The rematch of the 2010 gold medal game is here. It’s one game too early, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less meaningful for these two nations. In order to play for the gold either team needs to get past the other. It’s the battle of North American and a battle between the two teams who are now the favourites to win the Gold Medal in Men’s Hockey at the Olympics.
Canada vs USA Semi-Final Odds
This is as close to a pick’em game as you can get with Canada being an ever so slight favourite over Team USA in this semi-final game. If this game would have been set up without knowing the previous four games each team has played Canada would have been a far bigger favourite. That said, people feel that Team USA is flying high and playing with the ability to upset the Canadians in this one.
Like I said Team Canada would have been a bigger favourite without the knowledge of the past four games. I personally think they should be because those four games are too small a sample size and they are being used in an incorrect manner to judge these two sides.
Team Canada is being underestimated because they have found it difficult to score against teams that clog up the middle and basically play not to lose. This includes their 3-1 win over Norway in their opening game, their 2-1 overtime victory over Finland and their 2-1 nailbiter of a quarterfinal against Latvia. However, just because they haven’t found the back of the net against these teams as much as expected it doesn’t mean they aren’t generating scoring chances and playing solid all around hockey. Today Canada outshot Latvia 57-16 before pulling out a tight 2-1 win. In the game against Finland they nearly double the Finns in shots and came out with a win against the team who just defeated Russia by a score of 3-1.
Canada is playing good hockey even if they are having trouble scoring against teams that are clogging up the middle. This is a more International style of play and I don’t expect the Americans to employ it so we will see a game with better scoring chances for Canada in the semi’s and I expect them to bury them.
Team USA on the other hand has a deceptive record. Sure they racked up the goals against some teams, but none of these teams made it to the semi’s like Finland did from Canada’s group. In fact, the USA only tied a Russian team that has not looked good the entire tournament. Then they won against a tired Czech team that had a poor tournament, ran up the score against the Slovakian team that had a horrible tournament and defeated a Slovenian team 5-1 who the Swedes just beat 5-0 in the quarters. When you really break it down they haven’t played many quality opponents.
I haven’t seen enough from Team USA to move their odds with Canada to an almost pick’em game. I still think this one could go either way, but in my opinion Canada still wins this one 3 out of 5 times, which definitely makes the -115 a sharp bet.
Play: Team Canada -115