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Online bookmaker: Russia is 11/5 favorite to win Olympic gold

Jul 25, 2013, 11:26 AM EDT

Ice Hockey Quarter Final - Day 13 - Russia v Canada Getty Images

At least one online bookmaker is banking big on home-ice advantage in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Bovada has released its odds for the men’s hockey tournament, installing Russia as the favorite to win gold.

Russia 11/5
Canada 9/4
Sweden 4/1
USA 6/1
Czech Republic 17/2
Finland 10/1
Switzerland 20/1
Slovakia 25/1
Norway 200/1
Latvia 400/1
Austria 900/1
Slovenia 900/1

While we’re not sure we would’ve come up with the same odds (has Bovada seen Russia’s defense?), we can definitely appreciate how badly Alex Ovechkin and company want to win gold in February — particularly after their disappointing performance in Vancouver three years ago, when they were eliminated in the quarterfinals, falling to Canada by a score of 7-3.

“Don’t judge our team by one game,” Ovechkin said following the defeat. “We are still strong.”

  1. spezzabangsmilfs - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Home ice every game goes a long way to bookmakers. It’s prudent

  2. 19to77 - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Eh. They’re too flawed a team. Most of their offensive stars couldn’t backcheck out of a wet paper bag, their defense is thin and their top goalie has one good season under his belt. If Bob recedes at all next year they’re thin in net as well. Home-ice advantage doesn’t just magically cover up their roster holes.

    Bet on America or Sweden. 6-to-1 and 4-to-1 are great potential payoffs for strong contenders with much better rosters.

    • tdrusher225 - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      Finland is a pretty good value bet at 10-1 as well. Roster not nearly as solid top to bottom, but the potential to have the tournament’s best goaltending can always make a team dangerous.

      • 19to77 - Jul 25, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        Between them and the Americans, I’d bet on the States. 6-1 still pays out VERY nicely and they’ve got equally brilliant goaltending and much better offense and defense.

    • shoobiedoobin - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      Will beats skill. The internet will never realize that.

      If this Russian team wants to win, they can win.

  3. hockey412 - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Call me crazy, but while Russia has some great forwards and certainly has the goaltending they need, I’m thinking the blue line seems weaker than some other teams. Also seems like they’re trying to sprinkle in a LOT of KHL talent – we’ll see how that goes.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      I doubt anyone would call you crazy for that (maybe other things…). However, the KHL part is intriguing because those guys are used to playing on Olympic-sized rinks, so there won’t be any real adjustment for them. Either way, Russia sucks and they won’t even medal. End of story.

      • chanceoffleury1 - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:52 PM

        Even in 2010, Canada on paper was significantly better than Team USA. And look at how dang close that came down to. Team USA even beat Canada earlier in the tournament in 2010. It really just came down to USA splitting the games the wrong way. You just can’t write any team off. That’s the quickest way for a team to be watching from the stands faster than they can say “Disney movie deal”. You have no idea with injuries and stuff who will actually be representing each country. Not to mention a ridiculously hot goalie or for that matter, a hot skater, that can single handidly change a team’s dynamic. That’s the great thing about sports, and especially competitions like the Olympics. If the favorites always won there would be no point in competing. The moments we live for are Team USA beating the Red Army or some other team ignoring the rest of the world and handing Team Canada their a$$es on a silver platter come February. It’s fun to watch dream teams beat up on everybody, but it’s 10x more fun to point and laugh when the camera pans to the dream team’s bench with 10 seconds left and their facial expressions on the verge of tears tell all the story you need to know about the nightmare they are currently realizing is not fake and is, in fact, real. I mean, besides Goliath and his fans, who doesn’t love a David and Goliath Story????

  4. nj666 - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Russia nearly had 3/4 of their team at the iihf tournament and they got beat by a bunch of guys who wouldn’t make the US olympic team.

    • nj666 - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM

  5. kirkmcleansbaby - Jul 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Is it just me, or does it look like Ovechkin just missed that puck in the picture?!?! lol

    Oh, and I don’t think there is any way Russia even medals at these games….. just like other posters have said, they are just too weak on the blueline and their forwards are some of the laziest backcheckers around!

  6. blackhawks2010 - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    Home ice, however, they are looking at a Bronze at best.

  7. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    The way I read the USA and Canadian rosters, they are making an effort to build the teams with skating ability in mind vs physicality in light of the past failures on the bigger ice.

    I’ve seen some posters recommend that the NHL adopt the international size. I don’t see that ever happening. They’d be eliminating 4 rows of the most expensive regular seats. Doing some rough calcs, I come up with lost revenue of 6.56 million per year x 30 teams, all for the chance of doing better every 4 years?

    Not gonna happen in a free society.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      And lower revenue means a lower cap – don’t think the NHLPA would be inclined to support widening either.

    • hockeydon10 - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      They wouldn’t be eliminating 4 rows the the most expensive seats. The most expensive seats are closest to the glass. There will still be the same number of rows close to the glass. They’ll lose the top four rows in the lower bowl. In other words, they’ll lose the 4 cheapest rows in the lower bowl. It’s not insignificant, but it’s not the effect you believe it to be.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        Good point! ANd it may still be 5 mill a year/team, which would effect the caps.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        You could even argue they’re losing the top 4 rows in the entire building not just the lower deck. In Calgary (and I’m sure most buildings would be the same) the most expensive tickets are the first row of the second deck (tied with the club section of the lower bowl) because they’re the first seats that you can see the entire ice surface from.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:13 PM

        You can’t assume buildings are the same. In most USA stadiums, the hockey is actually the #2 tennent – the NBA team is a prime consideration. Where I’ve looked, 1st deck seats are more expensive.

  8. ruthlessandtoothless - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    I think Russia is being very over rated. They have a great forward pool but Canada is able to match them pound for pound in that department and Canada’s defense is far better. While Canada has lack of consistent goalies they have more options in net and their defense will help keep their goalies in line. USA is definitely weaker on the offensive end but their wealth of 2 way fwds and great defense and depth in goal really could make it a tough fight if Russia were to face them as well. Russia is being a bit overvalued thanks to Ovi winning the Hart and Bob’s vezina win and the name recognition of others on their roster. It takes a complete team to win.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:20 PM

      For which the Hawks last year were a great example. Pitt had the best offense, and some very good depth. I knew their lack of “D would be their undoing if they made it to the finals (and posted that analysis upfront) as they were at the top of the BOTTOM half of the league defensively, with a starting goalie likely to choke in the playoffs.

      In contrast, Hawks were:

      #2 offensively
      #1 deffensively
      #1 in points depth and +/- depth.

      Which also goes back to the lack of 2 way focus of the Russian forwards.

      Toews, who won the Selke was considered for MVP but did make the final cut.

      Ovi – 56 points +/- 2
      Kane – 55 points +/- 11
      Toews – 48 points +/- 28

      I’d rather have Kane or Toews than Ovi, who’ll never win the Selke

      • chanceoffleury1 - Jul 25, 2013 at 8:31 PM

        Your example would work if this was 2012. You must have not watched those games if you think the Pens lost because of defense. The Pens lost because their offense pooped out, not their defense. They had the best PK in the playoffs and Vokoun played amazing. He had a better save percentage than Cory Crawford and was basically on par (within .01%) with Jonathan Quick and Henrik Lundqvist. I mean, the Pens had defensive lapses at times, but so did the Hawks and Bruins. There was 2, maybe 3, games where they were really just resorting to their bad defensive habits. In case it slipped your mind, Brent Seabrook, who is supposedly the Hawks #2 d man, was on the verge of being benched in the 2nd round because he was sucking it up on the Hawks blueline and their defense was collapsing. The Hawks won because they had true depth. Whenever their stars weren’t living up to expectations they had a ton of depth guys coming up big. That’s really what it always comes down to in winning ANY important competition in a tournament style whether it be the Cup, Olympics, World Championships, etc. Your top guys will win you games, and then your underdog players will win you the games that actually matter.

        And for the record, I’d take Kane and Toews over Ovi, too. But it gets annoying when people are knocking the Pens defense as the reason they lost in the fashion they did this year. With Vokoun in net, there was ONE game were a team scored more than 3 goals on the Pens. 5 of the 11 games were either a shutout or a 1 goal against game for the Pens. It was far more related to the fact they were getting zero secondary scoring and were totally reliant on their top 2 lines for it. Their defense in the last two games specifically was insanely good and certainly wasn’t the reason they lost.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:05 PM

        Actually we’re both right. My reference was to the regular season, and there my memory merged the whole league with the playoff contendors. Regular season they were inthe middle of the pack when looking at things like GAA, save %, opposing teams scoring %, shots on goal. Of the 16 playoff teams they were in the bottom half in regular season stats.

        And I agree on Vokoun. The main reason the series did not go 7 was Bylsma was wise enough to bench Fleut\ry while Nabokov was left in (.840 save %).

        And my main point still remains, the Hawks were the most balanced team in the regular season and the playoffs and the results speak for themselves. Russians are NOT balanced and it wil;l be exposed in the medal round.

  9. thecheeman - Jul 25, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    I take heart in the fact nobody thinks the Russian authoritahs are going to bribe the HELL out of whichever official is necessary to ensure they get treated “fairly” in the big games, but they totally will. Bovada knows the score.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      Oh yeah the Russians are going to set records for both gold medals and medals because every sport where officials can be taken care of they will be taken care of. Hockey could be difficult though cause those games are officiated by NHL officials, I believe they make a pretty good living so it will be tough to make it worth their while, especially since they’re all from Canada and the US.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:50 PM

        I remember how in the olympics when the USA mens team was still college players vs. the USSR Pros that the Russians somehow managed to get the end played again enough times to get a BS gold.

  10. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Jul 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    They’ll lose 7-3 to Canada again but the Russian judge will give a final score of 9.9-7

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      Hmm, were you referring to the B.C. pairs fraud, the Oksana Bieul insanity (rating her higher than Nancy Kerrigan for technical metit when she had a easier program with more flaws), or just the overal pattern;)

  11. coconutman1 - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    Am I the only one that noticed that Canada has the higher odds on the list? They might be second on the list, but 9/4 odds are better than 11/5.

    • spetzwing - Jul 26, 2013 at 8:04 PM

      do you even math bro? Public education these days…

    • cofran2004 - Aug 1, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      …..you make me sad. 9/4 = 44.4444444% chance
      and the russian team’s odds… 11/5= 45.454545%

      44.4444444% < 45.454545%

      Every computer or smart phone has a calculator function. That took me literally 30 seconds to do.

  12. vanindeed - Jul 25, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Unless they’re dusting off Zubov for another games those odds are out of whack

  13. beelza - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Short tourney’s come down to two things, goaltending and special teams. Quick and Howard. Advantage USA. Babcock is the greatest hockey coach in the world, he alone makes Canada legit contenders. Russian mob is the wild card they are known worldwide as expert match fixers.

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