World Juniors Semifinals Betting Preview: Sweden vs. Czechia, USA vs. Finland

World Juniors Semifinals Betting Preview: Sweden vs. Czechia, USA vs. Finland

The 2024 World Junior Championship in Sweden is nearing its conclusion, with the semifinals taking place on Thursday.

Host country Sweden is facing off against Czechia at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET), while the USA takes on Finland at 7:30 p.m. local time (1:30 p.m. ET). The winners will advance to the Gold Medal Game on Friday, with the losers still in contention for the Bronze Medal.

Let’s get right into our World Juniors Semifinals Betting Preview for Sweden vs. Czechia and USA vs. Finland!

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World Juniors Semifinals Betting Preview

Sweden vs. Czechia – 9 a.m. ET

Puck line: Czechia +1.5 (-118) / Sweden -1.5 (-102)
Moneyline: Czechia +215 / Sweden -270
Total: Over 5.5 (+100) / Under 5.5 (-120)

Sweden started off the tournament hot with a 13-0 goal differential through three games, including a 2-0 win against Canada. Since then, however, the Swedes have gone past regulation in both of their games — losing 5-4 to Finland in pool play before getting past Switzerland in overtime in the quarterfinals.

This is a defense-first team, as shown by their dominance in their first three games. Hugo Havelid has been great in the crease, allowing just two goals on 59 shots in just over 185 minutes for a 0.65 GAA and .966 SV%.

Czechia has been a tough team to play against throughout this tournament. After losing 6-2 to Slovakia in their opening game, Czechia beat Norway 8-1, played well against USA in a shootout loss, beat Switzerland 4-2, then eliminated Canada with a 3-2 victory on Tuesday.

Buffalo Sabres prospect Jiri Kulich has led the way for Czechia with eight points (four goals) in five games. However, Czechia’s goaltending has been spotty, with a .891 SV% thus far.

All signs point to Sweden getting the job done on home ice to advance to the Gold Medal Game. I’m also expecting a low-scoring game such as their 2-0 win against Canada or 3-2 overtime win in the quarterfinals.

Best Bet: Sweden -270 / Under 5.5 -120

USA vs. Finland – 1:30 p.m. ET

Puck line: Finland +1.5 (+100) / USA -1.5 (-120)
Moneyline: Finland +245 / USA -310
Total: Over 6 (-105) / Under 6 (-115)

USA is the lone remaining undefeated team in the World Juniors, and they’re hoping to ride that all the way to a gold medal.

Team USA took down Norway 4-1, Switzerland 11-3, Czechia 4-3 (SO), and Slovakia 10-2 in pool play before blowing out Latvia 7-2 in the quarterfinals.

It’s largely been a balanced effort for the Americans, but Philadelphia Flyers prospect Cutter Gauthier leads the tournament with 10 points (1 goal), with Gavin Brindley and Frank Nazar right behind him with eight points.

The one issue USA may have is in between the pipes. Jacob Fowler has allowed eight goals on just 72 shots for a 2.59 GAA and .889 SV%. The Americans will need to protect their net and push play against Finland.

Finland lost their first two games — 5-2 to Canada and 4-3 to Germany — before rattling off three straight wins. However, neither of their last two victories came in regulation against Sweden or Slovakia.

It’s been a good run for the Finns, and a chance for the gold medal is nothing to sneeze at, but the Americans will finish them off on Thursday.

Best Bet: USA -1.5 (-120) / Over 6 (-105)

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