- Czech Republic and Sweden meet in the Quarterfinals of the IIHF World Junior Championship
- Sweden has won 52 straight games in the round robin at the tournament
- They ranked first in both goals for and goals against while the Czech Republic were seventh in the two categories
The IIHF World Junior Championship has reached the do or die stage with four Quarterfinal matchups scheduled for Thursday, January 2. The host Czech’s will face unbeaten Sweden with a chance at the medal round on the line.
Czech Republic vs Sweden Odds
|Czech Republic||+2.5 (-125)||+400||Over 7.0 (-115)|
|Sweden||-2.5 (-110)||-550||Under 7.0 (-115)|
Odds taken Jan. 1.
Sweden finished the opening round with four victories giving them 52 straight in the round robin stage. The good news for the Czech Republic? Sweden hasn’t been nearly as successful deep in the tournament as they have been early. The bad news? Sweden enters the game with much more impressive numbers and the much better roster.
Stats Suggest Sweden Could Win Easy
Check a stat and you’ll see an advantage for the Swedes: goals, goals against, power play percentage, penalty kill percentage, it all skews in favor of the top seed.
|12 (7th)||Goals||20 (1st)|
|18 (7th)||Goals Against||8 (1st)|
|28% (5th)||PP Percentage||40% (2nd)|
|66.7% (8th)||PK Percentage||84.6% (3rd)|
Sweden has been the most well balanced team in the tournament. They’ve scored the most goals, allowed the fewest and both special teams units rank inside the top 3. Comparatively, the Czech’s stats rank just above the teams headed to the relegation round of the tournament. The reality is they’re better than the bottom feeders but not by much. They’re one of only two teams still remaining in the tournament that have a negative goal differential.
Dynamic Duo of Hoglander & Fagemo Will Shine for Sweden
Nils Hoglander has taken the tournament by storm with his offensive creativity. He scored a lacrosse style goal and then tried the creative flip over the net in Sweden’s last game. He’s more than just a trick style artist however, tallying 3 goals and 4 assists which has him tied for second in tournament scoring. Hoglander was selected 40th overall by the Vancouver Canucks last year and is absolutely a player worth watching as the tournament progresses.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) December 26, 2019
Teammate Samuel Fagemo was taken 10 spots later in the same draft by the Los Angeles Kings and he’s been just as productive. While he also has 7 points, 6 of Fagemo’s have been goals which has him ranked first in that individual category. Considering Czech Republic ranked seventh allowing 18 goals in four games, I would imagine both Hoglander and Fagemo will factor into the result of this game in a big way.
Sweden Puck Line is the Most Intriguing Play
Sweden has done a good job keeping the puck out of their own net and it’s tough to ask them to get the bulk of the eight goals needed to hit the over, so I’d avoid the total here. Betting Sweden on the moneyline doesn’t help much so it’s the puck line that deserves your attention. I’m taking Sweden to win and win easy and with the -2.5 line almost even money. It’s the most intriguing play. Bet on the Swedes to continue their winning ways in this one and possibly deeper into the tournament depending how the other Quarterfinal matchups play out.
Pick: Sweden -2.5 (-110)
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