- Team USA is listed as -300 moneyline favorites to beat Finland on Thursday, January 2
- Patrik Puistola the 18-year-old Finnish sniper ranks second in tournament scoring with four goals and three assists in three games
- Read below for the odds and how to bet on Thursday’s matchup
Team USA and Team Finland square off in the quarterfinals of the 2020 World Junior Championships. The game takes place at 11:30 am EST on January 2. Team USA (8 points) finished second in Group B pool play while Team Finland finished third in Group A pool play with seven points. Team USA is a strong -300 favorite.
Team USA vs Team Finland Odds
|Finland||+1.5 (-110)||+240||Over 6.5 (-140)|
|U.S.A.||-1.5 (-115)||-300||Under 6.5 (+105)|
Odds taken Jan. 2
Team USA With Dramatic Overtime Win Against the Czech Republic
There was no shortage of drama in the final preliminary game for the U.S. as Cole Caufield scored the game-winning goal with 1:46 remaining in overtime to push the Team USA past the Czech Republic, 4-3. Caufield, a first round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, worked a beautiful play with Alex Turcotte.
— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) December 30, 2019
The Czech Republic had taken a 2-1 lead into the second period before Arthur Kaliyev appeared to tie it for the U.S. but the goal was disallowed. After an official review, it was confirmed that Kaliyev’s shot had crossed the goal line, and the game was tied 2-2.
Team USA made it 3-2 as Trevor Zegras completed a spinning pass across the Czech crease and onto the stick of Jack Drury. Zegras has nine assists so far in the tournament, tying him fourth all-time in U.S. tournament history. Zegras is a first round pick of the Anaheim Ducks and has a promising NHL future ahead of him.
With one goal disallowed in the third period for goalie interference on Team USA’s Spencer Knight, Czech Republic’s Petr Cajka put a rebound past Knight score with 11:19 left to play in the third to tie the game at three.
Team Finland Looking for Second Straight Gold at the World Juniors
With a gold medal at the 2019 tournament and a berth in the quarters in 2020, Team Finland is back to defend its title. They finished third in Group A behind Sweden and Switzerland, a surprise considering Finland won last year.
Switzerland upset Finland 5-2 on New Year’s Eve to finish second in Group A and move on to a quarterfinal matchup with Russia on January 2nd.
The Finnish team should have some time to collect its thoughts after the upset loss to Switzerland, and with Colorado Avalanche prospect Justus Annunen in goal they have a shot to beat the Americans. Annunen was pummelled for 38 shots by the Swiss though.
Finland does have Patrik Puistola’s, an 18-year-old sniper, who ranks second in tournament scoring (4/3) in three games behind American Trevor Zegras, and boasts the top points-per-game average (2.33) prior to New Year’s Eve action.
The Carolina Hurricanes draft choice has had a strong tournament, dominating opposing teams in stretches and looking like he will have a bright future with the Hurricanes.
USA vs Finland Heat-to-Head
|2.6||Goals Per Match||2.8|
The U.S. and Finland have met in the quarterfinal round of the World Juniors twice, with the U.S. winning both contests — 6-2 in 2010 and 6-3 in 2007.
The Best Bet
With the upset Finland faced at the hands of the Swiss team, they don’t look as strong as they did last year in Vancouver. The USA is looking primed for the quarterfinal after coming off a dramatic win against the Czech Republic and wants to avenge their loss to Finland in the Gold Medal game in 2019.
Pick: Team USA ML (-300), Under 6.5 (+105)
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