The pundits have been saying for a while now that Team Canada is the odds-on favorite to win hockey gold at the Sochi Olympics. It doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to claim they're the heavy favorites. Not with a defense corps that almost didn't need P.K. Subban, and not with a forward group that's so full of elite centers that they're likely to shift John Tavares to the wing.
But up until today, the word of the pundits was little more than an expression. Now it's a basic fact. Bovada has released their Olympic hockey odds, and sure enough, a gold medal for Canada is the likeliest outcome. Take a look:
Canada leads the way here at 2/1, followed by Russia, likely getting a bit of a boost for being the home country. They're at 9/4, followed closely by Sweden at 9/2.
I'd argue that that's backwards. Sweden seems likelier than Russia to win gold, in my opinion, although the injury Henrik Sedin is currently playing through (and not very convincingly, I might add) has to be concerning. That basically means one of Sweden's top lines is severely neutered. Ask the Canucks how well you fare when that happens.
As for Team USA, they're fourth, at 6/1. Based on these odds, they're not even expected to medal. You can bet on that as well, of course. The line is even on yes, and minus-130 on no.
Over on the women's side, Teams Canada and USA are neck-and-neck, with USA a slightly better bet.
So who's the "safety off the first snap" in this group? On the women's side, it's Japan. Over at the men's draw, it's a tie between Austria and Slovenia, and If I'm Slovenia, I'm fully offended. It's like they haven't even heard of Rok Ticar.
You can bet on who's going to score the most goals as well. Your top 10:
Although if you ask us, Pavel Datsyuk at 28/1 is the real steal.