With the Men’s World Cup mere weeks away, ice hockey fans around the world are also anticipating one of the most exciting betting opportunities of the year. The setup of the tournament, the teams, and the World Cup atmosphere creates an even more interesting betting atmosphere than usual. Not least because the honor of our nations is at stake.
The next big event for American ice hockey is the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship, which is going to take place in Finland. The tournament will start on May 13 and continue through to May 29.
The tournament will be a big event for fans and bettors as the most skilled ice hockey players from all around the world are put together to play for pride, glory, and the people’s hearts. Favorable bets, and casino games such as those available at Casinofrog, bring the tournament close to home for those who are unable to see the games live in Finland.
Team USA will compete hard for the medals
Team USA has been a historically strong ice hockey team and is part of the “big six” nations within ice hockey together with Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, and Sweden. However, it has been 40 years since their last global gold medal in 1980. Since then, the team has collected two Olympic silver medals (2002, 2010) and five World Cup bronze medals (1996, 2004, 2013, 2015, 2018, 2021).
Fair to say, Team USA will be looking to break that streak and place higher on the medal pedestal. Their official IIHF ranking this year is as number four, which hopefully will further the team’s sense of being on the chase and striving higher to prove them wrong.
Why is the World Cup a more exciting betting opportunity than other events?
The World Cup, similarly, to other big international events such as the Olympic games, are interesting for betting purposes in more than one way.
National pride and purpose
First, they present a different emotional attribute for the bettor. The game depends on your nations honor and reputation, in a way. Therefore, there are two main ways that national pride affects betting.
One, bettors are more likely to bet on their own nation out of hope and national pride, rather than out of analytical enterprises and predictions. Two, the players themselves might feel a different sort of motivation while representing their country contra their team, which might affect their regular, analytical-friendly behaviors on the ice.
Second, the team setups create a different dynamic for both players and bettors. Whenever a player has to represent their country, they are put in a team with a bunch of other players with whom they might only share nationality. By not playing year-round for the same team, they might have different ways of practicing, communicating, and playing.
Therefore, the players themselves are not disorganized, but the setup of the team dynamic might not be as wholesome as whenever there is a clear team contract and leadership. The same goes for the leadership team – the coaches for national teams can sometimes be selected for that particular event, which might cause discomfort and confusion amongst both the leadership and the bettors.
So, what does this mean for the betting odds? Most importantly, it makes the teams more unpredictable as it is a compound of players from teams all over the world. It is harder to analyze the teams’ strength as there is little common data due to the lower frequency of country-based competition.
Groups and schedules
Team USA has been granted a spot in Group B together with Latvia (who they will meet in their first game on May 13), host-nation Finland, Czechia, Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, and Austria. In Group A we find Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Italy, and France. The four best teams from each group will continue into the playoffs.
Team USA will play their group matches as follows:
- May 13: USA vs Latvia, 9:20AM EST
- May 15: USA vs Austria, 9:20AM EST
- May 16: USA vs Finland, 1:20PM EST
- May 19: USA vs Great Britain, 9:20AM EST
- May 21: USA vs Sweden, 5:20AM EST
- May 23: USA vs Czechia, 9:20AM EST
- May 24: USA vs Norway, 9:20AM EST
This schedule may be subject to chance. All timetables and scheduled matches can be found with more information on the official International Ice Hockey Federation webpage.