Men’s Slalom – Levi 2017 Betting Preview and Predictions
If Marcel Hircher wouldn’t suffer an injury back in August, he would be a clear favorite to win the slalom race in Levi, Finland. He has won the Slalom crystal globe on four occasions, only trailing Ingemar Stenmark’s eight wins. Alberto Tomba has also won the Slalom crystal globe on four occasions. The Austrian has won 20 Slalom races in the World Cup, third-most among men behind Stenmark (40) and Tomba (35). Last season, Hirscher finished on the podium in seven of the 10 World Cup Slalom races, including his wins in Levi and Kitzbühel. 3.50 at Bet365 for a podium finish looks tempting, but we have no way of knowing what kind of performance can he produce so short after an injury.
The current favorite, Henrik Kristoffersen won the Slalom crystal globe in 2016 and finished second behind Hirscher last season. He is hoping to become the first Norwegian man with two overall World Cup Slalom titles. He has won five World Cup Slalom races last season(Val d’Isère, Madonna di Campiglio, Adelboden, Schladming), most among men(2 by Hirscher; Levi, Kitzbuehel). Kristoffersen has won a total of 14 World Cup Slalom races. Another win would see him surpass Mario Matt and Benjamin Raich (both 14) and equal Ivica Kostelic (15) in fifth place all-time among men. The Norwegian claimed his 14 Slalom races since the start of 2014, five more than any other man in this period(Hirscher won 9 since then). Kristoffersen could equal Aksel Lund Svindal (15, Super G) as the Norwegian skier with most World Cup victories in a single discipline. He is well aware of Hircher’s injury and motivation to win the first race of the new season should be high! But then again, it the first race of the season and the odds in range of 2.20-2.50 does not look very tempting.
André Myhrer has won seven World Cup Slalom races, including the last Slalom race of the 2016/17 season in Aspen. He once claimed back-to-back Slalom wins in the World Cup: three in a row from March to November 2012 (Kranjska Gora, Schladming, Levi). As Kristoffersen, André Myhrer could join Hirscher and Jean-Baptiste Grange as the only men with multiple World cup wins in Levi. Myhrer (34 years, 305 days) and Manfred Mölgg (35-162) can both become the oldest World Cup Slalom race winner, breaking the record set by Mario Matt at 34 years and 250 days in Val d’Isère on 15 December 2013. Currently 5.00 at Bet365 for a podium finish.
Felix Neureuther claimed four podium finishes in the Slalom in the 2016/17 World Cup, but failed to claim a victory. His last World Cup Slalom win came in Naeba on 14 February 2016. He has won a record 12 World Cup races among German men, including a record 10 in the Slalom. Neureuther could surpass Thomas Stangassinger (both 36) for seventh-most World Cup podium finishes in the men’s Slalom.
There is quite a successful season behind Michael Matt, as he claimed his first ever World Cup podium finish in last year’s Slalom race in Levi (second place). Later that season, he won his maiden World Cup Slalom event (Kranjska Gora) and finished third in the Slalom in Aspen.
If we take a look at the Russians, Alexander Khoroshilov is their best bet. He has claimed exactly three Slalom podium finishes in each of the last three World Cup seasons(one victory and eight third places). His only win came in Schladming on 27 January 2015. Khoroshilov can become the third skier (male or female) representing Russia or the Soviet Union to win multiple World Cup races after Alexander Zhirov (4 wins) and Varvara Zelenskaya (4) and the first man(representing Russia or the Soviet Union) to claim 10 World Cup podiums. He now shares the record of nine with Alexander Zhirov.
Prediction: Michael Mat Podium Finish
Odds: 3.00 Bet365
Prediction: Felix Neureuther Podium Finish
Odds: 3.00 Bet365