- The United States entered the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship having medalled in four consecutive tournaments for the first time in program history
- Russia’s Grigori Denisenko led last year’s tournament in scoring with nine points in seven games
- Read below for the odds and how to bet on Sunday’s matchup
The U.S. and Russia face off on Sunday (Dec, 29, 1 PM ET) in a key Group B Matchup at IIHF World Junior Championship. The U.S. and Russia are in Group B with Canada, Germany, and the host Czech Republic. Group A has Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and Kazakhstan.
Team USA vs Team Russia Odds
|USA||-1.5 (+180)||-145||Over 6.5 (-130)|
|Russia||+1.5 (-240)||+110||Under 6.5 (EVEN)|
Odds taken Dec. 29.
Team USA only .500 so far at the World Juniors
The U.S. team opened the tournament with a 6-4 loss to Canada in what can only be characterized as a wild game. Ten goals. Six lead changes. Three power play goals from Canada. Plenty of late game drama.
The U.S. continued their Round Robin play with a 6-3 win over Germany on December 27th. The teams went back and forth with goals in the 2nd period before the U.S. took over in the 3rd.
Trevor Zegras’ (Anaheim Ducks) had four assists in that game against Germany while Shane Pinto (Ottawa Senators) netted his third goal of the tourney along with two assists and Dustin Wolf, a Calgary Flames prospect, made 17 saves including some big ones late in the game.
#WorldJuniors: Trevor Zegras is nasty. What a pass to Zac Jones (NYR).
Team USA up 2-1 after 20. Good work by Nick Robertson (TOR) to take advantage of some sloppy German puck management. pic.twitter.com/qU81xDw1o2
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) December 27, 2019
The U.S. now waits for Russia on Sunday. With a 1-1 record and remaining games against Russia and the host Czech Republic, the Americans may find themselves on the outside looking in if they don’t win one of their last two games.
The Russian Bear awakens against the Canadians
Russia was 4-0-0 in round-robin play during the 2019 tournament before losing to the U.S. in the semifinals. Russia has not won a Gold Medal since 2011.
— Russian Prospects (@RUSProspects) December 24, 2019
Russia lost to the host Czech Republic on Thursday. Yegor Zamula, a Philadelphia Flyers Defense prospect, had a pair of goals and Vasili Podkolzin, who is property of the Vancouver Canucks also scored for Russia, last year’s bronze medallists.
Goaltending was an issue as Yaroslav Askarov allowed four goals in two periods of work to take the loss for the Russians. Amir Miftakhov came in to play the third. Askarov has been called one of the best goalie’s in recent memory with comparisons to the Canadiens Carey Price. He is eligible for next year’s NHL Draft.
Russia’s Grigori Denisenko led last year’s tournament in scoring with nine points in seven games. He was selected 15th overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
#WorldJuniors: Russia hands Canada a 6-0 loss — the worst defeat for the Canadians in WJC history.
All 5 teams in Group B are 1-1 in regulation. Believe Russia is in 1st place because they are +5 in goal differential.
U.S. plays Russia tomorrow. Canada vs. Germany on Monday.
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) December 28, 2019
In their second game, Russia took on Canada and crushed the Canadian team 6-0, handing Canada among the worst losses in their 43-year history at the World Junior Championship. With all 5 Group B teams 1-1 at this point in the tournament, Russia should be in first place because of a plus-five goals differential.
The Best Bet
Group B Pool is tough to call at this point with each team sitting with a 1-1 record and two games left to play. The U.S. are favourites to win this game at -145 but have an 8-12-1 record against the Russians in World Junior Championship play. The Russians are the more talented team and are coming off a big win against Canada.
Pick: Team Russia ML (+110), Over 6.5 (-130)
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