The final 23-man rosters were set in late May for the World Cup Hockey Championships and this put into motion oddsmakers to create Futures Odds on all eight competing teams.
This year's event starts on September 17th and will be held in Toronto, giving favored Team Canada a home ice edge, as if they needed it. Though the Hockey betting odds favor the Canadiens, this does not mean they are a lock among the eight participants as we have witnessed upsets in the past.
There are two new teams most will be not familiar with, Team Europe, which consists of mostly older NHL players and Team North America, which is players from the continent that are under 24 years old.
Here is a look at which squads offer the best value for futures odds at BetOnline, for this always unique hockey event.
Bunched Together But Not Equal
The latest odds all had teams from Sweden, Russia, and USA all together at +450 to win it all. All will be striving to make the Knockout Round (last four), with Sweden and Russia in Group B and USA in Group A with Canada.
Of these three, Team Sweden offers the best value. Sweden has a nice mixture of speed and toughness and three players very familiar with each other, having won Stanley Cup in June. Pittsburgh teammates Patric Hornqvist and Carl Hagelin had excellent postseason runs and more than did their parts to help the Penguins win The Cup along with Nick Bonino. The biggest threat to Canada.
It is not like Russia is far behind as the betting odds suggest, but they are a touch behind defensively. Since the contests tend to be very free-flowing like Olympic hockey, the Russians are expected to recreate line of Yevgeni Dadonov, Vadim Shipachyov, and Chicago's Artemi Panarin. This trio played together in the 2014-15 season for SKA St. Petersburg and in the last world champions (different event), tallied 18 goals and 28 assists in that tournament.
Lastly is Team USA and there has been a lot of consternation about their roster makeup. By all accounts, this is banging defensive team, who lacks offensive playmakers and they will not score easily from a distance and will have to pressure the goal and find loose pucks to light the lamp. Maybe this collection of players can surprise, but beating Canada's skill and speed possible twice seems far farfetched.
One Long Shot and the Favorite
If you prefer making hockey picks on a longer shot, consider Finland at +1400 to win it all. Research finds the Finns won the under-18 and world junior champ and came in second at world championships. Six players on those teams make up part of the World Cup roster along with other veterans, proving they can compete with anyone in the world.
Even with all these options, Canada playing in Toronto is going to be tough to knock off but offers zero value at +100.
As of this time with current rosters and no injuries included, the best value bets are ranked this way.
Free Hockey Pick: 1) Sweden 2) Russia 3) Finland
2) Russia 3) Finland