benn, with John Klingberg running the point. Seguin’s career high is 40 goals so he would need a spike in his shooting percentage to get him into the conversation for 50, but his shot volume provides value at this price point.
Viktor Arvidsson +14000
In only 58 games last season, Viktor Arvidsson scored 29 even-strength goals and led the league in even strength goal rate with 2 per 60 min. He only added three goals on a league worst power play, partially because Nashville was one of the few teams in the league who relied on 2 defencemen taking low danger shots from the point. With PK Subban moving on and the addition of Matt Duchene, Nashville’s power play should feature a 4F-1D setup which should increase goal totals of everybody on the unit. A full season from Arvidsson could put him in the hunt for 50 goals, so +14000 is a tempting price to get in on the action. It’s even more tempting when you consider online sports betting sites like Bet365 has Arvidsson listed at just +4000.
Hopefully you found this write-up helpful in making your NHL picks for the Rocket Richard trophy. Keep an eye out for other NHL betting picks articles coming out soon.
Be sure to use RotoGrinders’ new NHL odds comparison tool to look at NHL moneylines and totals across the industry this hockey season.
All stats from www.quanthockey.com.
Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images