Team Canada appears ready to both host and win the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships. The action gets underway Tuesday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. The annual amateur hockey tournament, which was halted last winter because of the coronavirus pandemic, is making a much-anticipated summer return.
After the IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championships were postponed last December, the reboot of the "World Juniors" begins on Tuesday with three games.
Who could have possibly foreseen ice hockey played in August?
Well, rink action continues for 11 more days through August 20th.
However, the star attraction will undoubtedly be the host nation -- Team Canada.
The reasons are obvious: Canadians have won a record 18 annual championships in the 45-year history of the tournament which features the top under-20 ice hockey teams from around the world.
This year's tourney will include 10 national teams. No surprise, Team Canada (2.25) is favoured to win what would be a 19th title--according to the latest odds at Spreads.ca. Meanwhile, Sweden, Finland, and the USA are all listed with identical odds as the co-second favourites (5.00).
Here's a look at all the outright futures odds at Spreads.ca:
Canada should shine in the home spotlight. Their opponent for the opener, Latvia, will already have one game under their belt since they play the previous day (vs. Finland).
However, the Canadians are huge favourites.
The puck drops at Rogers Place in Edmonton at 4:00 pm MDT on Wednesday.
Here's a look at the odds of this game, according to Spreads.ca:
Prediction (powered by Pointspreads.ca):
To give some perspective of how far apart Canada and Latvia are, talent-wise, just take a look at the futures on the outright winner of the 2022 World Juniors. Team
Canada is close to even money as the prohibitive favourite. Latvia is 500-1.
No wonder Canada is a -6.5 goal fave to win their debut match. No, that's not a misprint. Canada is favoured by -6.5 goals, an almost unheard-of spread in hockey.
As for the moneyline (talk about a longshot!) Latvia is 44-1 to upset Canada. A tie is listed at 33-1. The O/U is 7.5 goals.
So, what's the bet? It's tough to make a prediction, but if you must bet the game, we think a parlay on LATVIA +6.5 and UNDER 7.5 probably has some value. Our reasoning on this wager is--f Canada gets off to a slow start (and/or the Latvian goaltender gets hot and has an above-average game as a shot stopper), a low-scoring win by the Canadians is certainly possible.
Let's call this 5-1 in favour of Team Canada vs. Team Latvia.