The puck drops on the Men’s Hockey competition of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea and Online sportsbook Bovada has Futures odds for the 12 nations participating in the event. So can anyone beat prohibitive favorites Russia?
The Men’s Ice Hockey competition at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games began Tuesday with two Group B games including the Russians playing Slovakia and the US facing Slovenia as the Preliminary Round of the tournament gets underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Because of Insurance complications, the IOC decided it didn’t want to set a precedent and insure pro athletes from a single sport, something that the NHL demanded this time around despite not being insured in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. So? So, no break provided by the NHL in its current ongoing 2017/2018 Regular Season to allow players to participate in these Winter Games.
The next game in PyeongChang 2018 for the USA Men’s Hockey team will come on Thursday (Feb. 15) when they face Slovakia, followed by the big game everyone will be waiting for on Saturday (Feb. 17), a Group B showdown between the US and Russia. The USA and Russia are so-called “Big Six” Hockey nation members along with Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden.
Here are the latest odds from Online sportsbook Bovada for the Men’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal.
Olympic Athletes of Russia -120
Czech Republic +750
Republic of Korea +50000
Lack of NHL Talent Will Probably Stifle the US and Canada; Czech Republic a Good Dark Horse
With Russia such heavy Favorites (-120 to win Gold Medal, at Bovada), the temptation is to find a way to fade the prohibitive chalks but looking at the menu of potential Top Goalscorers for the Men’s Ice Hockey tournament, it’s hard to suggest even backing Canada and Sweden, with so many scorers on the Russian Roster.
But is backing Russia at -120 and waiting and hoping for them to get to the Gold Medal game -185 to -300 range against, Sweden or the Czech Republic or maybe Finland worth all the fuss in the Futures market? Canada and Sweden may just have to go through each other in the Semifinals and with Russia potentially getting an easier path and having so much Offensive firepower against weaker US and Canadian teams, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic seem like stronger squads with the latter three obviously having more perceived Futures value with the longer odds compared to Russia. Don’t expect the Ice Yanks to pull off any "Miracles on Ice" this time around.2018 WINTER OLYMPICS MEN’S HOCKEY GOLD MEDAL WINNER: Olympic Athletes of Russia -120