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Who'll Challenge Canada for World Cup

Posted by Webster Washington on 8/28/2016 6:28:27 AM

Imagine going out on the ice and facing a line of Sidney Crosby, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. Oh, and when they go off, here come Steven Stamkos, Jamie Benn and Joe Thornton. Ugh boy.

That may not be how the actual lines shake out, but the gist is, Canada's World Cup of Hockey team is loaded with talent. The Canadians are the deserving favorites in World Cup of Hockey betting based on that talent and the fact that they have won most of the international tournaments lately. They also have a barn full of defensemen and three top-flight goalkeepers. Of course, other teams in the event have plenty of good players. Here are teams that could give Team Canada a run for their money:

Team Sweden

The sweaters of Tre Kronor (three crowns) will be worn by 23 players from NHL rosters, led by forwards Nicklas Backstrom, Filip Forsberg and Carl Hagelin. But defense may be the mainstay of this team. Eric Karlsson and Anton Stralman head up those units, and with Henrik Lundqvist in goal, the Swedes will be hard to score on.

Team Russia

If you need to go further than Alex Ovechkin to assess the Russian talent, try his Washington Capitals teammate, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko. They maybe the deepest in scoring, but slightly weaker on defense, with a trio of second flight goal keepers.

Team USA

Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is the leader of the American team, and he has plenty of help, what with Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski and Derek Stepan aboard. Ben Bishop and Jonathan Quick will share in goal.

World Cup of Hockey Betting

Don't short Team Finland and Jussi Jokinen, and watch to see the energy and potential of the 23-and-under stars of Team North America. But Canada gets the nod as the favorite in World Cup of Hockey betting futures, and I wouldn't blame anyone for going ahead and taking them at +110 to win it all. If you like an upset, Sweden would be a good choice at +450. When we get to actual matchups, consider unders in Sweden games, and overs with the Russians. The warmup games begin on Sept. 8, and group play starts on Sept. 17.

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