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USA vs Slovakia World Juniors Odds, Prediction, and How to Watch

Chris Wassel

by Chris Wassel in News

Updated Dec 28, 2022 · 10:47 AM PST

Team USA defenseman Luke Hughes skates with the puck
Michigan defenseman Luke Hughes (43) skates with the puck during the Michigan-Notre Dame NCAA hockey game on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at Compton Family Ice Arena in South Bend, Indiana. Michigan Vs Notre Dame
  • Team USA goes up against Slovakia this Wednesday afternoon in Group B play on December 28th
  • The Americans are currently 10-point betting favorites against the Slovakians in the World Juniors odds
  • Read below for USA vs Slovakia odds, puck line and prediction for this group stage matchup

Team USA and Team Slovakia clash at the 2023 World Juniors on Wednesday, December 28. Faceoff is set for just after 4:00 PM ET at Avenir Arena (Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada), and the game will be live on NHL Network. Now, both teams are trying to end their season on a solid note.

The Americans are currently a three-goal betting favorite and the total is set at 6.5 for this contest. When it comes to the USA, matchups like this illustrate just how big of a favorite they are.

Let’s look at the USA vs Slovakia odds and offer you our best bets and prediction.

USA vs Slovakia Odds

Team Puck Line Moneyline Total
USA -3 (+105) -1000 Over 6.5 (-115)
Slovakia +3 (-140) +525 Under 6.5 (-115)

Odds as of December 28th at BetMGM Sportsbook. Get the BetMGM promo code for USA vs Slovakia. 

Team USA is -1000 on the moneyline, giving them a 90.91% implied probability to win.


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USA Started Out A Little Slow

Unfortunately, Head Coach Rand Pecknold feared the Americans may start out a little slow in this tournament. It has been a bit of a theme for the favorites. Consider, Finland lost their opener against Switzerland in overtime. Canada saw Czechia stun them by beating the favorites at their own game — special teams.

Yes, the Americans broke out with five goals over the final 40 minutes erasing a scoreless first period. That included tighter defense as Team USA held the Latvians without a goal during the third period.

Now, that rough start quickly got tempered as Luke Hughes would score from what looked like the Canadian border in the third period. Again, these are Under-20 aged players. Momentum and emotion play integral roles as much as the on-ice product. It does not take much.

The key for the Americans remains keep things simple. Do not get over your heads. They are favored with Finland to be at the top of Group B when all is said and done.  Part of that stems from leadership from players like Hughes, Red Savage, and Chaz Lucius. All three have been here before and all three played scoring roles on Monday versus Latvia in the 5-2 win.

If the USA lowers its mistakes and gets off to a faster start, the Americans should not expect much resistance from the Slovaks.

Slovakia Had Higher Hopes

Peter Repcik provided the offense for Slovakia in a game where they looked in awe of the Finnish team early. As a matter of fact, Slovakia failed to record a shot until the midway point of the first period. Yes, they picked up the pace afterward, but too many times the Slovaks chased the puck instead of battling. At even strength, Finland looked more determined and much stronger.

Yes, the country had higher hopes and the possibility of trying to medal in this tournament. However, the reality looks like their best may be third in Group B.

This game begs a big question. Can Slovakia spring an upset at some point during this tournament? Unlike the Olympics where the country won the Bronze, it appears the Slovaks possess little depth aside from players like Simon Nemec, Repcik, etc. Goaltending was problematic in the first contest too. Patrik Andrisek inspired little confidence from Coach Ivan Fenes. Matej Marinov played okay.

Guess what the Slovaks face on Wednesday? They are up against a motivated American team who wants to get off to a faster start.

Simply, Slovakia must ratchet up their intensity. The Americans saw what Finland did to them early with the physical play. Team USA expects to only intensify their play from here. Can the Slovaks find the answer at even strength?

USA vs Slovakia Prediction

Most pundits have Team USA comfortably winning on the moneyline. Any team that has a 90% or greater chance of victory is a very solid favorite. Now, how about that spread or the Over/Under on Wednesday afternoon?

Given how the Slovaks appeared disorganized at 5-on-5, this game could become a runaway late.

Finally, the USA laying three goals looks like a potential push. The thought process is they could win by a three or four-goal margin. Even the over is close, but the Americans possess the offense to score five times or more.

Picks:  Team USA -3 (+105), Over 6.5 (-115)


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