If the United States will take the top spot on the podium at the men’s hockey tournament in Sochi, they are likely to have to do it as the underdogs.
The odds to win the gold medal in hockey at Sochi heading into the tournament have the United States in 6/1, which puts them behind Canada (2/1), Russia (12/5), and Sweden (9/2) on the Olympic baseball gold medal odds listing.
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Finland, decimated by injuries in the past few weeks with Minnesota Wild’s Mikko Koivu and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Valtteri Filppula both out, is at 11/1 chances, together with the Czech Republic in 12/1.
Switzerland at 25/1, Slovakia in 33/1, and Norway, Latvia, Austria, and Slovenia are major all longshots at betting shops such as Sports Interaction.
The Americans sit in Group A of the championship along with Russia, Slovakia, and Slovenia, together with the Russians preferred at -200 across the USA (+175) to finish in top spot in group action in the event. Slovakia is at +1000 on those chances, with Slovenia well back at +10000.
America plays its first game of the tournament on Thursday, when they’ll take on Slovakia as -325 favorites in the sportsbooks. The Slovakia roster is headlined by Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa, and St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak, while Columbus Blue Jackets forward Marian Gaborik will miss the championship for the Slovaks because of trauma.
The Slovaks are +260 underdogs for Thursday.
The American team will then take on Russia in a showdown game on Saturday before rounding out preliminary action against Anze Kopitar, we mean Slovenia, where should be a gimme game on Sunday. All of those games have been set to get underway at 7:30am ET.
At both of the other classes, Canada is the obvious favorite at -650 to win Group B over Finland (+350), Norway (+5000) and Austria (+10000), with Sweden at -200 to win Group C over the Czech Republic (+175), Switzerland (+800), and Latvia (+10000).
While it overlooks the headlines, hockey is not the sole Winter Olympic game where fans can wager. There are chances on each event along with props and futures on which country will win the most medals.
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