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Canada Closes in On Cup Crown

Posted by Webster Washington on 9/28/2016 6:28:26 AM

Team Canada has been on cruise control throughout the World Cup of Hockey, and just because they're in a finals against a plucky Team Europe, it doesn't mean they should slow up now. They proved that with a 3-1 win in Game 1 of the best of three finals Tuesday night, and now have a chance to clinch on Thursday. But Europe made it close enough to make World Cup of Hockey betting more interesting.

Where They Stand

Going into the finals, the Canadian side had outscored the opposition 19-6 in four tournament games and trailed for only 2:41 in the whole tournament. With Sidney Crosby playing Stanley Cup caliber hockey, the Canadians have used a deep attack and harassing defense to dominate their foes. Crosby's line struck again Tuesday when Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand scored.

But the floodgates never really opened on Europe, the team no one liked to be here. A make-up of players from eight countries, the Europeans have come a long way in a short time. They fought through group play with a single slip against Canada. But after that, they bounced back to upset Sweden in a 3-2 overtime thriller in the elimination game. The Euros play a patient, mistake-free game that features strong defense. They repeated that for the most part Tuesday.

For Europe to win this thing, they'll have to deal with the puck in their own end, which they did much of the time in Game 1. They must contain the play of Crosby and get superior goaltending. Then when they manage to get the puck, they must counter the Canadian fore-checking by getting it out of their own end in decent fashion, and muster up some control in the Canada end.

For Canada to clinch, they simply needed to take advantage of the balance they have and do what they've been doing for the entire tournament.

World Cup of Hockey Betting

For Game 1, Canada was -800 and -500 in the three way. The Canadians also carried a -2½ spread, which paid off for Europe backers, and an under 5½ also brought a winner. Those numbers should be more conservative for Game 2, which could offer an opportunity in World Cup of Hockey betting. But Canada proved on Tuesday they could win even when they're not completely in control. Look for them to make a sweep of it on Thursday, and a -1½ might be worth a look at -120 or better. The over/under is still a tricky proposition with Canada's scoring potential. Again, live betting should offer some bargains.

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