As the NFL celebrates its 100 anniversary, the league welcomes the Kansas City Chiefs back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. The Chiefs, 1.5-point favorites in Super Bowl 54, won Super Bowl 4 23-7 over the Minnesota Vikings as 12-point underdogs. Their opponents, the San Francisco 49ers have won five of six Super Bowl appearances but none since a 1995 victory in Super Bowl 29.
Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews Is Favorite For Conn Smythe Trophy
With the Western Conference champion Blackhawks and Eastern Conference winning Lightning facing off in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night in Tampa, Bovada has released its updated Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Before the playoffs started, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was the favorite but he was beaten in Game 7 by Tampa in the East Finals. So the new favorite at +350 is Blackhawks center and captain Jonathan Toews.
Toews, Kane, Richards Can Join Exclusive Club
When the Hawks won their first of two Stanley Cups this decade in 2010, Toews won the Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP (it's for the entire playoffs, not just the Stanley Cup Finals). In those playoffs, when Toews was only 22, he had 29 points (7 goals, 22 assists) in 22 games. Chicago beat Philadelphia in six games in the finals.
Toews has nine goals and nine assists in these playoffs and is plus-5. In the West Finals against Anaheim, Toews became the first player in Stanley Cup playoff history to have multiple goals in Games 5 and 7 on the road in the same series. Currently only five players in NHL history have been declared the playoff MVP at least twice (Patrick Roy, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, and Bernie Parent). Toews' teammate, Patrick Kane, is the +450 third favorite. He won the Conn Smythe in 2013 when Chicago beat Boston in the finals.
Chicago's Duncan Keith has the shortest odds among defense. If Keith wins it, he’ll be the first defensemen to get the trophy since Scott Niedermayer in 2007. Keith certainly deserves consideration as he’s been averaging 31:35 minutes per game. He has played almost 70 more minutes than the next highest player in the playoffs. He's also far and away the top blue-line scorer with 18 points. Keith has won the Norris Trophy twice as the league’s best defenseman. He’s a two-time Stanley Cup champion, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, a three-time All-Star and a sure-fire future Hall of Famer. But with Toews, Kane, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp on his team, he often flies a bit under the radar. Keith’s plus-11 rating is tied with Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman for the best in the league, and the Hawks have controlled more than 56 percent of shot attempts with Keith on the ice — the fifth-best possession number in the league.
The long shot at +5000 is Blackhawks second-line center Brad Richards. He won the Conn Smythe in 2004 when he led Tampa Bay to its only Stanley Cup Finals, and the Lightning beat Calgary in seven games for the title.
Tampa's top current favorite is undrafted Tyler Johnson. With a playoff-best 12 goals and 21 assists, Johnson has been the Lightning's best player. He is the center of the spectacular productive "Triplets" line between Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov. The 24-year-old Johnson has scored on a consistent basis and in big moments.
Full Bovada List
Jonathan Toews (CHI) 7/2
Tyler Johnson (TB) 4/1
Patrick Kane (CHI) 9/2
Ben Bishop (TB) 5/1
Duncan Keith (CHI) 5/1
Steven Stamkos (TB) 8/1
Corey Crawford (CHI) 12/1
Nikita Kucherov (TB) 15/1
Marian Hossa (CHI) 25/1
Patrick Sharp (CHI) 25/1
Victor Hedman (TB) 35/1
Valtteri Filppula (TB) 40/1
Alex Killorn (TB) 40/1
Ondrej Palat (TB) 40/1
Brent Seabrook (CHI) 40/1
Brad Richards (CHI) 50/1
Category : Betting PicksMore articles...
Over the years, the NHL All-Star Game has gone through many format changes but in the past few years, the league appears to have hit on a formula that works via its division vs division three-on-three tournament. Pitting the Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific Divisions in a quick free-for-all, 20-minute mini-games has created an exciting tournament for fans and TV viewers, and a much better wagering environment for sports bettors.
It's been a half century since the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. In fact, it's been 50 years since the Chiefs went to the Super Bowl. But Kansas City is favored to get there this year. The Chiefs go into the AFC Championship Game as 7.5-point favorites over the Tennessee Titans. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers are seven-point favorites over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.
Conor McGregor is poised to make his return to the octagon and to UFC. The former lightweight world champion is slated to fight Donald Cerrone in a welterweight bout as part of UFC 246 on Jan. 18 in Las Vegas. The Irish fighter hasn't been in a bout since he lost via submission to UFC lightweight (155 pound) champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Cerrone, normally a lightweight, lost his last two fights.