Ice Hockey Betting: World Championship Third Place Play-Off and Final


Finland 1.87, the draw 4.60, Czech Republic 3.15

It's the game nobody wants to play in, but for Finland and the Czech Republic there is still a shiny bronze medal to play for. On the back of such disappointing displays in their respective semi finals, it could be hard for the coaches to get their teams up for this, but Finland in particular have no excuses in front of a home crowd. That said, the Czechs have had the better tournament and represent better value.

Russia 1.36, the draw 5.70, Slovakia 6.40

Unfancied and outgunned, is the stage set for an unlikely Slovakia triumph? It'll be a tough ask to do it against a Russian team that powered its way to the final with a 6-2 thrashing of Finland yesterday. At times during this tournament they have been devastating going forward and have swept their supposed equals aside with some style. Their guys at the back have had to be good too, with Semyon Varlamov consistent between the pipes and captain Ilya Nikulin leading the team excellently.

Slovakia may have needed a great display from their goalie Jan Laco to get them past the Czech Republic, but they did restrict their opponents largely to outside shots rather than quality scoring chances. Much of the same will be needed today but it might not be enough against Russia's forwards, who can hurt you from anywhere. Whatever happens, they have played a huge part in this competition and have put themselves back amongst the elite after a poor few years.

I can't see Russia failing to come away with the gold medal at the end of this. They simply have too much for Slovakia to be able to contain.