2010 Olympic Hockey BettingThe face of Olympic hockey changed drastically once NHL Commissione Gary Bettman allowed NHL players to represent their country by shutting down the league for two weeks when the Olympics are held. It was a great move by Bettman and the real winners are hockey fans across the globe.
The chance to see Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk on a line together is something many hockey fans will tune into watch.
While Russia may be able to send out the most dynamic line, it is Canada who will send out the most balanced lines, the best defensive pairings and the top goaltending tandem, which is why Canada is favored to win the gold medal. Playing in front of a rabid crowd in Vancouver, B.C., certainly can't hurt the chances of the Canadians, either.
Odds to Win the 2010 Olympic Hockey Gold MedalCanada +125
Czech Republic +1400
Obviously, the sportsbooks are expecting a two-horse race between Canada and Russia, with Sweden getting the nod over the U.S. for being the third-best team.
It's hard to go against Canada to win the gold, especially with the Canadians being above even money. The team doesn't have a weakness, which isn't necessarily the case with the other big three contenders.
This is a case where my heart says U.S., but my head says look for Canada to end to recapture the gold medal and make the home fans happy.