Winter Olympics 2018: Canada's Best Odds, Picks and Predictions
Canada Aiming For Big Medal Haul for PyeongChang 2018
Canada is two Winter Olympics removed since "owning the podium" back in Vancouver 2010 when our nation set a new record with 14 gold medals and 26 overall.
The Canadian Press is, however, boldly predicting Canada to break this record by earning up to 28 total medals. This comes in light of the banning of several Russian athletes for doping. Now is Canada's best shot to make even more history. We break down the best odds, schedules, and throw in some bold predictions for Team Canada this coming Winter Olympics:
Canada to Win at Least Nine Gold Medals
Canada will be without its best hockey players thanks to the NHL's ban on its players but Canada still remains one of the favourites to win it all. But the estimate here is without Canada's most prestigious sport.
Canadians should still dominate the majority of the skating competitions beginning with Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir in Figure Skating - Ice Dancing. Add to thisa pair of golds between power couple Charles Hamelin and Marianne St-Gelais in the short-track speedskating competitions in both the individual and relay events.
Curling is the biggest lock. Expect Canada to defend their gold medals from the men's and women's portions while other sports with potential gold medalists include bobsled/skeleton, freestyle skiing, and snowboarding.
Women's hockey is usually a toss-up between Canada or their bitter rivals, USA but earlier games strongly favour the Canadians who are still in their prime while the Americans seem to be fading.Over +8.5Gold Medals (-171)
Curling Dominance to Continue for Canada
Hockey might be Canada's national winter sport but Curling is Canada's best sport in terms of the winter olympics. Rachel Homan is arguably Canada's biggest lock for a gold medal even with the emergence of the likes of Eve Muirhead of Great Britain and Wang Bingyu of China. At -125, Homan is a solid bet to defend her championship.
On the men's side, defending champion Kevin Koe is likewise one of Canada's safest bets to come home with a gold medal. The two-time World champion will face some stiff competition from the Nords with Swedish Niklas Edin and Norwegian Thomas Ulsrud both of who are former world champions and Olympic medalists. Like Homan, he and Team Canada are only -125.Canada (-125)
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Recapture Ice Dancing Gold
Virtue and Moir are Canada's magical couple on the ice but they are not the favourites in ice dancing and come in as +139 underdogs to the French pair of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron (-120). This duo has dominated the ice dancing scene with four straight European titles and two gold medals at the 2015 and 2016 world championships.
The good news is, Virtue and Moir defeated them at 2017 Helsinki World Championships. While this hot new pair is hungry to taste Olympic gold, bank on the experience edge of Virtue and Moir to carry them through in what will be a razor-thin decision.Virtue/Moir (CAN) (+139)
Women's Hockey Remains a Canada vs USA Rivalry
Men's hockey will be a free-for-all but for the women's side, it remains a two-nation showdown between Team Canada and Team USA. Canada has gotten the best of Team USA but not by much defeating them 2-0 in Vancouver 2010 and in a thrilling 3-2 shootout victory in Sochi 2014.
Canada will be without the legendary Hayley Wickenheiser for the first time in four Olympics but still boast a loaded group that shut out Team USA 2-0 in Winnipeg in December. Expect these two teams to add another chapter to their rivalry in what would be another close contest with Canada coming out on top.Canada (-112)
Canada is a Dark Horse to Own the Podium. Again.
In 2010, Canada set a Winter Olympics record with 14 gold medals won. While they are most likely not going to win that many this year, they don't need to. History has shown winning between 10 to 12 gold medals should be enough to finish atop the pack and at +602, it is definitely worth a small shot.
Canada is already expected to win around eight to nine gold medals with at least six of these being locks. Every Olympics, a handful of Canadians always surprise the world and overperform expectations to not just win a medal but to win gold.
The men's hockey team could still win gold despite the lack of the usual stars while the sheer amount of talent in the speedskating competitions could produce more than a handful of gold medalists.
Norway (-106) will be hard-pressed to repeat as no country has finished with the most gold medals in consecutive Olympics since the now-defunct Soviet Union in the 1970s.USA (+486) is also a solid bet as the country with the second-most gold medals all-time.Canada (+602)
The Olympics are always a matter of national pride but it doesn't have to be just that. Plenty of Canadians head to theseonline sportsbooksto play for their own gold and add more thrill to the games. Check out our reviews before committing to any books.
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