A total of 12 nations and 300 players will hit the ice at two South Korean venues for the coveted Men’s Ice Hockey Gold Medal. The 2018 Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament will take place at the Gangneung Hockey Centre and the Kwadong Hockey Centre. European teams may hold a huge offshore online wagering advantage as their leagues are taking a break for the Olympic Games. The Canadian and American teams will have to use amateurs and minor leaguers as the National Hockey League is not allowing its players to participate this year. With the odd mixture of rosters and factors the 2018 Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament looks like a challenging handicap.
2018 Olympic Ice Hockey
Date and Time: February 14-25, 2018
Location: Gangneung, South Korea
There are three groups that will compete in offshore online wagering action. Group A features Canada, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and South Korea. Group B features Russia, the United States, Slovakia and Slovenia. Group C has Sweden, Finland, Norway and Germany.
What do the Odds Say?
Russia opened as a +225 online sportsbook favorite to take the Gold Medal. Canada is the second choice at +275. Sweden is the third choice at +400. Finland, Czech Republic and United States were +850 choices. Switzerland was at +3300. Germany and Slovakia were +6600 longshots. Norway was at +10,000 with Slovenia and North Korea at +25,0000.
What you should Know Before you bet on the Olympics
Russia has plenty of National Hockey League players missing but still enough home grown talent taking a break from their own major league to make them a strong choice. The Russian national team is the top ranked team of Group B. Russia last won a medal in 2002 with the Bronze. But with the NHL not allowing players to play this time around the Russians rate as a much more appealing selection. The United States figures to be the top challenger to Russia in that Group. The Americans have just two silver medals since their famed “Miracle on Ice” gold medal in 1980.
Canada is still a top choice and Group A chalk, despite its top players staying in the NHL, due to its strong junior programs. No team benefited more from having NHL players than Team Canada. The Canadians have won the Gold in three out of the last four Olympic Games. Sweden is the top ranked team of Group C. Much like Canada, Sweden has a great infrastructure for their program despite missing the NHL stars from their roster. The Swedes last won gold in 2006 and earned a silver in 2014. Two other respected countries that could cause havoc are Finland and the Czech Republic.
Matchup to Watch
The 2018 Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Tournament is the ultimate offshore online wagering wild card. The element of the unknown is at its peak because of the NHL players not playing for the first time in over 20 years. With many more college, minor league, and foreign pro players the best way to handicap is judging infrastructure. And that is where Canada will have a big edge. Despite the lack of NHL players the Canadian program is loaded with superior players. The Canadian system is taught from the NHL to pee wee leagues. Russia built its reputation from the old Soviet Union era and has never been the same since it broke up in 1992.
2018 Olympic Ice Hockey Offshore Online Gambling Picks: Canada +275