With NHL All-Star Weekend set to kick off tonight in Las Vegas, you had to know @FastMoneyLabs would be in on the action! While the main event starts tomorrow (Saturday), the fireworks start tonight (Friday) with a Player Skills Competition. Here’s how @FastMoneyLabs is positioning to profit off his favorite event on the slate tonight: the Fastest Skater Competition.
@FastMoneyLabs NHL Fastest Skater Preview & Pick
Fastest Skater Competition
One adrenaline fueled lap. Fastest time wins. After he obliterated the competition in 3 of the last 4 events, there’s a real chance tonight’s odds-on favorite, Connor McDavid (EDM), makes me look silly for writing this column. But he is coming off a loss in 2020…
Luckily for McDavid, the reigning champion (Barzal) is not participating this year. However, this year’s field was injected with raw talent. After performing in-depth reviews on each player, I feel at least 2 are capable of pulling off the upset (if not more). To help you decide whether to back McDavid vs. a long-shot, I’ve summarized pros and cons for each player below. If you’re still unsure after reading, see my 2 best bets highlighted at the bottom of the column.
Connor McDavid (+125)
If the question were: Who is the fastest skater on the planet? The answer, unequivocally, would be Connor McDavid. He’s a 3-time champ going for his 4th win tonight, which would be an NHL record. The league doesn’t release player speed data, but in a 2018 poll, 81% of the league’s players voted Connor McDavid the fastest skater. 81 percent voted for the same guy in a league-wide poll.
Think about that. It’s fairy tale stuff. Guy’s got jets. And sportsbooks are letting us bet him to win at plus money odds?Say less, right?He is coming off a loss, which I mentioned in the intro. What I failed to mention is that he recorded his fastest time EVER atthat same event by clocking in at 13.215 (down 0.095 seconds than his previous personal record set in 2017). With Barzal no longer a threat, it’s easy to see McDavid winning.
I just couldn’t get myself to back him against the depth of talent in this year’s field, which I’m about to highlight.
Cale Makar (+450)
If you’ve been betting Avalanche games with me, chances are you know Cale Makar. When he steps on the ice, it’s hard not to notice, because he’s a magician on skates. It’s really beautifuland borderline magic. If you have 41 seconds, watch this video to see why I love Makar.
If the competition were a straight dash, I’d back McDavid over Makar. However, it’s not a straight dash.
To win, you need the ability to maintain blistering speed around tight turns, a skill very few do better than Cale Makar, at least in my assessment.
My number one pick to upset Connor McDavid is this 23-year old from Colorado.
Dylan Larkin (+600)
Last time we saw Larkin at this event, he flirted with an All-Time Record by finishing with a 13.172 time, 2nd only to Jonathan Drouin (13.103) in 2015. To put Larkin’s 2016 time in perspective, this year’s favorite, Connor McDavid, is yet to break 13.215. In that limited context, Larkin feels like a live dog tonight.
To this day, Larkin holds 2nd fastest time in this event’s history, as shown below.
The problem for Larkin, in my opinion, is a function of time and age. When he set the record, he was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 19-year-old back in 2016. Six-years later at age 25, he’s not old, but he’s not young either. Is it reasonable to think he’s lost a step? I think so, which led me to stay away. The counterpoint to my logic is that McDavid is the exact same age as Larkin, which theoretically offsets the aging risk. While it’s a reasonable argument – but I still prefer the youth and skating ability of Cale Makar over Larkin for the same price tonight…
Chris Kreider (+900)
As the leadoff skater (not ideal) at the last event, Kreider bolted to an impressive 13.509 second finish, good for a 3rd place. Now 2-years later… can the 30-year-old win? It pains me to type this because I’m also nearing 30, but as the oldest skater tonight, I just can’t see Kreider upsetting younger superstars like McDavid (Age 25) and Makar (Age 23), so this was a hard pass for me (though admittedly the odds were tempting, and I do expect a Top-5 finish, dude’s got wheels).
Jordan Kryou (+1000)
Alright people. I hope you’re still reading because I think I found a gem!
Described as “faster than fast” by former NHL player and current St. Louis Blues broadcaster, Joey Vitale, I’ve scouted the tapes myself and can confirm: this 23-year-old can fly.
He’s yet to skate in the NHL competition but did take part in the AHL-equivalent (minor leagues), which gives us data to evaluate on Kyrou (unlike someone like Cale Makar).In the AHL version, which is like-for-like with the NHL’s, Kyrou clocked the 4th fastest time in league history (13.52 seconds). That by itself is good, but what’s even more impressive is the fact he slipped while making his 2nd turn around the net. It was subtle, but it definitely impacted his result. If he didn’t slip, I think his time would’ve easily been in the 13.3 to 13.4 range. Here is the video if you want to check it out (skating competition starts at 0:30 seconds).
Of the long-shot skaters tonight, I view Kryou as having the highest ceiling (i.e., greatest upside). He’s only 23, so it’s reasonable to expect improvement from his last outing, right? If he improves and doesn’t slip, I feel a sub-13.2 time isn’t crazy for a guy like Kyrou, which has me eager to back the 23-year-old at +1000.
He lacks the superstar name factor. Besides that, I don’t understand how this is priced so low.
Of the 3 remaining skaters, none really popped to me, but from watching their videos I can say with confidence they’re certified fast: Kyle Connor (+1000), Evgeny Kuznetsov (+1500), Adrian Kempe (+1500).
If you want to fade me, consider backing one of these three guys. It would be funny if one of them wins but I ignored them in my column.
To back McDavid or not back McDavid. That is the question.
He’s going for a record 4th win, and after losing last time, I’m sure he’s eager to get back to the top. It will take courage to bet against him.
For me, the beauty of this event is that even the fastest, most motivated skater can still lose by slipping even for a few milliseconds. I doubt McDavid will slip, but the point is: he’s not a sure-fire lock to win.
Of the available options to upset McDavid, my 2 best bets are: Cale Makar (+450) and Jordan Kyrou (+1000). I personally risked a half unit on each player and will track both as official $FML plays on my Twitter page.
May the Gambling Gods be with us tonight & good luck!
Fastest Skater Pick
CAME MAKAR TO WIN @ +450
Fastest Skater Pick
JORDAN KYROU TO WIN @ +1000
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