Stanley Cup Final 2022: Conn Smythe trophy odds, picks: Bet this 80/1 longshot


The 2022 Stanley Cup Final gets underway on Wednesday night at 8 pm ET at Ball Arena in Denver. The Colorado Avalanche are -175 to win the series with the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning coming back at +155. 

As for the Conn Smythe Trophy — which is handed out to the MVP of the entire postseason — the race is relatively open compared to what we’ve seen in prior years. Colorado defenseman Cale Makar is the current favorite at +160 with his teammate Nathan MacKinnon right behind him at +230. The next three players on the board come from Tampa: Nikita Kucherov (+360), Andrei Vasilevskiy (+400) and Steven Stamkos (+1600). 

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Best bets for the Conn Smythe

Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (+175) — BetMGM Sportsbook

Even though the odds suggest that this race is pretty close to a toss-up between Makar and MacKinnon should the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup, it’s pretty hard to imagine that Makar doesn’t win at this point. Not only does he lead the playoffs in points per game (as a defenseman, no less), but this spring has been a coming-out party for the 23-year-old defenseman in terms of the spotlight.

Cam Makar
Cam Makar
NHLI via Getty Images

We all knew Makar was one of the best defensemen in the NHL coming into this season, but his effort this spring has launched him into a new stratosphere. He may be the second-best player in the NHL behind Connor McDavid at this point. 

The Conn Smythe — like most awards in the NHL — will be voted on by members of the media. Right now, Makar is the darling of hockey writers everywhere.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning (+400) — Caesars Sportsbook

 It’s a bit surprising that Vasilevskiy is the second choice for Tampa Bay behind Nikita Kucherov. Nothing against Kucherov, who leads the Bolts with 23 points and has been terrific this spring, but Vasilevskiy has been Tampa’s most important player this postseason.

Not only did Vasilevskiy completely shut down the Maple Leafs in back-to-back elimination games, but he followed that up by allowing three goals in a four-game sweep of the Panthers. Vasilevskiy was not at his best for the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Rangers, but he rebounded quickly and allowed just five goals (and only one at 5-on-5) over the last four games of Round 3. 

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Getty Images

Perhaps the market likes Kucherov because he lost a neck-and-neck race with Vasilevskiy last year so it’s his turn, but at the same time it’s hard to see the Lightning winning this series and not needing Vasilevskiy to stand on his head. 

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Ondrej Palat, Tampa Bay Lightning (+8000) — BetMGM Sportsbook

As the odds tell you, it’s very unlikely that a player not named Makar, MacKinnon, Vasilevkiy or Kucherov wins the Conn Smythe, but there is one longshot with at least a sliver of hope. Ondrej Palat has built a reputation as one of the NHL’s clutch playoff performers over the years, and the 31-year-old winger has only added to his legend this postseason. Palat had two game-winning goals in the Eastern Conference Finals and had assists on both of the Lightning’s goals in their Game 6 clincher against the Rangers. 

Coming into the Stanley Cup, Palat is second on the Bolts in both goals (8) and points (16), so it’s not like he’d need to set the world completely on fire to play himself into the running for the Conn Smythe.

Instead, Palat really just needs a parlay of things to happen to vault himself into the conversation: A couple more big goals, an off night or two from Vasilevskiy and Kucherov, and a Lightning series win. 

All of that is unlikely to come to fruition, but at 80/1 it’s worth a shot. This is the best line on the market by a wide margin.

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