Olympic Hockey Picks: Sweden vs. Finland

David Lawrence

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:15 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 10:15 PM UTC

Finland has turned villain in the 2014 Winter Olympics men’s hockey tournament as they ousted Russia in the quarter-finals. Now they’ll take on a Swedish team that’s been the top seed in the tournament so far, although they haven’t been tested too much.

Take a look at the updated 2014 Olympic Hockey Odds

Sweden Can Win Because… 

They do what Finland does, but just a bit better. Both teams like to get the lead, play conservative and rely on their goaltending and defense. However, Sweden has the better goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist and they have far more star power than Finland. 

Sweden has been the best team in the tournament so far according to the standings. They have taken care of business in every game, scored 15 goals and allowed just five. They are a more balanced team than Finland with a better offense. Expect them to advance. 

Finland Can Win Because…. 

Sweden has had the easiest path of any of the semifinalists. Have they really been tested? They had a cakewalk through the preliminary round, playing Switzerland, Latvia and the Czech Republic. Then they rolled through Slovenia in the quarters – a team that had never won an Olympic hockey game prior to this tournament. 

Finland is far more battle tested as they’ve already had to go toe-to-toe with Canada and Russia. 

Although the Finns have the fewest brand names among the remaining teams, they’ve played like a cohesive unit the entire way and have stuck to their game plan. If they get the lead in this game, they’re probably advancing.

Read my full preview and picks for the Olympic Hockey Matchup between Canada and USA.

Outlook & Pick 

This is going to be a tight game but I like Sweden to advance. They’re capable of coming from behind if Finland does get ahead and they also have the defensive style to fall back on if they get the lead. Finland’s journey ends here. 

Pick: Sweden -160 at Pinnacle

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