Who said hockey season was done? The World Junior Championship — for players 20 years and younger — runs from August 9 to August 20. For a complete betting guide to the 2022 World Junior Championship tourney, you’ll want to read this article entirely through because we have odds, picks, and more!
2022 World Junior Championship Preview
Any preview of the 2022 World Junior Championship has to mention delays. That’s because this tournament was initially planned for late December of 2021. COVID-19 outbreaks led to it being cancelled a few games after it started and rescheduled for this summer. We’re not complaining about getting ice hockey betting opportunities this year.
The sight of the U-20 tournament is Edmonton and Red Deer — the same two cities that co-hosted the 2021 event, only it was behind closed doors. As a “make-up” of sorts, the IIHF re-awarded hosting duties to the Alberta cities rather than Gothenburg (the initially scheduled host).
As per usual, the top-ten ranked nations compete for the title. It all begins with a group stage (five teams a piece). In the conclusion of it, the top-four nations of each group advance. From here, it’s a single-elimination style for eight teams until a champion is crowned.
Initially, Russia was going to take part in the event. But once they invaded Ukraine, they were expelled and replaced with Latvia. Here are the other teams playing and what groups they are organized into, starting with Group A:
Group B includes:
In the eyes of the most popular betting sites, only a select few of the above countries are legit threats to win the tournament. Take a look at the current World Junior Championship odds and notice how “top-heavy” the lines are:
Betting Picks To Win 2022 World Junior Championship
Alright, we’ll be splitting our betting money on two different countries here. Making at least two betting picks on the 2022 World Junior Championship is a viable strategy in a notoriously unpredictable sport. With that said, here’s the two teams we’re eying:
Picking Canada to win an international hockey event is almost a no-brainer. Historically speaking, the hockey-crazed country usually dominates tournaments like this and World Juniors is no exception. Its 18 gold medals won is a record for this event — and five better than the next-best country, Russia.
Though, its title hopes were dealt a blow when 2022 fourth overall pick, Shane Wright, opted to prepare for Seattle’s NHL training camp rather than represent his home nation. Wright was going to play in the originally-scheduled tourney, but is now out. But despite being without its best player (and perhaps of the whole bracket), the Canadians remained abundant in talent.
On offense, Canada is still well-balanced. In particular, look out for Mason McTavish to do damage all-tourney long. He racked up five points in the December event before it was canceled. He’s a game-changing talent that’s led his country to gold before — Team Canada won at the 2021 U18 World Championships.
Like the best Las Vegas sportsbooks that have pegged Canada as runaway favorites to win, we’re also aboard the bandwagon. Take that even-money betting line right now before it loses value once the tourney starts (and presumably, Canada begins winning in dominant fashion).
If there’s one team that could play spoils to the home-ice Canadians, then it’s Sweden. No, not the Americans (who upset Canada in the 2021 final) which may surprise some bettors. We like Sweden over the USA because of one player: Jesper Wallstedt.
He will be defending the net for the Swedish and Wallstedt might be the best player at the goaltender position in the whole tournament. The Minnesota Wild drafted Wallstedt in the first round of the 2021 Draft. He hasn’t played a whole lot, but his talent is evident. Unlike many other goaltenders expected to start at World Juniors, Wallstedt actually has experience with this competition— appearing in two games at the 2021 championship.
It may take a Herculean effort from Wallstedt to stop Canada’s high-octane attack, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. That’s why Sweden is the perfect backup bet here.
How To Bet & Watch 2022 World Junior Championship?
Who is winning the 2022 World Junior Championship is just one bet currently available. There’s a litany of more once you account for the individual matchups and the assortment of bets for each — moneyline, puck line, and over/under. To get a full list of World Junior bets, check out one of the betting sites we’ve listed underneath. Like the countries participating in the tourney, these bookies are also the “best of the best.” Your gambling money is in safe hands with these trusted and safe betting sites.
Last thing before we let you go: the NHL Network will have complete coverage of the World Junior Championship. Every single matchup will be live-aired in the fledgling channel. Knowing this, you have zero excuse for not making money off of this. You have our betting advice, sportsbook recommendations, and full viewing details — so get to it!
Eric has had a deep love for sports since the age of 10. This love has driven him to choose a career in sports journalism, where he covered different sporting events, from high school games to professional leagues, over the course of several years. Today, Eric channels his sports passion into betting and when not sharing his betting expertise here, you can find him at a sportsbook.