Hockey World Cup quarter-finals, Thursday, 25.05.2023

In no other quarter-final of this 2023 Ice Hockey World Cup am I so sure that the declared favourite of the sports betting providers will be able to prevail without great drama within the regular playing time.

My USA Czech Republic tip is based on why the North Americans could even become world champions again for the first time since 1960. The chance is there – and I explain why!

The Americans have never paid much attention to the World Cup, because it also overlaps this year with the 2023 NHL Play-offs, which enjoy a much higher profile in the States.

As a result, the US team that is sent to the World Championships is largely made up of very young players, some of whom are still playing college hockey. This year is no different.

Team USA once again has the youngest age average of all participants at this World Cup finals in Finland. At the same time, however, it is also the fifth-oldest squad the North Americans have ever sent.

So this time there might be that little bit more experience available, which is urgently needed to fuel through to the final in an intense co-phase like the upcoming one.

The fact that the average age of the US team is higher than usual this year may have already made a record possible that has never existed before.

For the first time in their history, the USA have won each of their first seven matches in the group stage of a World Cup. Is 2023 perhaps the year of the United States?

Honestly, I believe so, especially since they made the reigning world champions Finland look pretty old in the much stronger Group A with a 4:1 win. They also successfully kept the strong DEB selection at bay (3:2).

The most hard-fought World Cup game for the USA so far was, of all things, the last game against Sweden, in which the group victory was at stake (4:3 n.V.).

The North Americans “only” won in overtime, but the Scandinavians had little to say for long stretches of the game and only managed to save themselves in a rather fortunate overtime thanks to two late goals.

In conclusion, Team USA is the most convincing team at this World Cup so far. The next opponent, however, disappointed me. Many Czech fans would have hoped for more from their team as well.

The Eastern Europeans are in the quarter-finals, but only fourth in the group behind Latvia. Unfortunately, I have to withdraw their status as secret favourites in view of this starting position.

In the games that really mattered, the Czech Republic did not make a good impression. I’d like to remind you of the games against Switzerland (2:4) and Canada (1:3) as well as the surprising 3:4 defeat against host Latvia.

The direct comparison is what should encourage the Eastern Europeans. After all, last year they won two games against their upcoming opponents at the 2022 World Cup.

First of all, they managed to outplay the US boys 1:0 in the group phase and then also snatched the bronze medal from them in the battle for third place (8:4).

However, one should not compare apples with oranges and the great Bet365 bonus with a conventional sports betting bonus.

Accordingly, you have to bear in mind that the US Americans have clearly taken more talent and experience with them to Finland this year. I very personally attach a lot of importance to this factor.

The German betting companies seem to have recognised the signs of the times. Because the USA are relatively clearly favoured this Thursday.

A progress within the regular playing time is rewarded with odds of about 1.80 on the markets.

More courageous sports betting fans who opt for a Czech victory, on the other hand, are even confronted with betting odds of currently 3.30.

Summary: The USA have once again put together a squad that is worth watching. With eight NHL pros, they might have that extra bit of experience they need to win gold.

There are no easy games from now on, but the US have already eliminated much stronger teams than the Czech Republic in the group phase.

The Eastern Europeans, on the other hand, have been far less convincing in their performances this year than in the last edition and are unlikely to surpass their success from the 2022 World Cup.

My USA Czech Republic tip: The US boys win.