$EBR 2021 World Championship Preview
The IIHF World Championship are starting in Riga on May 21st and running through June 6th. This tournament is obviously overshadowed by the NHL playoffs but offers daytime entertainment for those of us who do not want to wait all day to gamble and watch hockey. So this is your official breakdown. The crew who has made money overseas will be excited to find more opportunities to cash tickets and keep filling our pockets. The games for the most part are televised in North America.
Group Play - Each country in their group plays each other once.
Second Round - Top 4 from each group advance to the quarterfinals. The countries cross over and play a team from the other group. (Ex. #1 seed group A vs. #4 seed group B.)
Then we get semi-finals, a Bronze Medal Game and then the Gold Medal Game.
Riga is 7 hours ahead of the Eastern standard time zone, so a lot like the domestic leagues we will be waking up ready to fire on games and cash tickets. Also, a factor to take into account is that this city is unreal with nightlife that can make Vegas jealous, and with restrictions coming down this could work towards our handicapping with early games over there.
The IIHF might not mean a lot in the US but I can tell you with first-hand knowledge fans in Sweden, Finland and the other European countries will be all in watching this tourney. The rosters won't be as stacked as the Olympics with most big names in the playoffs but nevertheless there are mismatches we can take advantage of. The curveball is for the players on NHL teams that get eliminated in the first round and make their way over to Europe to join a team.
European players dream of this tournament and will take it very seriously to get into the medal rounds at least. US and Canadian players have in the past used this tournament as a way to see the city from dusk till dawn and this city is near the top of the class in terms of partying. Russians who end the season in the NHL love to get back to the World Championships to get on the gas and get in the good graces of Putin. Russia might be the only country to actually pay bonuses in the form of cash and cars to their team if they win gold.
The smaller nations are heroes and will be the only teams blocking shots like that men's league team in every league that takes a Tuesday night 10:30PM game way too seriously. Some of these rosters will have players from all over who have been give citizenship or handed a passport based on their grandparent falling off a stool in a pub in Great Britain.
Facts are if you are a part of the $EBR crew this is our type of tournament where we factor in nights out and bonuses. Also, if you follow some of the games we have bet on then you will know more players than the announcers do.
$EBR Crew Featured Player Each Country:
Russia - Okulov CSKA (KHL) Canada - Power U. Michigan (NCAA)
Sweden - Friberg Frölunda (SHL) Finland - Lundell Lukko (S-M Liiga)
Czech Republic - Jaskin Dyn Moscow (KHL) USA - Drury Växjö (SHL)
Switzerland - Simion Zug (NLA) Germany - Pföderl Berlin (DEL)
Slovakia - Skalicky Lukko (S-M Liiga) Latvia - Kalnins Jokerit (KHL)
Denmark - Jensen Jokerit (KHL) Norway - Pettersen Stockton (AHL)
Belarus - Prince Automobilist (KHL) Italy - Rosa Asiago (Italy)
Great Britain - Connolly Sheffield (Biz League) Kazakhstan - Karlsson Barys (KHL)
Ok, ok enough of all the logistics and reading if you are down this far you want to know two things: How do I win money and what are the best bars in Riga.
The betting opportunities will be similar to that of the KHL where we can find 3-way lines and over under. Think about what the score will be when the US will play Italy so we will be creative but that is how we win! The European hockey betting market was not ready to have the curtain raised and see the $EBR crew storm the beaches. Do you have the stones to bet on a -6.5 line? Yes, we do…this is all about action like playing Keno at breakfast in Vegas after gambling all night. Do I have to? Yes, I do.
Let’s have some fun for another month as our days of afternoon hockey are running out for the season. These games are played at the perfect time so we can cash a ticket and then read RA's Gambling Corner to crush the NHL.
Best Bar/ Nightlife in Riga: Riga is stocked full of attractive women and they are very tall. The best area is Old Town. This has all the bars you will need on your trip and check out Skyline. Rumor has it get a booth near the windows and make sure to speak English very loudly.