Russia labeled 11-5 favorite to win hockey gold in 2014 Olympics

Russia -- not Canada -- is the early favorite to win gold in 2014. (USATSI)
Russia -- not Canada -- is the early favorite to win gold in 2014. (USATSI)

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At this point we don't even know what the Olympic hockey teams are going to look like for the Game in Sochi this upcoming February but when has that ever stopped the odds-makers from setting lines?

Not long after the NHL announced it was going to let its players participate in the Olympics and then the countries released their invite list to orientation camps, Bovada put the odds on who the favorites are to win the gold medal.

Considering the Games are in Russia, the Russians are atop the list, not the talent-laden Canadians, who won gold in 2010.

Russia 11-5
Canada 9-4
Sweden 4-1
USA 6-1
Czech Republic 17-2
Finland 10-1
Switzerland 20-1
Slovakia 25-1
Norway 200-1
Latvia 400-1
Austria 900-1
Slovenia 900-1

All you have to do is look at the track record of teams in the Olympics and where the Games are to understand why Canada is not the favorite. They won gold on home ice in 2010, didn't even medal in Italy in 2006, won gold not far from home in Salt Lake City for the 2002 Games and failed to medal in Japan back in 1998. As you can tell, not quite the same results outside of North America.

The Americans come in fourth, ostensibly meaning they are not expected to medal but the reigning Silver medalists aren't far back in terms of the odds. Finland being at 10-1 seems a bit low considering the Finns have medaled in three of the past four Games.

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