Conn Smythe Trophy and NBA Series Betting

After three thrilling Game Sevens, we’ve got our Conference Finals set in both the NHL and NBA! One of my favorite parts of the playoffs is the variety of markets that you can attack if you believe two outcomes are correlated or if you want to manufacture a better number than the one offered in a single bet. Let’s take a look at a couple of those possibilities in these conference finals, including the Conn Smythe trophy winner.

Conn Smythe Trophy


In the NHL, the MVP of the playoffs is awarded the Conn Smythe trophy. Unlike the NBA or MLB, the MVP is over the full breadth of the playoffs, not just one series. This allows us to narrow down the list of realistic candidates. Historically speaking, you can focus on Goaltenders and Center. The two positions have won 38 of the 60 years this trophy has been given out.

At this point, the Dallas Stars are the second favorite at +260, but I would disagree. They face the worst team left in the tournament, the Oilers, who currently have the top four scorers in the playoff. If Dallas advances, a narrative will develop around both their defense and goaltending. Right now, their goalie, Jake Oettinger, is second among active goalies in Save Percentage and leading in Goals Against Per Game. If they advance to the finals, much of that will be on his shoulders. Both teams in the Eastern Conference final also play into the Stars style, and I would expect lower-scoring games.

With two series left, Oettinger is +500 to win the Conn Smythe. If Dallas wins, he would have to win the award slightly over 50% of the time for this to be a better wager than Dallas to win at +260. I believe he wins the award closer to 75% of the time based off the path Dallas would take and the fact that the current leading scorer for Dallas is Miro Heiskanen, a defenseman who is less likely to win the award.

While I like Dallas’s price at +260, there is more value in playing Oettinger at +500.

Conn Smythe Bet: Jake Oettinger +500 to win the Conn Smythe

Series Length Bets

When I am looking through the long list of betting options for a series, I will make sure to check to see if I can create a better number than the one being offered on a more straightforward bet. Let’s look at Dallas vs. Minnesota and the Over 5.5 Games.

Right now, you can bet over 5.5 games at -160. If you placed $200 down, you would win $325 back. You can also bet six total games in the series at +210 or 7 games in the series at +215. If you took the same $200 and played $100 of each, you would return $310 or $315 back.

In this instance, the simple bet of Over 5.5 games in the best way to attack this bet, but it’s important to check with all the options. You can also look at the exact series score, but in this case, the Over 5.5 -160 was still a better price than blending the MIN 4-2, MIN 4-3, DAL 4-2, and DAL 4-3 prices.

While there is no additional value in this instance, it’s important to go through the mechanics to make sure you are getting the best price.