Olympic hockey odds: Team Canada favored to win gold in Sochi


Team Canada wasn't the opening favorite in Olympic hockey odds, but they moved ahead of Russia last week. Team USA is the fourth betting choice to win hockey gold in Sochi.

With a roster stacked with NHL all-stars, Team Canada is a 2/1 favorite to take home gold in Russia this winter.

Canada's talent pool is so strong that a team made up of all countrymen left off the roster would be a serious medal contender.

The team going to Sochi will be headlined by Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews and a slew of other elite players at every position. All-Stars Claude Giroux, Logan Couture and others who impact NHL betting lines on a nightly basis didn't even make the team.

Canada is a runaway favorite to win Group B at -700. Finland (+350 to win the group) is also expected to advance out of the group which features Norway (+5000) and Austria (+10000).

Arguably the toughest group in the group stage is Group A, which features Russia (-200 to win the group), the USA (+175), Slovakia (+900), and Slovenia (+10000).

In addition to being loaded with offensively gifted players including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Ilya Kovalchuk, Team Russia will have a passionate home crowd behind it and is going off at 9/4 to take Olympic Gold.

[ Canada is +146, Russia +281 to win Olympic hockey gold ]

While Russia and Canada are known more for their finesse, Team USA is dangerous due to its grittiness. Physical players like David Backes, Dustin Brown, and Ryan Kesler compliment the high-end talent guys like Patrick Kane and Phil Kessel.

Goaltending could be a major advantage for the United States as well as both Jonathan Quick and Ryan Miller have shown the ability to stand on their heads and steal games for their respective teams. The USA is going off at 6/1 to win gold.

Group C features Sweden (-200 to win the group), the Czech Republic (+188), Switzerland (+700), and Latvia (+8000). Team Sweden is a popular pick to win gold going off at 4/1. The team has plenty of offensive talent led by the Sedin twins, Alexander Steen, and Henrik Zetterberg.

The big question will be in goal; can Henrik Lundqvist find his elite form on the international stage, or will his NHL struggles this season carry over to the Olympics?

The Czech Republic and Finland are each going off at 10/1 to win gold while Switzerland at 25/1 and Slovakia at 33/1 round out the contenders.

More on the Winter Olympics coverage:

The USA speed skating uniforms are crotch-tastic

Entire Sochi Games will be streamed live by NBC

Here's what the medals will look like

On Russia's anti-gay laws, and using a platform with purpose

Hockey: Men’s schedule | All 12 men’s rosters | USA roster analysis

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