bet365 WJC Gold Medal Game Odds, Preview: USA vs. Sweden (Jan. 5)

It all comes down to this. After all the upsets and surprises, early flameouts and Cinderella runs, the gold medal game at the 2024 World Junior Hockey Championship features… the two teams that were the odds-on favourites to win at the start. Go figure.

The United States and Sweden have gone at each other in younger age groups for the past couple of years now, and now get an opportunity to duke it out for junior hockey’s top international prize. It’s a matchup full of top talent and NHL prospects, with all the potential for an instant classic.

Bet on United States vs. Sweden

USA -143
SWE +110

The United States are the moneyline favourites going into puck drop, coming in at -143.

United States vs. Sweden odds

United States Moneyline Odds-143
Sweden Moneyline Odds+110
Puck Line oddsUnited States -1.5 (+170), Sweden +1.5 (-239)
Total Goals line5.5 goals (over -125, under -112)
Time/DateJan. 5, 1:30 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: TSN
Stream: TSN+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

All odds courtesy of

About Team USA (6-0, +26 GD)

It wasn’t as easy as expected, but the tournament favourites remained undefeated after a tight win today against Finland. The Americans spent over half of this game trailing and their lead was fairly brief, thanks to Oiva Keskinen’s icebreaker two minutes in, Rasmus Kumpulainen’s insurance tally ten minutes later, and an unbelievable goaltending performance from Finnish netminder Niklas Kokko.

Nevertheless, the USA found a way. Jimmy Snuggerud snapped Kokko’s immortality on an American powerplay midway through the second, and Sharks fourth overall pick Will Smith tied the game two minutes later. With Kasper Kulonummi in the box for a hook in the third period, Cutter Gauthier added another powerplay goal to put the Americans up for good.

While not the gap they were expecting to have, the Americans were the better team through most of this game, and now have proven to themselves that they can handle some adversity.

About Team Sweden (5-0-1, +16 GD)

The tournament hosts had a lot easier time with today’s game than they did with their quarter-final matchup against Switzerland though, just like the USA/Finland game, the losing team was the one that struck first. Matyas Melovsky put the Czechs up seven minutes into the first period, though Theo Lindstein cancelled out that lead five minutes later.

The scenario reversed in the second, with Axel Sandin Pellikka putting Sweden up early on and Tomas Cibulka equalizing for Czechia five minutes later. The wind came out of one of the tournament’s best underdog stories in the third, however, as the Swedes scored three goals in eight minutes to pull away, including two from Vancouver Canucks prospect Jonathan Lekkerimaki. Now, they have a shot at the big prize on home ice.

Projected Lineups

Team USA WJC LinesTeam Sweden WJC Lines
Oliver Moore – Cutter Gauthier – Rutger McGroarty
Issac Howard – Frank Nazar – Gavin Brindley
Gabriel Perreault – Will Smith – Ryan Leonard
Quinn Finley – Danny Nelson – Jimmy Snuggerud
Gavin Hayes

Lane Hutson – Ryan Chesley
Drew Fortescue – Seamus Casey
Ze’ev Buium – Sam Rinzel
Eric Pholkamp

Starting In Goal
Trey Augustine
0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 0.000 SV%
Anton Wahlberg – noah Ostlund – Jonathan lekkerimaki
Liam Ohgren – Filip Bystedt – Oskar Pettersson
Otto Stenberg – David Edstrom – Felix Unger Sorum
Isac Born – Fabian Wagner – Zeb Forsfjall
Rasmus Rudslatt

Elias Pettersson – Mattias Havelid
Theo Lindstein – Tom Willander
Elias Solomonsson – Axel Sandin Pellikka
Anton Johansson

Starting In Goal
Hugo Havelid
0-0-0, 0.00 GAA, 0.000 SV%
  • Canadian team NHL Prospects on USA: Lane Hutson (MTL), Ruger McGroarty (WPG), Jacob Fowler (MTL)
  • 2024 Draft Eligible Prospects on USA: Ze’ev Buium
  • Canadian team NHL Prospects on Sweden: Jonathan Lekkerimaki (VAN), Oskar Pettersson (OTT), Tom Willander (VAN), Fabian Wagner (WPG, Elias Pettersson (VAN), Elias Solomonsson (WPG), Kevin Reidler (OTT)
  • 2024: Draft Eligible prospects on Sweden: Isac Born, Rasmus Rudslatt, Hugo Havelid

Total goals over 5.5


Top Scorers

United States’s Top Scorers

Cutter Gauthier62101224
Gavin Brindley663913
Frank Nazar608810
Jimmy Snuggerud552721
Isaac Howard652721

Sweden’s Top Scorers

Jonathan Lekkerimaki663930
Noah Ostlund636911
Otto Stenberg644812
Theo Lindstein62288
Felix Unger Sorum61169

Wagers To Consider

I would expect the United States to come out on top in this one. They’ve been the favourites from Day 1, have never really lost grip of that position, and seem to have a chip on their shoulder going into this game. Sweden are obviously no slouches and will have a distinct home ice advantage, so the outcome could go either way, but I would lean Red, White, and Blue before Gold and Blue in this one.

The moneyline seems like a given if you plan on following along with that. The puck line becomes muddier – certainly not unattainable if the USA either dominates above expectation or has a one or two-goal lead in the dying minutes and Sweden pulls their goalie. But this also could be the sort of game that could go to overtime, and again – Sweden aren’t to be completely dismissed here either. To go with the USA -1.5 requires a lot of confidence that they’re both the better team and going to bring their best.

I don’t really think there’s much to gain by playing the goals over/under on this one, though with the offensive firepower both teams have and the potential for empty net goals at the end of the game, 5.5 seems like a pretty low total. If I had to pick a side I’d take the over, but I also would probably stay out of it.

Enjoy the game!