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World Cup of Hockey Semis Preview

Posted by Webster Washington on 9/25/2016 8:36:44 AM

A skilled, experienced hockey team faces off against "the best of the rest" from Europe when Team Sweden and Team Europe clash Sunday for the right to play in the finals of the World Cup of Hockey. The elimination game will be an interesting matchup of style and talent, and a challenge to assess for World Cup of Hockey betting.

The Matchup

Team Sweden has been the disciplined, stingy team we expected. Disciplined, because they always seem to be in the right place at the right time, allowing opponents little space to work. Stingy, because they have Henrik Lundqvist in goal and a deep defensive unit. Team Sweden scored two victories before they ran into the firestorm that is Team North America. They got a 2-0 lead on Team Russia and frustrated them until the final minutes when the Russians nearly tied it. Then they kept the edge on Finland most of the way in a 2-0 victory. The youngsters from North America came with their speed and firepower to squeeze out a 4-3 win in overtime. Lundqvist still had to stop 45 shots in that one.

Team Europe will not present the same kind of scoring potential that either Russia or North America did. But they've scraped up enough good players from eight countries to be dangerous. Just ask the boys from Team USA, who couldn't get it going in a 3-0 loss to Team Europe in the opener. But Europe struggled past Czech Republic and was dominated by Canada in their final group game. The Europeans have played well in the tournament, and they've played enough games to function better as a team. Leon Draisaitl has scored multiple goals, and Jaroslav Halak has been strong in goal.

World Cup of Hockey Betting

Sweden should prevail in a low-scoring game here, but a -1 ½ spread is more like gambling. I would lean toward +1 ½ at a decent figure in World Cup game betting, if you can get it. If a total of 5 comes up, consider the under. If it's 5 ½, take it. A draw in a three-way situation is not beyond the realm of possibility - for the right price. These games have seen a lot of momentum swings, so the live betting should be fun.

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