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Olympic hockey odds to win gold medal
By: Zach Cohen - StatFox
Published: 2/12/2014  at  12:00:00 AM
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2014 Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Odds

Starts: Wednesday, February 12
Bolshoy Ice Dome and Shayba Arena Sochi, Russia

Odds to Win Gold Medal in 2014 Olympics

CountryOdds
Canada (Group B)2-to-1
Russia (Group A)12-to-5
Sweden (Group C)9-to-2
United States (Group A)6-to-1
Finland (Group B)11-to-1
Czech Republic (Group C)12-to-1
Switzerland (Group C)25-to-1
Slovakia (Group A)33-to-1
Norway (Group B)200-to-1
Latvia (Group C)400-to-1
Austria (Group B)750-to-1
Slovenia (Group A)1,000-to-1

For the Bet DSI breakdown on the start of the men's hockey tournament, see here:

The men's hockey tournament in the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi opens up on Wednesday, and features 12 countries vying for the gold medal won by Canada four years ago in Vancouver, when they beat the United States 3-2 in overtime of the gold medal game. Below are the best wagers for this year's installment of the most exciting hockey tournament on the globe.

Men's Hockey Best Bets

UNITED STATES (6/1): In the last Olympics, Team USA lost a heartbreaker in the gold medal game against Canada. This year, the team is back looking to finish what they started. In goal for the Americans is Kings netminder Jonathan Quick who was injured early in the NHL season, but is now fully healthy, posting a strong 2.18 GAA (8th in NHL) and three shutouts in his 32 starts. Ryan Miller could also see time in between the pipes, as he led all goalies in the 2010 Olympics with 139 saves and a .946 save percentage, and was second in the tournament with a 1.35 GAA. Patrick Kane is the American with the most offensive talent, as he is fifth in the NHL in points with 63 (27 G, 36 A). The U.S. team also has experience with Minnesota's Zach Parise, who tied Brian Rafalski for a team-high eight points (4 G, 4 A) during the Vancouver games. Team USA plays with a ton of heart and their physical game is what ultimately differentiates them from the other teams in this tournament. Since they are getting better odds than three other teams in this tournament, the Americans represent the best betting value on the board.

RUSSIA (12/5): Team Russia boasts as good of an offense as any team in this tournament. Led by Alexander Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with 40 goals this season, this team will play fast-paced and look to create as many scoring chances as possible. While they are not as good defensively as the other top teams in this tournament, they will have excellent goaltending with Semyon Varlamov likely to start in net. Varlamov is third in the NHL with 28 wins this season and ranks ninth in the league with a strong .924 save percentage. Russia had a disappointing sixth-place finish in the 2010 Olympics, but will be hungrier than ever to bring home gold on home ice. The odds aren't too favorable, but the payoff is still enough to drop a sizable wager on.

CANADA (2/1): Team Canada is set to defend its gold medal in Sochi with an abundance of All-Stars on its roster. Sidney Crosby is still the best player in the world, and his 78 points are 11 more than any other NHL player this season. Crosby netted the game-winner in the gold medal game four years ago. The Canadian lineup also features John Tavares of the Islanders, who is third in the NHL with 66 points, as well as Ducks teammates Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf who have combined for 59 goals this season. In net for Canada is Carey Price, who is clutch between the pipes and ranks fifth in the NHL with 26 wins this season. If he falters, Roberto Luongo can fall back on his past Olympic experience as the winning goalie in the 2010 gold medal game when he stopped 34-of-36 U.S. shots on goal. Although the 2-to-1 price is steep, the Canadians are the clear favorites and therefore worthy of a small wager.

CZECH REPUBLIC (12/1): If you're looking for a better payout from a darkhorse candidate, take a chance on the Czech Republic. The Czechs are definitely an old bunch, but their experience could help them in this tournament. They have plenty of firepower offensively and should be a tough out for any team. RW Jaromir Jagr is 41 years old, but he still has 49 points this season for the Devils. Hard-nosed C David Krejci of the Bruins is also a great offensive player with 50 points and a stellar +25 rating (T-6th in NHL) this season. Blue-liner Zbynek Michalek of the Coyotes must be sound defensively for this team to advance. In goal is Jakub Kovar, who is in the Flyers organization, but lacks big-game experience. He is this team's biggest question mark going in. After a disappointing seventh-place finish in 2010, the Czechs are eager to get back to the medal round, and they have a great chance at knocking off Sweden to win Group C. At 12-to-1, go ahead and play a one-unit wager here.

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