IIHF World Junior Championship Futures: United States Is Home Favorite

For baseball fans, Boxing Day is like Christmas 2.0. The holidays can sometimes make us tired, like when you wind up spending your entire paycheck on gifts and then listening to your family complain about how they didn’t like their gift (I thought you liked candles, Mother!) . So, when December 26 rolls around, hockey fans know it’s time to move on from the gift-giving and find a gift they’ll really enjoy with the annual IIHF world junior hockey tournament. Here are the four groups that bettors must have on their radar to win the 42nd edition of the tournament.
UNITED STATES (+125)
The reigning champion and preferred on BetOnline, the usa is a pick to take home the gold in this year’s tourney. They’ll be returning goaltender Joseph Woll, who had been on the squad last year and was excellent in the 2 matches he played. The main plus for this year’s edition of the U.S. roster is they are coming seven players from this past year. At forward, Buffalo Sabres draft pick Casey Mittelstadt, who’ll get to skate before his home lovers that were future’ll leads them. Bettors should know that no team has won gold.
CANADA (+160)
I’d be all over this selection but the history of choking in the minute deters me. The Canadian team fell to the U.S. squad last year in a shootout after holding two different two-goal leads. Where the Canadians will probably be stacked is about the blue line as all their defensemen were drafted in the top 15 in recent NHL drafts. While the Canucks have won this tourney 16 days, they haven’t won it all since 2015 and in this value, the juice likely is not worth the squeeze.
FINLAND (+650)
A value pick, Finland has won gold in two of the last four tournaments and may be a sneaky pick for bettors looking to profit on the”each year” trend. The Finns are put in Group A with the Americans, Slovakians and Canadians and will probably be put into the test to create it. Their anticipated starting goaltender, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, is a Sabres draft selection and the Buffalo audience may wish to obtain a look at Robin Lehner’s potential replacement. Miro Heiskanen, the third overall pick in the 2017 draft, are also back to the blue line for the Finns and their forwards depth should carry them well with five returning forward from last year’s squad.
RUSSIA (+650)
The last time the world junior championship was at Buffaloback in 2011, the Russians dominated and took the gold. However, this year’s squad doesn’t have the likes of Vladimir Tarasenko, Evgeni Kuznetsov and Artemi Panarin out there dominating. While this year’s version has plenty of skilled forwards, it could be too much of an uphill battle to observe that the Russians repeat that accomplishment when they don’t have generational talent hitting the ice. An NHL team has drafted one of their defensemen and nearly all of the rearguards will come in the KHL. In +650, you would be better served to spend your Christmas money on Bitcoin.

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