Ice Hockey World Cup Finals Betting Tips
Who Will Win The World Cup Of Hockey
By Bob Duff
OK, who out there remembers the last time Canada lost a game in a best on best international hockey tournament?
Yeah, its been a while.
It was more than six years ago when Canada fell 5-3 to the United States in their final round robin game of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 21, 2010. Since theb, the Canadians have won 14 straight – their last four games of the 2010 Olympics, en route to the gold medal, 6-0 at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games on their way to defending their Olympic gold medal and thus far, 4-0 in this World Cup.
In World Cup of Hockey play, Canada has won 10 in a row, including a solid 4-1 thumping of Team Europe, the opposition in the upcoming final, in round-robin play of this event.
In other words, bet against the Canadians at your own peril.
The problem is, should you bet on Canada, the return on a winning wager is hardly going to be worthwhile. Bovada is offering a -900 moneyline on Canada for Game 1 of this best-of-three final, meaning you would be required to bet $900 on the Canadians in order to garner a profit of $100. Sports Interaction offers a little bit better odds on the Canadians in the opener of the final at -835.
The puckline isn’t any more promising. Canada is minus-2.5, Team Europe +2.5. It’s extremely rare to get better than 1.5 either way on a puckline.
No wonder the lines are so lopsided. This Canadian team is loaded with future Hall of Famers. They might be the deepest top-to-bottom assembly that Canada has put together since the 1976 Canada Cup, the first tournament in what would become the World Cup of Hockey.
That squad included Bobby Orr, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Guy Lafleur, Larry Robinson, Denis Potvin, Marcel Dionne, Bobby Clarke, Darryl Sittler – need we go on? – and totally dominated Czechloslovakia to sweep the final.
The likes of Sidney Crosby, Carey Price, Jonathan Toews, Drew Doughty, Joe Thornton, Shea Weber, Steven Stamkos and John Tavares figure to do the same to the mighty mites of Team Europe.
The Europeans suit up some impressive talent on their team, Stanley Cup champions like Slovenia’s Anze Kopitar and Slovakia’s Marian Hossa, Marian Gaborik and Zdeno Chara, the latter a Norris Trophy winner. There’s also a knack for giant-killing in their collective DNA. Kopitar helped the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings win the 2011-12 Stanley Cup, while goaltender Jaroslav Halak of Slovakia backstopped the 2009-10 Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Eastern Conference final.
You can get some good action on the Europeans: +595 from Bovada and +525 from Sports Interaction. But your best bet of all might be the over/under of six.
Remember, Canada were 4-1 winners in the round-robin game between the two teams and playoff games tend to be tighter affairs, making the under seem an attractive wager.
This isn’t a David versus Goliath showdown as much as it it Gulliver against the Lilliputians. Team Europe, a collection of players from eight of hockey’s minnows – Norway, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, France, Denmark and Switzerland – have bonded together impressively to edge Sweden in overtime in the semi-final and won three of their four games thus far in the tournament.
Playing with their own countries, none of the players on the European roster could legitimately hope to topple the powerful Canadians. But as a collective, they’ve found a way to get it done against the Swedes, Americans, and Czechs – every team they’ve faced except one, that preliminary round loss to Canada.
And there’s the rub amidst this whole scenario. If you recall the opening scene of Gullver’s Travels, the Lilliputians were able to get the jump on the sleeping giant. But once Gulliver awoke from slumber, it was quickly all over for the Liliputians.
In other words, don’t get caught up in buying into an underdog tale. This one will see the favorites carry the day.
Sure, they call it the World Cup, but it remains Canada’s Cup.
World Cup of Hockey Pick: Canada (-900)
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