The Ice Hockey World Championship is an annual ice hockey competition for men’s national teams which is organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation. It was first held at the 1920 Summer Olympics and became an individual event in 1930.
The current World Championship is composed of 16 teams from the championship group, 12 teams from Division I and 12 teams from Division II. The world championship is battled by the championship group with the teams divided into groups of 8 who play a round-robin group stage. The Top 8 teams in the standings advance to the knockouts stages until one team remains standing.
The 2020 IIHF World Championship will be held in Switzerland from May 8-24, 2020. Last May, the Groups for the championship division were confirmed. Canada is in Group along with Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, and Great Britain. On the other hand, current champions Finland lead Group B and are joined by Russia, the United States, Switzerland, Latvia, Norway, Italy, and Kazakhstan. Belarus and Kazakhstan joined Division I after their promotion.
Finland is the current World Champions, having beaten Canada in the 2019 Final. Canada is the winningest country in the World Championship with a total of 26 titles. The former Soviet Union won 22 world titles while Russia has 5. Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic each have six while Sweden has won a total of 11 championships.
Here are the odds to win the 2020 hockey World Championships. Odds were taken from TitanBet as of 7/25/19:
|The United States||+900|
Who Are The Favorites?
Canada is the IIHF’s top-ranked hockey nation with a total of 3705 points after the 2019 Hockey World Cup. The Canadians won the silver medal in 2019, finishing one point behind new champions Finland with 23 points in the top division’s Group A table. Canada is the most successful national ice hockey team with 26 wins in the World Cup, 9 Olympic gold medals, and winners of the 2004 and 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Russia is the #2 ranked team in the IIHF and was the bronze medalist at the 2019 World Cup, finishing on top of Group B with 21 points and going unbeaten in seven games. Russia proceeded to defeat the United States 4-3 in the quarterfinals before bowing out 1-2 against the would-be champions Finland in the semifinals. Russia has won a total of 5 World Championships and one Olympic gold medal.
Sweden fell from #2 in the IIHF rankings to #4, tied neighbor Finland with 3615 points. The Swedes finished 3rd in Group B of the 2019 world championships and advanced to the quarterfinals where they were defeated, 4-5 in overtime by Finland. Sweden has won a total of 11 World Championships, the last of which was in 2018. They are the only team to win the World Championship and Olympics in the same year, doing so in 2006.
Finland is the #3 team in the IIHF rankings. Finland won the 2019 IIHF World Championships, their third win at the tournament overall. Finland finished second in Group A to advance to the quarterfinals. In the knockout stages, they defeated Sweden, Russia and then Canada to become world champions for the first time since 2011.
The United States finished 4th in Group A and were seeded 7th in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Ice Hockey World Championship. They faced Russia and lost 3-4. The Americans have won just twice in the World Championship, doing so in 1933 and 1960. They have also won the Olympics twice and the World Cup in 1966.
Canada and Russia are the top hockey betting favorites to win the 2020 IIHF Hockey World Cup. The Russians are eager to win a major title as they last won in 2014. Canada won back to back titles in 2015 and 2016. Since then, Sweden and Finland have won the most recent three. Even though these two nations are on top of the current odds board right now, the competition at the World Championship is tougher than it was in the past and they will have to bring in their best and play in top form to win the title again.
Sweden has been successful in the World Championship this decade with three wins. They missed out on the Finals the last time out and are eager to go back on top of the heap. Current world champions Finland is only just fourth in the latest odds board and again, this just shows how competitive this tournament is.
The United States has the best hockey league in the world but they have not been the best in this tournament. They have not won since 1960 and the closest they have been was third in 2018. If only the Americans bring their best possible team to this competition, they will have a better shot at winning their third world title.
Bringing you big guns is the first step in becoming contenders in the 2020 Ice Hockey World Cup. As I said earlier, there is too much competition here. If you bring your Team B, it’s not going to work. That said, the winner of the 2020 IIHF World Championship is still up for grabs pending which players do these countries send to the competition. But when you look at the present, you have to like Sweden who has won thrice already this decade and took the eventual champs Finland to overtime in the quarterfinals. Prediction: Sweden