Sweden vs. USA Odds, Prediction: Undefeated Americans Seek 6th WJC Title

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Sweden will have home-ice and home-country advantage when it plays the United States on Friday for gold at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Americans —winners of all six games throughout the tournament — are seeking their first WJC title since 2021 and sixth all time.

Team Sweden is coming off consecutive bronze medals at the World Juniors. The larger international ice surface could favor the Swedes, who many experts believe have the most talented roster in the tournament.

Here, we break down the Sweden vs. USA odds and provide a prediction for the World Junior Ice Hockey Championship’s gold medal game.

Sweden vs. USA Odds: Gold Medal Game

At BetMGM, the Sweden vs. USA puck line odds are: United States -1 (+130); Sweden +1 (-175).

On the moneyline, the Americans are listed at -160, and the Swedes are sitting at +125.

The total (Over/Under) for the gold medal game is set at 5.5. Sportsbooks, including BetMGM, expect a high-scoring game, with the Over (-120) featuring slightly shorter odds than the Under (-110).

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Friday’s World Junior Championship Schedule

  • Third-place game, Czechia vs. Finland, 9 a.m. ET (NHL Network and TSN)
  • Championship game, Sweden vs. United States, 1:30 p.m. ET (NHL Network and TSN)

USA vs. Sweden Prop Bets

BetMGM is offering a prop bet on the team to score the first goal in the first period.

  • Sweden: +140
  • United States: +105
  • No Goal: +360

The sportsbook also offers a prop for the time of the first goal.

  • 00.01-08.59: -140
  • 09:00-60.00: +100
  • No Goal: +5000

WJC Semifinals Recap

The United States advanced by defeating Finland, 3-2, in Thursday’s semifinal. The Americans trailed 2-0 after the first period before rallying. The Americans have won five World Junior titles (four since 2010).

Cutter Gauthier scored the game-winning goal for USA on a power play with 3 minutes, 13 seconds to play. Gauthier plays at Boston College and is the tournament’s leading scorer with two goals and 10 assists. He was the Philadelphia Flyers’ first-round pick (fifth overall) in 2022.

Sweden advanced by defeating Czechia, 5-2. The Swedes scored three third-period goals to win the game.

Gold Medal Game Features Surplus of Talent on Both Sides

The gold medal game will be flush with NHL draft picks. Friday’s lineups are expected to feature 20 Americans and 20 Swedes who have already been drafted.

In the semifinal against Finland, every American goal was scored by a first-round draft pick. The University of Minnesota’s Jimmy Snuggerud (2022 Draft, 23rd overall by St. Louis Blues) cut Finland’s lead to 2-1, and Will Smith (selected fourth overall by the San Jose Sharks in 2023) tied the game in the second period. Smith is Gauthier’s teammate at Boston College.

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Sweden’s Jonathan Lekkerimaki (15th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks) scored the game-winner against Czechia and also added the fifth goal. Lekkerimaki is the tournament’s second-leading scorer (six goals, three assists). The victory avenged a semifinal loss last year to the Czechs.

The Americans and Swedes did not play each other in the preliminary round.

Both Teams Led by Strong Defense

Sweden has shut out three opponents — including Canada, 2-0, in the preliminary round. Sweden goaltender Hugo Havelid held Czechia to two goals in the quarterfinals. He was the gold-medal goalie for Sweden at the 2022 Under-18 Worlds and defeated the United States in that tournament. Sweden is No. 1 in the tournament in goals-against average with 1.46. The United States is second with 2.14.

Sweden’s primary backup goalie is Melker Thelin, a 2023 fifth-round draft pick of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes.

The Swedes’ top defenseman is Axel Sandin Pellikka, who was selected 17th overall in 2023 by the Detroit Red Wings.

The tournament was shocked in Tuesday’s quarterfinals when Czechia defeated two-time defending champion Canada, 3-2. The Czechs scored with 11.7 seconds to play when a shot deflected into the goal off a Canadian player’s skate.

In the quarterfinals, the Americans defeated Latvia, 7-2.

Sweden hasn’t won the World Juniors since 2012. This will be its first gold-medal appearance since 2018. The United States last won the gold medal in 2021. The Americans won the bronze last year, defeating Sweden.

Sweden vs. USA Prediction

Both teams enter the final with momentum. Sweden will have an enormous home-ice advantage in Gothenburg. The semifinal crowd for Sweden’s game was 11,000. The Swedish fans will be out in full force on Friday.

Both teams are enormously talented. Sweden looked like the stronger team in the semifinal matches. If the game is close checking, we expect Sweden to prevail and win its first gold medal since 2012.

The Americans have the advantage if the game is a shootout, a wide-open affair with odd-man rushes. The Americans lead the tournament with 39 goals scored, while Sweden is second with 25.

We expect a high-scoring game.

Gold Medal Game Prediction: United States 5, Sweden 3.

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Pre-Tournament Odds

The World Junior odds entering the tournament were:

  • United States +200
  • Canada +250
  • Sweden +275
  • Finland +550
  • Czechia +1500
  • Slovakia +5000
  • Switzerland +6600
  • Germany +10000
  • Latvia +30000
  • Norway +50000

Read More: Stanley Cup OddsBest NHL Betting Apps | NHL Betting Promotions

About the Author
Chuck Bausman

Chuck Bausman

Sports Betting Writer
Chuck Bausman is a sports betting writer at Gaming Today. Bausman has worked 30+ years in journalism and is a former executive sports editor of the Philadelphia Daily News and managing editor of Philly Hockey Now. He is a journalism professor at Rider University.

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