Olympic Hockey 2018: Latest Odds for Team USA, Canada and More Countries

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2018

Russian forward Pavel Datsyuk is in action during the exhibition ice hockey game between Russia and Belarus in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Pavel Datsyuk will serve as team captain for the
Alexander Zemlianichenko/Associated Press

The Winter Olympics men's hockey tournament usually provides us with loads of intrigue due to the NHL talent spread across each roster.

However, the 2018 edition of the competition is different since NHL players aren't allowed to compete in Pyoengchang, South Korea.

While most NHLers will be watching from home, the tournament isn't devoid of players with NHL experience, especially on the Olympic Athletes of Russia roster.

Over in the women's competition, perennial favorites Canada and United States are expected to achieve success again, but the talent gap is closing, which could make the tournament more exciting than the men's one.

          

Olympic Hockey Odds

Men's Hockey Odds

Olympic Athletes of Russia (+225)

Canada (+275)

Sweden (+400)

Finland (+800)

Czech Republic (+900)

United States (+900)

Switzerland (+3,300)

Germany (+6,600)

Slovakia (+6,600)

Norway (+10,000)

Slovenia (+25,000)

Republic of Korea (+25,000)

        

Women's Hockey Odds

United States (-120)

Canada (Even)

Finland (+1,600)

Olympic Athletes of Russia (+1,800)

Sweden (+2,500)

Switzerland (+5,000)

Japan (+10,000)

South Korea (+25,000)

       

Datsyuk, Kovalchuk Lead Olympic Athletes of Russia

The Olympic Athletes of Russia, which is the name given to the Russian team after the nation was banned from Pyeongchang due to extensive doping, will be led by NHL veterans Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Datsyuk and Kovalchuk, both of whom are playing in the KHL, carry over 1,700 combined NHL games into South Korea.

Russia's forward Ilya Kovalchuk (L) vies for the puck with Canada's forward Wojtek Wolski during the Channel One Cup of the Euro Hockey Tour ice hockey match between Canada and Russia in Moscow on December 16, 2017.
 / AFP PHOTO / Alexander NEMENOV
ALEXANDER NEMENOV/Getty Images

The two big-name forwards aren't the only former NHL players on the Olympic Athletes of Russia roster, as 10 members of the squad have played at least one professional game in North America.

With the bevy of experience on their roster and the lack of NHL stars elsewhere, it's no shock the Olympic Athletes of Russia are favored to win.

Although Canada isn't the favorite, the two-time defending champion is expected to be in contention for the medals. Former Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Ben Scrivens, who plays in the KHL, is one of the veterans on the squad.

Canada's goaltender Ben Scrivens concedes a goal during the Channel One Cup of the Euro Hockey Tour ice hockey match between Canada and Russia in Moscow on December 16, 2017.
 / AFP PHOTO / Alexander NEMENOV        (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEME
ALEXANDER NEMENOV/Getty Images

Goalie Jhonas Enroth, who played for a quartet of NHL franchises, is one of the notable players featuring for Sweden, who took silver four years ago in Sochi, Russia.

The United States, looking for its first gold since 1980, features a collection of college and AHL players as well as some who play abroad. Brian Gionta, who played in the NHL from 2001-2017, is one of the few experienced players starring for a squad led by head coach Tony Granato.

        

Canada, United States Set for Showdown in Women's Tournament

The United States and Canada have won nine of the 10 gold and silver medals awarded in women's hockey since it became an Olympic event in 1998.

The United States captured the first gold in Nagano, Japan, but since then its neighbors to the north have had a stranglehold on the top spot on the podium.

Willie J. Allen Jr./Associated Press

Both women's hockey powers will have an opportunity to size up their biggest competition in pool play, as they are set to meet in the final Group A game on February 15.

There's a good chance both teams will qualify for the semifinals as the top two teams in Group A before February 15, and if that's the case, the winner would most likely face Finland in the semifinals. The winner of Group B, which should be Sweden, is set to take on the second-place team in Group A in the semifinal round.

Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

A third consecutive final between Canada and the United States would be an intriguing affair loaded with storylines, but don't count out 2006 silver medalist Sweden or 2017 World Championships bronze medalist Finland.

         

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Odds obtained from Oddsshark.com.

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