Ice Hockey Betting: World Championship Semi-Finals

Russia 1.82, the draw 4.45, Finland 3.40

The IIHF’s top two teams go head-to-head in the first semi final, in a match-up many are describing as the title decider. Whoever wins will start the final as favourites, but under no circumstances will it be a formality on Sunday.

Russia were again impressive in their quarter final victory over Norway, justifying their tag as frontrunners at this point. It's always nice when you can recruit one of the game's superstars in Alexander Ovechkin for the knock out rounds and he took little time settling in by grabbing a goal.

Jesse Joensuu scored the winner for Finland with 9 seconds remaining to get them past the USA in dramatic fashion. It was a return to form for the holders after losses in the group. Add in the fact that they beat Russia at this stage last year, and they will be confident of defying the odds. They will again enjoy vocal home support but I can see the home fans going home disappointed this time.

Czech Republic 1.78, the draw 4.60, Slovakia 3.45

These two also netted late in the third period to seal massive results and send home medal favourites Sweden and Canada.

Although they were denied in the semis last year, the Czechs possess the greater pedigree and are looking to take home a medal for the third time in a row. Their advantage in this game lies with their scoring ability, something they must make the most of.

Slovakia, on the other hand, have improved greatly upon their 10th-placed finish in 2011. Making it to the final would be their best result since 2003 and the pressure is off them despite their conquests.

The Czech Republic have really gone up a gear in the last couple of games but I think Slovakia's resilience could steal another unexpected win.