Old rivalries will be renewed in 2021 when the Ice Hockey World Championship finally gets underway in Latvia and Belarus. Since the cancellation of the 2020 World Championship in Switzerland, fans and bettors alike have been eagerly awaiting the next big clash of the world’s hockey powerhouses. So if you’re looking for a wager on the upcoming action, check out all the 2021 IIHF World Championship odds on who will lift the silverware at next year’s tournament.
The groups for the 2021 Worlds were set by the 2020 IIHF men’s world ranking, which takes into account the results of World Championships and Olympics over the past four years. Group A, which will play at Minsk Arena in Belarus, consists of Russia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus and Great Britain. North American rivals Canada and the USA will play in Group B at Arena Riga in Latvia. Completing the group will be Finland, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Italy and Kazakhstan.
Riga and Minsk will co-host 2021 World Championship
The 2021 IIHF World Championship will take place from 21 May to 6 June 2021, due to the later start of leagues in Europe and North America. Both countries have previously hosted the event – Latvia in 2006 and Belarus in 2014. Next year’s event will be played in two arenas, the Minsk Arena and Arena Riga, which were both built for these previous Championships. In 2021 the 15,086-seat Minsk Arena, with two practice rinks on site, will be the primary venue. Each city will host one group stage, plus two quarter-final games, while both semi-finals and the medal games will play out in Minsk.
Minsk is the Belarusian capital, with almost two million inhabitants. In 2014 it broke the World Championship attendance record, but this was reclaimed by the Czechs in 2015. Riga, Latvia’s capital, is just a one-hour flight away. It has 640,000 inhabitants and 1.4 million people living within a 100-kilometre radius. The two arenas are currently used by the local KHL teams, Dynamo Minsk and Dinamo Riga. And with seven months to go until the first face-off, you’ll find 2021 IIHF World Championship odds on all countries participating in next years tournament at online gambling sites in Canada.
2021 IIHF World Championship Odds on Canada or Russia for the Gold
At the 2019 World Championship, Finland was the only team to beat Canada, with a roster that featured only two players who had spent any time in the NHL that season. They opened their campaign by handing the Canadians their only loss of the preliminary round. In the quarterfinal, they knocked off two-time defending champions Sweden 4.5. Next, they went on to eliminate an undefeated, star-studded Russia in the semis. And in the final, they did it again. They pulled off a surprise 3-1 defeat of Canada to claim their place as World Champions for only the third time in their history.
Although Canada were down in the dying minutes of the final game against Finland, they had come from behind with late goals to win games against Slovakia 81 and Switzerland 26 earlier in the tournament, and kept the pressure on to the end. But this time Finnish goaltender Kevin Lankinen was there to stop them, and the Canadians had to settle for their second silver since 2017. 2021 IIHF World Championship odds at online bookmakers, however, suggest Canada will come back strong next year. So who are some of the top picks for IIHF World Championship Betting Predictions in 2021?
The Canadians have won the tournament 26 times, their most recent triumphs coming in 2015 and 2016. They have also won 48 medals, including four in the last five years, the most of any nation. And they’re the only team to have reached the semis of the World Championship for the last five years straight. In 2019 they were expected to sweep Finland aside in the final, and the game was a dagger to the hearts of Canadian fans. Most bettors were also a little surprised come the final whistle. But Canada is still number one in the IIHF World Ranking, and DoubleBet Sportsbook are currently giving them 2021 IIHF World Championship odds of 3.5. They certainly have the capability of winning in 2021, and will be aiming for another gold.
You can’t talk about contenders for the IIHF World Championship without mentioning Russia 3.5. To say that Russia is a good team is an understatement. With 27 World Championships to their name, they are a tough proposition in any tournament. They have, however, been suffering a run of low form in recent years. They haven’t won the IIHF Worlds since 2014, but did beat the Czech Republic 13 3-2 in a shootout for bronze in 2019. During the game, Russia was outshot 50-30 through 70 minutes of play, including 10 minutes of sudden death 3-on-3 overtime, but outscored the Czech Republic 2-0 in the shootout. 2021 could also be their year.
The gold in 2019 was the first for the Finns since 2011, a win that also came in Bratislava, Slovakia. And it will go down in history with Finland’s hockey fanatics. Fielding 18 debutants, they were underdogs by a large margin. Very few people, fans or bettors alike, saw it coming. And yet, they dismissed powerhouse Canada in the final, having lost only two games in the entire tournament. Finland 9 are not a team you can ever write off. And online sportsbooks are giving them some fairly generous odds, making them a potentially profitable longshot in 2021. If you want real outsiders, there’s hosts Latvia 101, currently 10th in the IIHF World Ranking, or Belarus 501, ranked 13th. But be sure to check out online sportsbooks in the Canada for complete 2021 IIHF World Championship odds, as well as live betting action when the tournament finally gets underway.