Oddsmakers have Daniel Sedin among favourites for Art Ross, but not the Hart

I don’t gamble for multiple reasons, first and foremost because I don’t have any money. I do find gambling interesting, however, mainly because it involves legions of people who think they know better than the experts who design the games and set the table odds to ensure that the house always wins.

Sports betting is especially fascinating, as fans always think they have some special insight into the game from the many hours they spend watching it. There’s a lot of money to be made in sports betting, most of it on the side of the casinos and websites, but the knowledgeable bettor can occasionally carve out a small hunk of money for themselves.

So, out of curiosity, I checked Bodog.ca to see what the oddsmakers had to say about the Canucks for this season. And some of their odds don’t make any sense in reality, but make perfect sense when it comes to gambling. Bodog.ca doesn’t have their odds up on their website any more, now that the season has started, but they seem to be the same as the Bovada odds that Sean Leahy wrote about earlier this month on Puck Daddy.

The most interesting odds for Canucks fans? The Art Ross and Hart odds for Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Daniel is among the favourites for the Art Ross (as well as the Rocket Richard), well ahead of Henrik. He isn’t even listed among the Hart Trophy odds, however, while Henrik is just behind Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Claude Giroux.

Daniel is lifted as the 5th most likely player to win the Art Ross, originally at 8/1 odds and ending at 9/1 odds, according to Bodog. Henrik is 9th at 18/1 odds, which is strange, considering that Henrik and Daniel have nearly identical point-per-game rates. For the most part, when Daniel gets a point, Henrik gets a point, which would make you think that they should have the same or similar odds to win the Art Ross.

But that’s not how the odds work. They’re not designed, necessarily, to accurately reflect reality. They are designed to entice people into betting. Neither Daniel nor Henrik finished anywhere near the league-lead in points last season. Henrik was closest, obviously, having played all 82 games, but finished 28 points behind Art Ross winner Evgeni Malkin. But Daniel won the Art Ross the season before that, meaning that people might simply look at previous winners and throw down a bet.

Since the odds for Daniel changed from 8/1 to 9/1 from when they were first posted, that means that people weren’t betting for Daniel. The oddsmakers had to make the odds a little more enticing, providing a better return on investment. It’s likely that the type of bettor that would have simply looked to a previous winner to bet on saw his low point totals from last season and balked.

The same is true for the Hart Trophy. Daniel isn’t listed among the favourites because he never won the award. Since the lockout, only two players have won the Hart Trophy without also winning the Art Ross: Alex Ovechkin in 2008-09 and Corey Perry in 2010-11, when Daniel won the Art Ross. Both Ovechkin and Perry won the Rocket Richard Trophy in those seasons and were seen as carrying a team.

Henrik, however, has won the Hart Trophy, winning it in 2009-10 in his Art Ross season. That season, Henrik continued to produce points with Daniel out of the lineup due to an injury and also increased his goal production and was thus seen as more valuable to his team. So, Henrik gets in at 19/2 odds to win the Hart, 6th behind Ovechkin, Malkin, and Giroux at 13/2 odds.

If only we knew that Daniel paid attention to sports gambling as being so far behind Henrik in the Hart odds might get him out for blood once more.

But wait: the Sedins own a horse together, which means they must pay attention to horse racing, and thus to at least that segment of sports gambling, right?

Right.

And what do you know? Daniel picked up 2 points in Saturday’s disastrous showing against the Ducks, while Henrik scored just 1.

Other relevant odds for the Canucks:

  • The newly re-signed Alex Edler is listed at 15/1 odds to win the Norris. He’ll be hard-pressed to do so while working to adapt to playing on the right side. Simply having a solid season will be enough for me.
  • Cory Schneider is 6th in Vezina odds, at 12/1. Roberto Luongo, meanwhile, is at 18/1 odds, which might have been a good value bet, considering he might get a decent number of starts for the Canucks this season or may end up as the number one goaltender elsewhere in the NHL.
  • The odds for the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup? 10/1. Their odds to win the Western Conference are 9/2. Those odds wouldn’t entice me to bet on them, but I’d be willing to wager they win the Northwest Division at Even money.

 

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