At the beginning of these games, Team Canada was the logical front runner for those of us that bet Olympic ice hockey. The tables, however, have indeed turned. Team USA has been demolishing opponents throughout the 2014 Sochi Games and are now favored over a Canadian team that they can never seem to figure out when it matters.
Team USA is setting up perfectly for another Miracle on Ice in the same country as the last one against their modern era rival.
Team USA outlasted the Czech Republic in a 5-2 win even though Alex Hemsky and Jaromir Jagr helped pepper Jonathan Quick with 23 shots throughout the contest. On top of beating Russia, These guys are is flying high and have tons of momentum heading in to a pivotal matchup against their Canadian opponents. Those of you that are going to bet Olympic ice hockey by siding with the Americans certainly have a lot of valid justifications to do so. They’re as strong of a gold medal contender as Sweden and Canada.
There’s definitive panic in Canada after their boys barely beat Latvia 2-1. That was a tight and tense game that was tied until halfway through the final period, and as much as we’d like to assume that Canada can’t finish at the net, we still have to be fair to a certain extent. Latvian netminder Kristers Gudlevskis had the game of his life, turning away 55-of-57 shots. The pressure was on the entire game and the Tampa Bay Lightning prospect stood on his head. By comparison the Canadians only faced 16 shots.
Betting Olympic ice hockey is the same as betting most major sports – you bet on a goalie the same way you bank on starting pitchers or quarterbacks. And in that vein I would take Quick over Price on most nights. He’s simply a much sturdier goalie and thrives when playing behind a great team. On paper, Team Canada is better than their American counterparts but the latter has been smashing through their potential throughout this tournament even if you consider their win over Russia as lucky.
All this being said, Canada seems to have Team USA’s number on the grand stage. The Canadian women just came back from a two-goal deficit to stun Team USA in the women’s ice hockey gold medal game. When it comes to the Olympics and the Canadian Ice hockey team, they simply seem blessed.
I think that Team USA will be gunning for the throat of Canada, just like they always do, and this will be perhaps the most exciting moment of the entire Olympic games. But when it comes to making a bet on Olympic ice hockey this Friday, I can’t stray away from the underdog Canadians. They always find a way.
Olympic Ice Hockey Pick: Canada -110