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Focusing on future: Handicapping NHL awards

By Andy MacNeil  (VSiN.com) 

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Whether or not you bet on sports, attempting to predict which players will win awards at the end of the season is a fun exercise. However, if you’re handicapping the awards with the hope of making a few bucks, it’s important to develop some criteria. This will help you determine which players even have a shot. I have looked to the past to craft a checklist to aid me in making my selections. Hopefully this will help you make sharper bets in these markets going forward.

There’s one general rule of thumb to follow when looking for player futures to bet on. Resist the urge to back favorites (15-1 is my arbitrary cutoff) and look for long shots that are being overlooked. It’s also a little late to be saying this, but it’s important to get to these markets early. Player futures typically come with very low limits, but I have been able to get some fantastic numbers this year (and in the past) being one of the first to market. These are very tough markets to price for bookmakers — and for bettors — but it’s all about being prepared.

Hart Trophy (Most Valuable Player)

Forwards

* Since its inception, the Hart Trophy has been awarded to a winger only 25 times out of 96. Compare that with the 50 times it was won by a center. However, the award has been pretty evenly disturbed between the positions over the last 20 years, going to a winger eight times and a center on nine occasions.

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