Olympic Hockey Picks: Sweden vs. Switzerland

David Lawrence

Thursday, February 13, 2014 1:15 PM GMT

Sweden and Switzerland opened up their 2014 Winter Games in very different fashion. The Swedes were impressive while the Swiss showed their flaws. However, both teams earned a win and will now go head-to-head on Thursday.

Sweden Can Win Because…

Switzerland is not on their level. Just take a comparative look at each teams opening contests: Sweden pummeled the Czech Republic 4-2 while Switzerland needed a miraculous third period goal with eight seconds remaining just to earn a 1-0 win over Latvia. That should tell you all you need to know.

While the Swiss have Hiller, the Swedes have a deep roster that’s going to come in waves. Hiller might be able to stop them for a little bit but eventually they will break down and the Swedes will earn another easy win.

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Switzerland Can Win Because….

They have Jonas Hiller. They showed in their opening game that that’s all they really need.

Although the Swiss didn’t exactly overwhelm Latvia in their opening 1-0 win, they did exactly what they needed to do: get a win. They only allowed 21 shots on net and Hiller stuffed all of them. They only took three penalties and they successfully killed off every man-advantage.

Switzerland is not one of the elite teams in this tournament but they have an All-Star caliber goaltender. If you’re banking on them with your hockey picks to pull some upsets, this is exactly how they’ll have to do it.

Outlook & Pick

You have to lay 1.5 pucks on the hockey odds here and I think that’s reasonable. Switzerland doesn’t have the offense to hang tight in this one and while Hiller will keep them close for a bit, eventually, Sweden will overwhelm them. Switzerland is simply overmatched here, so lay the spread in your sports picks.

Pick: Sweden -1.5 -130 at Pinnacle

2014 Winter Olympics Men’s Group C Hockey Betting Odds