Men’s Ice Hockey: Winter Olympics Betting

One of the fastest paced sports around is ice hockey and for many players, the ultimate prize is at stake when the Winter Olympics takes place in South Korea next February. Squads are taking shape and athletes are getting in peak condition for what should be a fascinating competition.

Those sports fans who don’t tend to watch Winter games will generally make an exception for ice hockey as it’s arguably the most exciting event of the tournament. And, it naturally follows that there is interest from the betting community too so let’s take a look at the runners and riders for Pyeongchang in 2018.

Front Runners

It’s fairly tight at the top of the outright result market and Russia are our favourites here at odds of 7/4 with William Hill and EnergyBet. Canada follow at 3/1 with the same bookmakers while Sweden are available at 33/10 with ComeOn and RedBet.

Those prices might spark some interest when you consider the results from 2014’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. Canada took the Gold Medal, beating Sweden in the final, while Finland claimed the bronze.

Russia, meanwhile, could only finish second in their group and while the team made it through to the knockout stages, they were defeated in the quarter finals by the Finns.

Chasing Pack

Based on those prices, the Finnish team may also be worth a look and they come in at best odds of 8/1 with EnergyBet and William Hill. The country went down narrowly in their semi final before beating the USA 5-0 in the bronze medal play off and based on those results, 8-1 may hold some value.

Traditionally, the US are themselves seen as a force on the ice and they’ve given us some of the best hockey players in the history of the game. However, their record in the Winter Olympics is surprisingly poor with just two gold medals, the last of which came back in 1980.

Their record in the World Championships is even worse but having taken that fourth place at Sochi, some may have an interest in the team at a price of 11/1 with RedBet and ComeOn.

Slightly ahead of that figure are the Czech Republic who are available at 9/1 with EnergyBet. The Czechs also crashed out in the quarter finals four years ago but traditionally this is seen as a strong event for them.

Outsiders

The outcome of the Men’s Ice Hockey at the Winter Olympics should be decided by the nations that we’ve already mentioned but are there any tempting prices among the chasing pack? Behind the USA at that 11/1 price are Switzerland at 40/1 with RedBet and Germany at 66/1 with EnergyBet. And the Germans could potentially be an option having made the quarter finals of the World Championships in their own country earlier this year.

The Swiss also got to the last eight before losing by 3-1 to eventual champions Sweden so once again they may have some threat to offer at next year’s Winter Olympic games.

Verdict

While looking back at previous Olympic Games is important, Ice Hockey has a World Championship held every year so there is a perfect chance here to look at immediate form. The 2017 renewal was held in Germany and France and eventually won by Sweden, who beat Canada in the final to claim their tenth title.

The Canadians took the silver but prior to this year’s event, the country had claimed gold in 2015 and in 2016 so they too have some excellent current form coming into PyeongChang 2018.
Meanwhile, the Russians came in third while Finland enjoyed another creditable tournament by taking fourth place overall.

Taking 2018 into account, Russia may have a strong side but when you look back over the last few years since Sochi it’s hard to see why they are short favourites for next year’s Winter Olympics. This is quite a specialised event in terms of betting so research will be key in the lead up to the tournament itself but two countries really stand out for us.

Considering the Swedes won the World Championship as recently as May 2017 they must have a strong chance in South Korea and the same could be said for the Canadians who have performed so well at the World Championships in recent years.

At present, there is no ‘To Reach the Final’ option and that may change in the lead up to next year’s Winter Olympics but there are Each Way markets so we’ll hedge slightly by throwing the Canadians into the mix at the same time. When you consider that it took a penalty shoot out to separate them in that World Championship final, there really is very little to choose between the two countries.

Keep looking out for ice hockey results in the lead up to Pyeongchang 2018 but at present, it looks to be a tight contest between the Swedes and the Canadians.

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