After winning Olympic gold in Vancouver in 2010, many experts believed that Canada would capture gold four years later in Sochi. To no surprise, oddsmakers agreed with the public notion that even without Steven Stamkos suiting up, Canada’s fourth forward line composed of Patrice Bergeron, Jamie Benn and Jonathan Taveras is better than the majority of top lines featured in Sochi, resulting in the Canadians as odds-on favorites across the betting industry.
Following closely behind Canada as favorites to win the gold, hosting Russia ranks second across the marketplace as favorites to win gold in front of the hometown crowd in Sochi. On paper, the Russians match up offensively against any country, but with the pressure of winning gold after a disappointing Vancouver campaign; the stakes couldn’t be higher for Alex Ovechkin and the rest of Team Russia.
Listed below are the gold medal odds for the 2014 Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey from four of the top online sportsbooks in the world:
As one of the few teams heading in healthy to the tournament, oddsmakers have fluctuated the gold medal odds on the Americans all week. Even after receiving the majority of bets, the Americans adjusted from +650 to +706 at Bookmaker.eu. Furthermore, oddmakers believe there’s about a 50/50 shot on the Americans picking up a medal in Sochi.
Meanwhile, the biggest discrepancy in lines is on Finland, who’s picked up a medal in the last two Olympic tournaments. What Finland may lack in offensive firepower is quickly made up with the best goaltending trio in the Olympics, led by expected starter, Tuukka Rask.
Looking at Group Play odds, the biggest value lies on the United States at +175, followed up by the Czech, also listed at +175 (+255 at Bookmaker.eu) to win their Group pool. The pressure the Russians face to win the gold exceeds the expectations the Canadians faced in Vancouver last Olympics and Russia’s defensive units are average at best. With the Czech, the circumstances surrounding their value is a bit different. Over the last four Olympics, only two countries are undefeated in the opening game, Sweden and the Czech Republic, who square off in the opening game of the tournament. A victory over Sweden in game one will seemingly lock up the first seed in a weak Group C pool.
Lastly, we examine the future odds for the tournament’s top goal scorer, with Alexander Ovechkin leading the way as the odds-on favorite at +500, followed up closely by Sidney Crosby +650 and Russian line mate, Evgeni Malkin at +1100. If you’re looking for a Bruins angle, Bovada.lv is offering Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson at +2500 to lead the Olympics in goal scoring.