Hockey bettors have had to find other ways to get action this year with the NHL Lockout still in affect. Luckily for North American (and World) hockey fans there are finally some meaningful games being played with many National Hockey League players taking part. The AHL, KHL and other European Leagues may have gained some NHL fans interest, but anyone who was sitting on the sidelines without hockey to this point in the year will now be able to glue themselves to the couch and place some bets on both the World Junior Hockey Championships and the Spengler Cup, each of which is taking place over the holidays.
The U20 World Junior Championships is one of the biggest tournaments each year and Canadian fans in particular can catch every game throughout the tourney. TSN, the biggest sports television station in Canada, broadcasts every game live and this year is showing each Canadian game about 3 times on replay throughout the day (the tourney is in Russia so the games are generally early morning for Canadians). There is some huge NHL caliber talent on display in these World Juniors with players such as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jonathan Huberdeau, Niall Yakupov and more who would definitely be in the NHL right now if not for the lockout.
The Spengler Cup has also grabbed the interest of many hockey fans who usually just think of it as a sideshow to the World Juniors thanks to many NHL stars agreeing to play for Team Canada in this one and many other NHL players in the tournament on European Club teams. Team Canada has players such as Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, Matt Duchene, Ryan Smyth and more. While some players representing other clubs in the tourney include Patrick Kane, Joe Thornton, Jason Pominville and several more. Canada is the only National Team in the tourney and it’s hard to argue their individual skill level compared to their opponents, but it will be interesting to see if the team can find chemistry in time to compete with these other club teams who are in mid season form. The top team from the Swiss League and German League are both in the tourney, as well as other solid teams from the Swiss, Czech and KHL leagues.
If you are interested in betting on any of these games you can find betting lines for both the IIHF World Juniors and the Spengler Cup at Bet365.com. The Junior games often have puckline odds, which is rare for bettors used to NHL games, but the vast difference in skill level makes this necessary. Click here to visit Bet365.com and place some bets now! Or if you are from the United States, check out our sportsbook review page for a couple USA friendly bookies that also have odds for these games.