• Accuscore's IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship 2019 - Knockout Stage

    The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships 2019 have reached the playoff-stage after two intense weeks of preliminary round hockey. In our pre-tournament prediction we had the correct eight teams to progress to the knockout-stage, albeit it was not that difficult pick this time around.

    First time since forever, however, the newly promoted teams did not head straight back down. Both Italy and Great Britain managed to beat their counterparts in the final game of the preliminary round and sent down Austria and France respectively. That was the biggest surprise of the World Championship hockey so far.

    In the quarterfinals we see some huge matchups already. Russia is facing their lifelong nemesis USA, while Finland takes on their neighboring Sweden. Canada will face Switzerland and last but not least, Czech Republic will battle it out against Germany.

    Russia won each and every one of their seven preliminary round games without much trouble and is the only team to do so in this year’s tournament. They scored 37 goals and only allowed seven. In the last group stage game they beat the reigning double-champion Sweden, boasting a hefty 21 NHL-players, by a score of 7-4. Needless to say the Russians are clear favorites to take the trophy home.

    In the other group, Canada captured the 1st spot despite losing to Finland in the opening affair. Gradually improving, Team Canada only allowed one goal in their final three games and recorded a 36-11 goal difference in seven games. Canada is, as always, serious contenders for the trophy.

    Czech Republic and Finland took the 2nd place in their respective groups – a feat not expected from either of the teams. Both teams were solid in the back, while the Czechs scored 39 goals as compared to Finland’s 22. Czechs lost to Russia and Finland suffered an overtime loss to USA and were dumbfounded 2-4 by the relentless Germany in the last game of the preliminary round, costing them the top spot.

    Sweden fell to third in their group after a loss to Czech Republic and a disastrous display to leaders Russia, where they lost the second period 6-0. However, the Swedish team is close to as strong as ever, with NHL players filling the roster. The best is yet to be seen from the Swedes and on paper the team is as good as Russia and Canada.

    While Switzerland showed some entertaining ice hockey throughout the tournament, their effort in the end left some questions in the air. They took narrow losses from all the top-3 teams of the group and were left fourth once again. There’s talent and speed in the team, but will it be enough to take down the likes of Canada? Probably not.

    Same goes for Germany, who made a magnificent comeback against the hosting Slovakia to oust them from the knockout-spot and then went on to beat Finland to climb over USA to 3rd spot - and dropping the Finns from the top of the group. Germany has a strong and relentless team, headlined by NHL’ers Leon Draisaitl and goalie Philipp Grubauer. They already surprised many in the Olympics and have nothing to lose once again.

    With not too many surprises so far, it looks like the quarterfinals might have some – especially compared to the oddsmakers views. Here’s how Accuscore’s simulation engine predicts the probabilities until the very end of the tournament:

    Accuscore's IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship 2019 Knockout Stage

    Championship Odds

    Even if Russia is the team to win it all according to Accuscore’s simulated bracket, the tournament format allows Canada to be the actual favorites to take the trophy! Canada has a lot easier opponent in the first and the second game in the knockout stages, as they face Switzerland and then potentially Czech Republic. Russia will have their work cut out for them already against USA, not to mention Sweden in the semi-final. They are, however, likely to beat Canada if only by a slim margin.


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  • Royals vs Orioles: Expert Analysis, Pick

    Written by Rohit Ghosh
    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    Kansas City Royals vs Baltimore Orioles

    The Kansas City Royals head to Oriole Park Monday for a matchup with Ubaldo Jimenez and the Baltimore Orioles, with the home side opening as slight underdogs on the money line (+113). Kansas City, with Danny Duffy set to start, opened at -123 on the money line, with the total set at 10.

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    Pitching Matchup

    Duffy (7-6) enters Monday's matchup with an ERA of 3.56 and a WHIP of 1.27. He gives up about 8.9 hits per nine innings, on pace with the rest of his team as the Royals as a whole allow 8.8 hits per nine innings. As a team, Kansas City is No. 11 in the majors with an ERA of 4.15. They have been extraordinary in terms of home runs (HR) given up, ranking No. 28 in the MLB with 108 allowed HRs.

    Jimenez (4-7), with his ERA of 6.93 and a 1.56 WHIP, gives up about 9.9 hits per nine innings pitched, a stark difference when comparing to Duffy's numbers. He is on pace with his team, though, as Baltimore gives up the same 9.9 hits per nine innings as a team. They're No. 29 in the majors in team ERA (5.15), and have given up 154 HRs this season -- third most in the majors.

    Vegas Odds vs AccuScore Simulation Data - Value on the Home 'Dog

    We're always interested when Vegas odds and AccuScore sim data are on opposite sides of the money line. Whereas Vegas odds have Baltimore as slight home underdogs, the sim data has them as favorites -- indicating a pick on the Orioles.

    The Orioles win about 51 percent of simulations, making the +105 odds at the time of publication fairly attractive.

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    Vegas Odds vs AccuScore Sims

  • South Region: NCAA Tournament Bracketology 2017

    Written by Rohit Ghosh

    Follow @rohitghosh on Twitter

    2017 NCAA Tournament Bracketology: South Region

    Odds to Win South Region

    North Carolina 5/4
    Kentucky 11/4
    UCLA 5/1
    Butler 10/1
    Wichita State 10/1
    Cincinnati 14/1
    Dayton 28/1
    Minnesota U 28/1
    Middle Tennessee St 40/1
    Arkansas 50/1
    Seton Hall 50/1
    Wake Forest 75/1
    Kansas State 100/1
    Kent State 200/1
    Northern Kentucky 200/1
    Texas Southern 200/1
    Winthrop 200/1

    2017 NCAA Tournament  - South Region
    Click on the image above to simulate your own bracket

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    Deserving of the Nod?

    Not everyone agrees on UNC getting the No. 1 seed, having lost to Duke two-of-three times this season. With 11 top-50 wins this season tho, it was tough for voters to shy away.

    If you don't agree with AccuScore's upset pick of Middle Tenn. over UNC in the Elite 8, the Tar Heels just might deserve a lot more Final Four-related discussion than the sim data suggests.

    Upset Alert, or Not

    When the bracket was set, there was some notable action on No. 13 Winthrop taking it over No. 4 Butler. It's the highest the Bulldogs have ever been seeded and the public seems to disagree. AccuScore sim data, however, would go with the seeded-favorite in this first-round matchup.

    Players to Watch

    With UCLA in the field, we already know Lonzo Ball will garner more than enough attention. At 6'6", the freshman guard has made a name for himself and will look to catapult that legacy to the pro level with his play in the tourney.

    Beyond the hype, though, most hoops fans know not to overlook Kentucky's Malik Monk in this region. Averaging nearly 21 points per game, watch for Monk to try and lead his No. 2-seeded UK squad to the Final Four.

    Value Pick & Final Word

    If you're scowering the bracket looking for value picks -- either to reach the Final Four or win the tourney -- look no further than the South region.

    At 40:1 odds, Middle Tennessee provides some hidden value -- a lot for a little. What's hidden though is the fact that while it has a 40:1 chance to win the region, it -- by far -- has the best odds for a No. 12 seed to win the tourney at 250:1. Nevada and Princeton are at 500:1, while NC Wilmington is at 1000:1.

    AccuScore data has Middle Tennessee reaching the Elite 8 for a matchup against the UCLA Bruins.

    AccuScore’s Bracketology Previews
    West Region
    Midwest Region

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