Ice Hockey Betting: World Championship Day One

Canada 1.25 Draw 6.40 Slovakia 8.40

Favourites Canada start their World Championships campaign against Slovakia with the odds weighted firmly in their favour. This will by no means be an easy game for them however as Slovakia are ranked 10th by the IIHF and possess some genuinely quality players. They are also out to make up for their poor showing last year where they failed to make the quarter finals as the hosts.

In their pre-tournament friendlies Canada managed edge out two wins against Switzerland who are ranked lower than Friday's opponents. The best option here could be to back Slovakia with a +2.5 handicap at 1.78.

Belarus 10.00 Draw 7.75 Finland 1.18

Elsewhere in Group A Finland will look to start well against Belarus, as holders and co-hosts there is pressure on them to have a good tournament. Out of the main contenders, they possess the least high profile players but as last year showed it is not all about getting your NHL talent on the ice for these tournaments.

Belarus are a well-coached team who will compete hard so I can see this game being relatively low scoring, you can get 1.72 on their being fewer than 5.5 total goals.

Sweden 1.13 Draw 9.00 Norway 13.50

Switching to Group B there will be plenty of Nordic rivalry as co-hosts Sweden play neighbours Norway in their first game of the tournament. Although Norway can't match the hockey pedigree of their opponents they are still a team rated 9th in the World and made the quarter finals in 2011.

A home crowd can make a big difference in a tournament like this and that is why many people are tipping Sweden to win. I can't see anything other than a win for them in this game and that is why they are overwhelming favourites, there are odds of 1.72 on more than 1.5 goals in the first period.