Canadians Have Dominated World Event
All roads to the medal podium at the world men’s curling championship go through Canada.
The team from north of the border has won the last two titles and five of the last eight.
Skip Brad Gushue — along with third Mark Nichols, second Brent Gallant and lead Geoff Walker — won the trophy last year in Edmonton, Alta. Canada beat Sweden and skip Niklas Edin in the final. Edin, who won this event in 2013 and 2015, is making an eighth world championship appearance this year. This is Gushue’s second.
The Canadian team is the heavy favorite (-140) to repeat again in 2018 at the 8,000-seat Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, which is located about a mile west of the Aria and Monte Carlo resorts on the iconic Strip (odds provided by Bovada).
The event — which will be held from March 31 to April 8 — is visiting the famous city for the first time. The Seattle team of skip Greg Persinger, third Rich Ruohonen, second Colin Hufman and lead Philip Tilker represent the United States (+700) in the 13-country tournament. It is their first team appearance at a world championship.
This will be the ninth time the U.S. has hosted a world curling event. The most recent was in Grand Forks, N.D., in 2008. Kevin Martin and his team from Canada won that title.
The 13 teams play each other once in the round-robin for a total of 12 games each.
The top six teams will qualify for the playoffs, rather than four as in previous tournaments. The teams ranked first and second automatically qualify for the semifinals, while the lower seeds will battle it out in the quarter-finals. The bronze- and gold-medal games will be held on April 8.
Forty Years Since U.S. Last Won Title
The last team from the United States to win the gold medal was the foursome skipped by Bob Nichols in 1978. In the 58 world championships since 1959, the U.S. has won four gold, five silvers and 13 bronze.
- Most gold medals: Canada — 36
- Most silver medals: Scotland — 20
- Most bronze medals: United States — 13
- Most total medals: Canada — 52 (36-9-7)
Canadians Odds-On Favorites In Opener
Betting is offered on each individual game in the 18-draw tournament (odds provided by Bovada). In the above example, Canada is favored to beat Russia by 3.5 points. That is called the point spread. Gushue’s team is -2500 to win the game on the money line, while Russia is +1000. And the betting line for the total points scored by both teams in the game is 12.5.
Point spread: If you pick Canada to win this game by more than 3.5 points (-190), say for example an 8-4 score, you have a winning ticket to cash. You would have to bet $190 to make a profit of $100, for a return of $290.
If you pick Russia to win this game or lose by less than 3.5 points (+150), say for example an 8-5 score, you would also have a winning ticket to cash. If you bet $100 on Russia, you would get your $100 bet plus $150 profit for a return of $250.
Money line: Canada is the prohibitive pick to win its opening-round game. You would have to bet $2,500 to make a profit of $100 on the money line, which is a bet where you simply just pick the winner of the event. A Russian victory would earn you $1,100 for a $100 bet ($100 bet plus $1,000 profit).
Over/under: The betting line is set at 12.5 points. This bet is the result of points scored by both teams. The winner of the game has nothing to do with the outcome of over/under.
For the Russians to have a chance against Canada, they must keep the scoring low and few rocks in play.
VGB’s pick — Under (-12.5)