We still have a little more than couple months before we’re treated to NHL regular season hockey, but luckily for us hardcore NHL fans, we get the 2016 edition of the World Cup of Hockey coming into our living rooms for a couple weeks at the end of September. The tournament consists of the best players in the world from the big 6 hockey countries of Canada, Sweden, Russia, USA, Finland and Czech Republic, as well as a couple of other interesting teams including a U23 North American squad and a Europe team filled with the best players from the other European countries that are unaccounted for. I’m jacked up for this tournament and am already getting bets in on the winner at Bet365.com.
World Cup of Hockey Winner Odds
Here are the odds for the tournament from Bet365.com. The odds are from July 28th, so they may change in the next month as we get closer to the tournament.
As you can see, Team Canada is the big favourite to win this tournament and rightfully so. When Canada has been able to put their best players on a team (I don’t count World Championships), they have been close to unbeatable in the past decade.
First of all, I have to look at Team Canada as a massive favourite in this tournament. Team Canada has won 4 of the past 5 international tournaments where the best NHL players in the world have participated. That’s dating back to the gold medal win at the Olympics in 2002. They also won the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, as well as the 2010 and 2014 Olympics. The only slip up in the past 15 years was in the 2006 Olympics. When Canada puts their best team on the ice they are by far the best squad in the world.
Now, when you look closer at this specific team you also have to give Canada an even bigger nod. The defensive corp is once again great at both ends of the ice and if they put either Price or Holtby in net this team will be very difficult to score on. At the 2014 Olympics, Team Canada only allowed 3 goals against in 6 games. That’s just absolutely ridiculous, but its what I expect out of this team once again.
On North American ice surface the advantage for Team Canada goes up even further. These are tough odds, but it will take a massive effort for anyone to knock off Canada in this tourney.
Play: Canada 1.95 @ Bet365.com
My other two favourite plays are North America U23 at 20/1 and Team Europe at 35/1.
If you look at the North America roster from top to bottom they have an All-Star cast of NHL players who are able to perform on the NHL ice surface. Add in the fact that this team will have no pressure to perform for their country and I think these young guys could be the third favourite after Canada and Sweden in my opinion.
Matt Murray is coming off a Stanley Cup win and if you have him in net along with guys like McDavid, Gaudrea, MacKinnon, Drouin, Ekblad and Seth Jones and you have to give this team a shot.
Team Europe I have as the 6th favourites in my mind, with Finland and Czech Republic both having worse squads than Europe. With players like Chara, Josi, Kopitar, Hossa and Draisatl, you have to think this team has a chance. The entire team is filled with NHL players and at this level it’s true that anyone can win a single game. They should definitely not be 35/1 dogs heading into this tourney, so I think a few bucks on Team Europe is a smart bet as well.
Plays: North America U23 21.00 & Team Europe 35.00 @ Bet365.com.
There’s still lots of time before this tournament gets underway, so be sure to keep your eyes on the odds. I would expect the North America and Europe odds to shorten, so get those bets in now.