The Hockey World Championships 2021 is already underway, with 16 of the world’s best ice hockey teams vying to be crowned the best national team in the sport and be crowned World Champions.
Indeed, with so many of the best teams featuring in the competition, it can be a brilliant event for sports betting enthusiasts to place a bet on throughout the duration of the tournament, however it is important to understand how the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships works before considering who the best future bets would be on.
Layout and format
As mentioned, the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships features 16 of the best teams from the sport of ice hockey from around the world. These 16 teams have been split, though, in the opening stages with two groups of eight having been provided.
Each team will play against each other in their respective group once, with the top four teams of each group going on to automatically secure their place in the knockout stages of the competition; with a total of 64 matches to be played throughout the event. The other eight sides who do not qualify from this stage of the competition will pack their bags and go home as their 2021 IIHF World Championships will have come to an end.
The competition started on Friday 21st May, but with it running until Sunday 6th June, there is still plenty of opportunities to bet on a futures market, such as the overall winner.
How are the teams grouped?
By being able to correctly predict the right futures outcome, it is important to know what each group looks like and which teams are involved, as this can help to provide an indicator of what to expect, or provide some useful insights that can be used to an advantage.
Group A features the following nations and their world rankings heading into the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship 2021: Russia (2), Sweden (4), Czech Republic (5), Switzerland (8), Slovakia (9), Denmark (12), Belarus (13) and Great Britain (19).
Group B consists of Canada (1), Finland (3), United States (6), Germany (7), Latvia (10), Norway (11), Italy (15) and Kazakhstan (16).
Hockey World Championship 2021 Favorites
Sports bettors who are looking to place a bet on a futures market such as the overall winner of the 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship tournament with a reputable sportsbook such as Unibet Indiana will quickly realize that there are a number of teams that are considered to be strong candidates.
Russia is considered to be one of the favorites to win the overall competition and be crowned World Champions at the end, although that perhaps does not come down as a surprise to many.
The Russians were ranked as the number two best in the world before the competition and have a huge amount of history when it comes down to winning it. In fact, they have won the most tournaments of any nation to have competed in the showpiece, as they have managed to obtain a total of 27 titles and have already started in decent shape.
However, when looking at the list of betting odds, it should be noted that Finland is also worthy of consideration. The Scandinavian nation were the last team to win the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships back in 2019 and will be keen to try and retain their crown as champions.
Their last win was impressive as they showed that they were able to win the competition without the use of any players from America’s National Hockey League – which is currently going through the motions of their prestigious Stanley Cup playoffs – and they have already started with some strong victories.
Other countries that can be considered as a potential Hockey World Championship 2021 winner include the USA, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland, although it would be incredibly hard to back anyone other than Russia or Finland currently.
Although Canada is considered to be the number one team in the world rankings heading into this tournament, they are playing nowhere near that level and are having a competition that they may want to already be over despite just a couple of games in. Therefore, a futures bet could be lucrative, but only if the Canadians manage to get their game on the ice back together.