The NHL may have paused its season temporarily due to new COVID outbreaks, but the show goes on for the IIHF World Junior Championships. This tournament runs between December 16 and January 5 — with fans expected to attend in a limited capacity. I’m this article, we’re making expert betting predictions for the 2022 World Junior Championships, specifically which country is taking gold.
Speaking of which, the top NHL online sportsbooks have futures odds available right now on who wins gold. As it stands, these five countries below are most favored to win it all:
2022 World Junior Championships Preview
The U-20 tournament will once again be staged in Edmonton and Red Deer this time. The cities co-hosted the 2021 event, only it was behind closed doors. As a “make-up” of sorts, the IIHF re-awarded hosting duties to the Alberta cities rather than Gothenburg (the originally scheduled host). But hey speaking of 2021, we should probably begin our 2022 World Juniors preview there.
The bubble-played tournament ended with all the usual suspects in the “final four” — Canada, Finland, Russia, and the USA. Canada blew out Russia in one semi-final before USA outlasted Finland 4-3 in the other. For the gold medal, USA shutout Canada 2-0 in a somewhat of a surprise finish capping the chaotic 2021 event.
The 2022 edition will function no differently than previous years. Ten countries will participate in it with groups of five splitting them apart. After round-robin play, the top-eight will qualify for the playoff bracket. From there, it’s win-or-go-home format until the gold winner is decided in the finale.
Here’s how the groups are split into. Group A consists of the following nations:
- Czech Republic
Group B includes:
- United States
2022 World Junior Championships Betting Picks
Did you notice the headline above is plural, not singular? Indeed, we’re making 2022 World Junior Championship picks — not one, but two. Why? Because as we mentioned before, the threat of COVID-19 looms. What if a star player catches the virus? He could miss major stretches of the tournament. Or worse, what if an entire team suffers a breakout that forces multiple players to sit out games? All of those scenarios are on the table, which means you need to practice risk management when making bets like futures.
Making multiple bets is EXACTLY how you should manage risk. And at these steep odds, you can afford to make two bets and still be profitable in the end (with one right choice, of course). With that said, here are the two countries we’re backing to win:
Chances for the United States
No team has won consecutive championships at this tourney since Canada won five straight from 2005-09. So history is certainly not on the US’ side, but talent sure is. Many holdovers from last year’s roster — Matty Beniers (Seattle Kraken), Brett Berard (New York Rangers), and Landon Slaggert (Chicago Blackhawks), amongst others — will be back in the mix. Don’t overlook that experience factor when betting.
We mean, the tourney is only three weeks long to begin with. And the short exhibition season was trimmed even more due to complications of COVID. Therefore, gelling quickly as a team will be a serious advantage — one the United States will be able to exploit with many returnees. We’re betting on them and not even thinking twice about it!
Chances for Canada
Being as the USA was our first pick and they’re in Group B, we had to make our second betting choice one from Group A. And in that five-country group, you can’t go wrong with Canada. Heck, you can’t go wrong betting with the Canadians in any type of international hockey event. Period. They dominate this sport for a reason, evident by its 18 gold medals at this event — most in history and five more than next-best Russia.
On paper, the Canadians have the best roster. Heck, its roster of players cut from selection camp — including the likes of Luke Evangelista (Nashville Predators) and Hendrix Lapierre (Washington Capitals) — would be starters on many countries participating. And I’m the end, you can’t go wrong with betting on sheer talent to win out and that’s definitely Canada. A two-bet approach with USA and Canada is smart in this tournament, all things considered.
How To Bet On Hockey World Junior Championship?
Since the IIHF tourney isn’t as “mainstream” as, say, the Stanley Cup Finals, not all online bookies will allow you to bet on the ice hockey world junior championship. However, the betting sites listed below most certainly will. These bookmakers are industry leaders in part because of their diverse betting menus, which include everything from the IIHF championships to rugby to cricket.
But here’s another great reason to bet at these bookmakers: they have multiple sign-up bonuses available right now. New players that take advantage of these bonuses could earn hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play — no strings attached. With that money, you can effectively bet on the junior championships for free. So what are you waiting for? Click the table below to redeem your money!