Ice Hockey World Championship Betting

Ice Hockey World Championship

Ice Hockey
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Published: 03/05/2013

Russia are the 23/10 (bet365) favourites for the Ice Hockey World Championship which gets underway on Saturday with Stockholm and Helsinki once again on joint hosting duty. Here is our guide to the best of the bets from this event.

The format sees the 16 teams split into two groups of eight one based out of Stockholm, Sweden, the other out of Helsinki, Finland. Every team plays each other once with the top four seeds from each section progressing into the quarter-finals though each team will remain at their own venue until the semi-finals. So for example the winners of the Stockholm section will play the fourth placed Stockholm based team in the quarter-finals and the second placed team will play the third placed team. This is also the same for the teams in the Helsinki section.

The Stockholm group looks the toughest to call from a betting point of view with three very strong sides in Canada, the Czech Republic and Sweden. Underneath them the battle will be on among the other sides (Switzerland, Norway, Belarus, Denmark and Slovenia) to finish in fourth place. Bookmakers make Canada the 7/4 (william hill/YOU WIN) favourites to lahead of Sweden at 21/10 (betway) and the Czech Republic at 7/2 (bet365/SPORTING BET/BET VICTOR). It should be a close battle between the three and one to avoid from a betting point of view though if you want a bet for interest then I would recommend a bet on the biggest price of the three, the Czech Republic. The Helsinki group is headed by the Russians who dominated the tournament last year winning every game they played and they can be backed at 100/133 (bet365) to land the group. This is really buying money as nearest challenges will likely come from Finland who are 9/4 (bet365/sportingbet/BET VICTOR), Slovakia at 12/1 (BET365/BETVICTOR) and Team USA who are as big as 16/1 (YOU WIN). This Finland side is not one of the strongest while the USA have once again shown a complete lack of interest in this event. Slovakia shocked many when reaching the final last year and could cause a few of the more fancied sides problems this time. Look to the individual match markets to see if you can get value on a team that has risen all the way to sixth in the IIHF rankings. That being said though Russia should have too much for them. The other sides in the group are Germany, Latvia, France and Austria.

As mentioned in the intro the outright betting market is headed by Russia and at 23/10 (BET365) I see no reason why they can not again go on and win this. The side are full of talented players and are only getting stronger while rivals seem to be getting weaker. Other fancied teams are Canada at 7/2 (boylesports/YOU WIN), Sweden at 15/4 (ladbrokes), Czech Republic are 9/1 (boylesports) and Finland are 9/1 (ladbrokes). If you want a side at a slightly bigger price then the finalists last year Slovakia are 40/1 (BET365) or 12/1 (sportingbet/ladbrokes) to make the final.

Finally some bookmakers have some specials on each team which I am sure will be expanded when the tournament gets closer. My favourite is opposing the Finns who enter the tournament lacking form and a couple of key players. The Finns would have to win the section to get a favourable game as I can not see them getting past either Russia or Slovakia in the last eight therefore take the 6/4 (BET365) on them to be eliminated in the quarter-finals.

BEST OF THE BETS

GOLD: Russia to win the Helsinki Group, 100/133 (BET365)
SILVER: Russia to win the IIHF World Championships, 23/10 (BET365)
BRONZE: Finland to be eliminated in the quarter-finals, 6/4 (BET365)

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