The initial round of 2018 Winter Olympic betting odds are outside, and the usual suspects are near the top in their usual sequence not for men’s ice hockey.
It is a unique Olympic year, with all the NHL not allowing its players. So without some of the top baseball talent around the nation, Russia (7/4) is your current favorite based on Bovada, who published its first round of odds on Wednesday.
Russia will benefit from getting some of its top players, such as forwards Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk, playing overseas in the KHL, and eligible to play at the Games. The KHL will allow its players to attend the championship. Russia is going to be without its main star in Washington Capitals ahead Alex Ovechkin.
SIGN UP to see KHL games on DAZN Meanwhile, the Sidney Crosby’s and Henrik Lundqvist’s of the world will be land-locked by the NHL and not able to travel to Pyeongchang, greatly watering down the talent pool.
Coming in at second in Bovada’s odds is Canada (3/1), following by Sweden (7/2), then Finland (8/1), then the Czech Republic (9/1) and the United States (10/1).
In the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, the most recent best-on-best championship, Canada finished first, together with Team Europe, a collection of European players not from Sweden, Russia, Finland, or even the Czech Republic, ending in second. The tournament featured mostly NHL players however, who will be forced to sit out and watch this season.