- Sportsbooks list the USA as prohibitive -575 favorites to defeat the Czech Repbulic in Monday’s Group B action at the IIHF World Junior Championship
- The 2-1 Americans are in top spot in Group B after posting successive victories
- Both the Czech Republic and USA have beaten Russia
In what’s looking like it will be a very wide-open IIHF World Junior Championship, both the USA and Czech Republic are very much in the hunt as they clash in Group B action on Monday.
A 3-1 win over Russia on Sunday improved the United States to 2-1 on the tournament and moved them to the top of the table in Group B. Canada, Germany and the Czech Republic are all 1-1, followed by the Russians at 1-2.
Oddsmakers are heavily in the Americans’ corner in terms of the odds on this game. They’ve established Team USA as prohibitive -575 odds-on favorites to win the contest.
Czech Republic vs USA Odds
|Czech Republic||+375||+2.5 (-125)||Over 7.0 (-115)|
|USA||-575||-2.5 (-110)||Under 7.0 (-115)|
Odds taken Dec. 29.
The USA has won five straight from the Czechs, outscoring them 31-5 in the process.
USA Finding Its Footing
Since blowing a 2-0 first-period lead and losing 6-4 to Canada in their opener, the Americans have won two in a row.
The United States displayed offensive balance in a 6-3 victory over Germany. Six different players handled the scoring in that win. During Sunday’s 3-1 verdict over the Russians, goals six seconds apart by Arthur Kaliyev and Nick Robertson tied the tournament record for the fastest two goals in a game.
The Americans display plenty of firepower. Forward Trevor Zegras (0-7-7) shares the tournament scoring lead. Forward Shane Pinto (3-3-6) is one point behind him.
Kaliyev has scored three goals and Robertson has netted a pair.
Vital For Czech Republic To Get Result
The joy of an opening-day 4-3 victory over Russia was quickly deflated when the Czech Republic lost 4-3 to Germany. The host country desperately needs at least one more point to avoid the relegation round, since they would now lose the fourth-place tiebreaker to the Germans.
With Russia’s loss, if Canada wins out the Canadians will top the group. The Americans are well-positioned to finish second. Germany still must play Canada and Russia. The Czechs get the Canadians in their final group stage game.
Special teams could prove decisive. The USA has allowed a tournament-high five power-play goals and is killing penalties at a dismal 64.29 pecent rate. The Czechs are operating at 26.67 percent with the man advantage (4-for-15).
Team USA is clicking at 35.71 percent on the power play (5-for-14). The Czechs have allowed three power-play goals in two games.
Spread Is The Best Bet
The Czechs are unlikely to win this game, and betting the USA at -575 is pointless. But based on the results of games involving these two nations, a spread play on the Czech Republic is enticing.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) December 28, 2019
The Americans won a three-goal game and a two-goal game. They suffered a two-goal setback. The Czechs have played to a pair of one-goal verdicts.
Pick: Czech Repbulic +2.5 (-125)
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