Curling has become the darling sport of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The men’s semifinals begin this Thursday (7:05 AM ET); Team Sweden is in first place in the round robin standings at press time, but Team Canada leads the Olympics futures market at –140, with Sweden at +140.
With two matches remaining before the playoffs, Sweden (skip: Niklas Edin) has a 6-1 record, including a 5-2 victory over Canada (skip: Kevin Koe). Edin’s crew is almost certain to finish in the Top 4 and qualify for the semifinals. Koe and the Canadians are tied with Great Britain (skip: Kyle Smith) for the last two spots at 4-3. Switzerland (skip: Peter de Cruz) holds down second place in the round robin standings at 5-2.
Canada’s expertise in curling is widely known, winning the gold at each of the last three Winter Games, but Koe’s team has some work to do just to make the playoffs. Switzerland, the 1998 gold medallists, are a bargain on the Olympics odds board at +1400, followed by Great Britain (the silver medallists from 2014) at +1400. The gold medal game for PyeongChang is this Saturday at 2:35 AM ET.