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Canada in Sochi as Favourites in Olympic Hockey
Four years ago, Team Canada thrilled hockey fans in Vancouver with an overtime victory over Team USA, and their second Olympic gold since 2002. As the 22nd Winter Olympics get underway this week in Sochi, Russia, the Canadians are 2/1 favourites to repeat as Olympic champions in futures betting at Bodog’s sportsbook.
After being pegged as favourites in early futures betting, the host Russians, led by NHL goal scoring leader Alexander Ovechkin, sit at 12/5. Many pundits believe Team Sweden brings the strongest goaltending to the Olympic tourney. That hasn’t helped the Swedes in futures betting at Bodog, where they have slipped to 9/2 from the 4/1 odds they sported in early betting.
Team USA, who will once again be backstopped by goaltender Ryan Miller, whose stellar performance at the Vancouver Olympics brought the Americans to within a goal of the gold medal, are listed at 6/1.
Finland and the Czech Republic trail the favourites at 11/1 and 12/1, respectively, while Switzerland is listed at 25/1, followed by Slovakia at 33/1. Team Norway will ice only one NHL player at the Olympics, Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers. The Norwegians are 200/1 longshots, followed by Latvia at 400/1 and Austria and Slovenia at 1000/1.
Bodog is also offering futures wagering on who will score the most goals in Sochi. Not surprisingly, Ovechkin leads the pack at 11/2, followed by Sidney Crosby, who scored the golden goal for Canada in 2010, at 7/1.
A trio of NHL superstars, Russian Evgeni Malkin, Canadian John Tavares, and American Patrick Kane, are all pegged at 11/1, followed by five others at 14/1. Toronto Maple Leafs fans may be interested by the 18/1 odds attached to American Phil Kessel, whose 31 goals are second only to Ovechkin in the NHL scoring race.
Jeff Carter and Chris Kunitz, who are projected by many to be Crosby’s linemates on Canada’s top line, both sit at 20/1. Other notables on the list of potential top goal scorers include Russian Alexander Radulov at 22/1 and two-time Stanley Cup champion Patrick Sharp at 25/1. Martin St. Louis, the NHL’s reigning scoring champion, was a late addition to Team Canada and sports odds of 20/1.
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