- Russia and Sweden are even on the moneyline at -110
- Sweden’s Nils Hoglander leads the World Juniors with 10 points in five games. Teammate Samuel Fagemo sits second in scoring at six goals and three assists for nine points
- Read below for the odds and how to bet on Thursday’s matchup
It’s down to the final four as Team Russia and Team Sweden go head to head in the semifinals of the 2020 World Junior Championships. The game takes place at 9;00 am EST on January 4. The Russians advanced with a 3-1 win over Switzerland while Team Sweden blanked the host Czech Republic 5-0. The two teams are even on the moneyline at -110.
Team Russia vs Team Sweden Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline||Total at Bovada|
|Russia||-1.5 (+240)||-110||Over 5.5 (-105)|
|Sweden||+1.5 (-335)||-110||Under 5.5 (-125)|
Odds taken Jan. 4
Team Russia Dominates Switzerland in the Quarterfinal
Team Russia outshot the Swiss 36-15 en route to a 3-1 win at Werk Arena in Trinec. The Russian’s had beat Switzerland in last year’s bronze medal game and now stand in the final four. They have not won gold at the World Juniors since 2011.
Russia’s Dmitri Voronkov scored two power-play goals in the game and will be a threat to score in the semis as well. Selected in 2019 as a 4th round pick #114 overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Voronkov, a 19-year-old, is listed at 6’4” and 190 pounds. He was ranked as the #50 European skater by NHL central scouting. Voronkov is tied for 12th in tournament scoring with six points and a +8 rating.
— Alison (@AlisonL) June 22, 2019
Alexander Khovanov also had a goal and an assist as Team Russia could not get its power play going prior to that, even in their 6-0 pounding of Canada in the round-robin. They did go 3-for-5 against Germany and 2-for-7 against the Swiss.
Goaltender Yaroslav Askarov made 14 saves for the win. Askarov, a top prospect eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, had a 2.51 GAA and 89.3 save percentage coming into the game but was strong for Russia in net. Some say Askarov will be the next Carey Price fetching even a Top 10 NHL Entry Draft Pick. He will have to bring his A-game against Team Sweden.
Team Sweden Rolls Over Host Czech Republic
With the top tournament point-getter in Nils Hoglander, the Swedes had little trouble in beating the Czech Republic 5-0 in their quarterfinal matchup.
Nils Hoglander makes it 3-0 with his 2nd of the game and 5th of the tournament.
He's now tied for the tournament lead with 9 points. #WorldJuniors
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) January 2, 2020
Hoglander, a 2019 Round 2 selection, 40th overall by the Vancouver Canucks, had two goals and an assist to pace the Swedes to the 5-0 win. Sweden also has Samuel Fagemo, who sits second in scoring at six goals and three assists for nine points.
The Swedes had built a 3-0 lead 45 seconds into the second period and that had many feeling like the game was over at that point.
Czech goalie Lukas Dostal did not help his own cause on the second goal as the Swedes cleared the puck the length of the ice while shorthanded and Dostal mishandled it behind his own goal. The puck was left sitting in the Czech crease and that allowed Sweden to tap it in for an easy short-handed play.
Sweden vs Russia Head-to-Head
|1st Group A||Pool Play Finish||3rd Group B|
|20||Goals For Per Game||16|
|8||Goals Against Per Game||8|
|9||Penalty Minutes Per Game||18|
The Best Bet
It’s a tough call for this game with the moneyline even at -110 for both teams. That being said Sweden has been such a dominant team in this tournament with 11 points and a first-place finish in Group A. They also hold a 20:8 ratio in goals for and against and boast the tournament’s top two scorers.
Pick: Team Sweden ML (-110), Spread +1.5 (-335)
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