If there’s a clear-cut favorite for gold in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, it’s the Canadians. The ungodly depth at forward plus the mobility on defense plus goaltending that should be good enough to backstop a champion. I don't think it's close, but that could just be me being an American attempting to over-inflate Canada's tires until they burst.
But Bovada, in its latest Olympic hockey odds, makes Canada the co-favorite with host Russia at 11-to-5.
It makes sense if you ascribe to the idea that the host nation is going to thrive in their Games, which is something that’s held true for the last 30 years whether we’re talking direct host city (Vancouver for Canada) or in the vicinity (Lillehammer for Sweden). Factor in the international ice surface and the fact that the Russian goaltending might not be abjectly terrible, and there’s some reason for optimism … even if the expectations for the team will inevitably crush their resolve.
Sweden is a 9-to-2 while the U.S. is at 6-to-1. That’s a fair number for the Americans given the strength of Group A.
The Olympic medal odds:
Men’s Gold Medal
Czech Republic 9/1
Man, give us Finland at 12-to-1 with that goaltending …