The ROC takes the next step toward repeating as Olympic champion when it takes on Sweden in a men's hockey semifinal game at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics on Friday. Known as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR), the team defeated Germany 4-3 in overtime at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games to capture the ninth gold medal in the nation's history. Finland takes on Slovakia in the other semifinal on Thursday night.
The ROC is a 1.5-goal favorite and -140 on the money line in the latest ROC vs. Sweden odds, while the over-under for total goals is 5.5. The game is scheduled to begin at 8:10 a.m. ET on Friday. Finland is a 1.5-goal favorite and -325 on the money line in the latest Finland vs. Slovakia odds. The contest is set to start at 11:10 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Before locking in any Beijing Olympics 2022 picks or predictions, you need to see what SportsLine's Olympics expert, Mike Tierney, has to say. (Head over to SportsLine's 2022 Olympics page for more analysis and updates.)
A national sportswriter whose work appears in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has covered nine Olympic Games in person. For Rio in 2016, Tierney profited big-time. He told readers to bet Over on Team USA's gold medal count (41.5) and Over on Team USA's overall medal count (102.5). The result? 46 golds, 121 medals and two easy cashes.
For the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Tierney hit two of his three predictions: Germany (+200) to win the most gold medals and the United States winning Under 10.5 gold medals (+110). And at last year's Tokyo Games, he correctly predicted the United States would go Over 111.5 total medals (-110).
Now, Tierney has analyzed the men's hockey semifinal games on Thursday and Friday from every possible angle and locked in two confident picks. You ABSOLUTELY need to see what it is before locking in any picks of your own.
Who wins ROC vs. Sweden and Finland vs. Slovakia in the semifinals of the men's hockey tournament at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics? Join SportsLine right now to find out whom you should back, all from the expert who has crushed his Olympic picks!
Tierney's pick and analysis:
Men's hockey, semifinals
Finland vs. Slovakia (11:10 p.m. ET Thursday)
Finland -1.5 (-105)
The underdog is tempting on the money line at +265 or on goals at -115, given that Slovakia outshot the Finns 33-30 in their preliminary-round matchup. Yet, Finland breezed to a 6-2 win and possesses a plus-11 goal differential. The Slovaks, coming off an upset of the U.S., are plus-5 in two games during the medal round but were minus-4 in the prelims. The Finns began the tournament as the No. 2 betting choice - far ahead of No. 10 Slovakia, which never has medaled at the Olympics, in the 12-team field. No mismatch, but a clear favorite in the semifinals.
Men's hockey, semifinals
ROC vs. Sweden (8:10 a.m. ET Friday)
Under 4.5 (-115)
A low number, indeed, but a hot goaltender can keep a lid on scoring. This matchup is blessed with two - Sweden's Lars Johansson recorded a shutout against Canada in the quarterfinals, while the ROC's Ivan Fedotov yielded one goal versus Denmark. On offense, the squads combined for a mere five goals in the quarterfinals. ROC's first two games in the tournament had a total of three goals scored.
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