Betting on the 2020 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship in Ostrava has started in Canada. Futures on what country will take him the gold medal are the first market to open for betting. Once the games start on December 26, World Junior hockey odds are available on every game until the final on January 5.
Betting on 2020 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships
World Junior Hockey Betting Odds
World Junior hockey betting odds are open on what country will take home the gold in 2020. Even after a sixth placing showing in 2019, Canada is the favourite in 2020. Canada is joined by Russia, the United States and Sweden as the top-four teams on most online sportsbooks to win.
|2020 World U20 Ice Hockey Championships
Full Schedule For Group Stage
The World Juniors Hockey Championships 2020 schedule is set for the Group Stage. See odds and times for upcoming games below, with playoff round populating once the group stage concludes on New Year’s Eve. Also, continue reading below for more useful information for betting on odds for the World Junior Hockey Championship, or check out our World Junior betting predictions.
December 26: SUI vs KAZ, SWE vs FIN
December 27: SVK vs KAZ
December 28: FIN vs SVK, SUI vs SWE
December 29: KAZ vs FIN
December 30: KAZ vs SWE, SVK vs SUI
December 31: SWE vs SVK, FIN vs SUI
December 26: CZE vs RUS, CAN vs USA
December 27: GER vs USA
December 28: CZE vs GER, RUS vs CAN
December 29: USA vs RUS
December 30: GER vs CAN, USA vs CZE
December 31: GER vs RUS, CAN vs CZE
Groups at the 2020 World Juniors
Ten countries are divided into Group A and Group the annual hockey tournament every year.
Group A includes Finland (the 2019 champions), Switzerland, Sweden, Slovakia and Kazakhstan.
Group B includes Canada, the United States, Russia, the host Czech Republic and Germany.
Canada U20 Odds and Schedule
Canada plays four Group Stage, starting with host Czech Republic on Boxing Day. They follow up with a game against Russia on December 28, before closing out with a back-to-back against Germany and the United States on December 30 and 31.
Canada should advance to the playoff round. Since 1996, when the tournament changed to include a playoff round following the round-robin, Canada has advanced out of the preliminaries every year.
Best Games to Watch and Wager
The Group Stage at the 2020 World Juniors offers some intriguing matches for betting. A few games are worth focusing on in the Group Stage, including the much-anticipated renewal of the Canada-U.S.A rivalry.
Canada vs. United States – December 26
After not playing at last year’s tournament, the rivalry is renewed on Boxing Day. The United States has won against Canada in their previous two meetings, including in the 2017 Gold Medal game. The United States may win again on Boxing Day, as they start their camp with less uncertainty on their roster and the deepest blue line prior to the start of the tournament.
Sweden vs. Switzerland – December 28
One of the more surprising results at last year’s tournament was the fourth seed Switzerland team upsetting the top-seeded Swedish squad; the Swiss shutout Sweden last year 2-0. This year the results should go the other way, with Sweden considered a top team, while Switzerland’s semi-final performance viewed more as an abnormally.
When the Group Stage Ends
The Group Stage of the tournament lasts from December 26 to December 31. Throughout the Group Stage, there are four games per day, with the first two games starting at 3:000 PM in the Czech Republic (9:00 AM EST), and the second games commencing four hours later.
Best U20 Players in the 2020 Tournament
Every year, hockey fans around the world get a chance to see the best U20 hockey players in the world compete for their country. The tournament is rife with future NHL stars, and this year is no exception. Below is a list of the brightest names in this year’s competition. Expect to see them amongst the favourites on hockey betting props to win the tournament’s MVP.
Alexis Lafreniere, Left Wing, Canada
After a hugely disappointing showing at the 2019 World Juniors, Alexis Lafreniere is hungry to get Canada back into medal contention in 2020. Lafreniere scored only one goal in five games at last year’s tournament but is expected to make a much more significant contribution in 2020.
Lafreniere is having a monster year in the QMJHL, scoring 70 points through his first 32 games. He is continuing to develop with the Rimouski Oceanic, to the point some draft experts have his going first overall at the 2020 NHL draft.
Lucas Raymond, Left Wing, Sweden
A highly skilled playmaker with superb speed and strong defensive capabilities, Lucas Raymond, checks nearly every box an NHL GM would want in a left-winger. Raymond is currently in the SHL, the Swedish professional league. In limited time, he has five points for his club, with a more impressive +7 plus/minus.
Playing in the SHL has helped some recent World Junior players turn into NHL stars, including Elias Pettersson. If Raymond can be Sweden’s Pettersson this year, he could be the best player in the tournament.
Tim Stutzle, Left Wing, Germany
Although Germany may be a long shot to win the whole shebang, their roster features one of the best players in the tournament, Tim Stutzle. Stutzle is a playmaking winger with size and strength that should only progress as he gets older. The 17-year-old is already playing in the German professional league, after averaging over 2.5 points per game in his final year in Junior.
Stutzle is considered a top-ten NHL draft prospect this season, and a strong showing at the 2020 WJC will help his draft stock even more.
Spencer Knight, Goalie, United States
The top goaltender in last year’s NHL draft returns to his junior team for another chance at gold. Spencer Knight is a top-level goaltending talent who checks all the boxes – excellent at controlling rebounds, calm under pressure, moves superb side-to-side and keeps upright.
Knight is already on an NHL team – the Florida Panthers – but as is the case with most goaltenders, he needs more time to develop before getting his call up to the NHL. Look for him to gain some of that experience at his first under-20 World Juniors.
Grigori Denisenko, Left Wing, Russia
The trend of left-wingers as the players to watch continues with Russian youngster Grigori Denisenko. Denisenko led all players with nine points at last year’s World Junior’s Championship. A year later, Denisenko is coming back even more polished, as he is now a full-time player in the KHL (although his KHL club should lend him out to the Juniors).
Denisenko returns to a talented Russia team and is a good bet to lead the tournament in points another in 2020.
Ville Heinola, Defence, Finland
For the reigning champs to repeat in 2020, they need some stifling defence to stop all the forward talent from their biggest competition. Heinola should help the Fins have another successful showing at the Juniors. Heinola is praised for his hockey IQ, able to make plays at either end of the rink.
His smarts (and skills) helped him find himself selected in the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft. It should be a treat to watch him anchor the Fins team this year.
How Many Teams Move On?
Eight of the ten teams in the Group Stage advance to the Quarterfinals of the tournament. The Quarterfinals all take place on January 2, 2020. It is a single-elimination tournament once it reaches the playoff round, with the higher two seeds from Group A playing the lower two seeds in Group B, and vice-versa on the other side of the bracket. The tournament ends with the Gold Medal game on January 5.
How does Relegation Work?
The two countries that finish at the bottom of their groups play against each other to avoid relegation. The countries play two games for relegation, with the loser sent down to the Division I World Junior tournament (replacing the 2020 winner).
Prop Betting Options on the World Juniors
Once each roster is finalized, typically only done a few days before the start of the tournament, more World Junior hockey prop betting odds open for betting. Popular options to beat include where teams will finish in their standings, how far they will go in the tournament, what players will lead the tournament in goals and who will take home tournament MVP.
NHL Draft Betting
Watching the tournament is a great way to gain some insight into the top picks at the NHL Draft. The top two picks in the 2019 NHL Draft, Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko, faced each other in the Gold Medal match. If you watch the 2020 World Juniors, it will help your 2020 NHL Draft betting.