Best Bets for the 2019 World Junior Hockey Championships - Second Straight Gold For Canada?
2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship
IIHF World Juniors - Group A
- Canada +100
- Russia +700
- Czech Republic +1000
- Switzerland +5000
- Denmark +20000
As the predominant hockey superpower of the world, the Canadian men’s national junior team tends to be listed as favorites by sports betting sites, and this year’s tournament is no different. Canada owns the best odds to win at +100, while Russia owns the second-best probability at +700.
Canada has won more gold medals than any other hockey nation, earning 17 first-place finishes since 1982.
Canada won Gold at the 2018 tournament and silver at the 2017 event after a disappointing 6th-place finish in 2017. Overall, Canada has won more gold medals than any other hockey nation, earning 17 first-place finishes since 1982. With the 2019 tournament taking place in Vancouver, Canada will enjoy home advantage and a superb opportunity to win their second consecutive gold medal.
Russia hasn’t been able to win since 2011, with three silver medals and three bronze – along with a terrible 5th place finish in 2018. The only other team that Canada needs to watch out for would be the Czech Republic, which has the potential to upset any club in the tournament. Don’t expect Switzerland or Denmark to make any discernable impact on this tournament, other than a Swiss loss in the quarter finals.
IIHF World Juniors - Group B
- United States +250
- Finland +500
- Sweden +600
- Slovakia +5000
- Kazakhstan +50000
Similar to Group A, there’s a large difference between the top and bottom of this cohort. The United States features some of the finest young talent in the world, while many will question how Kazakhstan were invited to the tournament. The Kazakhs have a miniscule chance of competing against established hockey nations, likely to lose all four prelims.
With one of the best youth programs in the world, the United States will be considered favorites to emerge from Group B on top, with an easy path to the semi-finals. After consecutive fifth place disappointments in 2014 and 2015, the U.S. won the Gold Medal at the 2017 world juniors and bronze medals in 2016 and 2018.
Finland’s youth won gold on home ice in 2016, but the program dropped off over the past two years, fading before the semi-finals. After winning the gold medal in 2012, Sweden’s made the finals three times and finished fourth three times, losing the championship game against Canada last year. Sweden should be considered a superb value at +600.
Slovakia should be able to defeat Kazakhstan, but will lose in the quarterfinals against a division winner.
2019 World Juniors Predictions
Gold - Canada
Silver - United States
Bronze - Sweden
Canada's junior hockey club has returned to prominance after a few years of disappointing results. The U.S. could challenge Canada, but the Canadian national team has a history of winning in Vancouver. Both Sweden and Finland feature outstanding young talent, capable of upsetting the U.S. to earn a spot at the gold medal game.
Russia and the Czech Republic don't have the type of talent needed to win overseas, while Slovakia, Denmark and the Swiss may or may not make the knock-out rounds. Kazakhstan might not score a single goal throughout the tournament.
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