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betJACK - Betting Guide to the Olympics
The Summer Olympics were pushed back from 2020 and will begin in Tokyo, Japan, on July 23. News came down on Thursday that no fans will be allowed after the organizers had previously planned on allowing local fans to attend. This news likely won’t impact many betting lines, except for the Japan totals, as the host country is the only party hurt by the decision.
The Olympics provide two weeks of excellent betting options and opportunities. Fans can place team bets on sports like basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, gymnastics, and volleyball. Individual bets can be made as well on games or specific events, plus bets can be placed on nations medal totals.
Betting the Total Medals of a Nation
The United States won the most medals in Brazil in 2016 with 121 and led the gold race as well with 46. They are again favored to lead the way in both categories -1200 to have the most golds and -1000 to have the most medals. China is second in both at +450 for most medals and +600 for most golds.
Each nation participating also has an individual total and a gold total to bet over/under, just like you can with NFL team wins. The United States are at 110.5 total medals and 43.5 total golds. The over and under on both is -115.
As mentioned, Japan’s total was impacted by the fan news. Their gold medal total was 29.5 before Thursday, and it is now 27.5. An over bet is -105, with the under at -125. Japan finished sixth in the medal table at Rio 2016 with 41 total medals and 12 golds.
Another nation's medal bet you can take is putting one nation against each other. Australia’s gold medal total is 12.5, and Great Britain's is 14.5. Some books offer Australis more golds than GB at +110 or GB more golds at -120.
Betting on Team Sports
The most popular sports to find bets on in the US will be the sports that the United States has succeeded in. Women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, gymnastics, and volleyball are team sports in which the US has qualified and listed among the favorites.
In men’s basketball, the US are -750, and in women’s basketball, they are -1200 to win gold. The women’s soccer team is -125, and the women’s volleyball team is +300. Different books have different odds on these sports, so make sure you shop around before placing a bet.
Something else to keep in mind with the Olympics, you can also bet on teams to finish in the medals, or “top 3.” So while the US are major favorites in basketball, you can find good odds on other teams to finish top three and still take a rooting interest while making money.
Individual Sports Betting
Not all individual sports lines are available yet, especially in swimming, tennis, and golf, where full participants and draws haven’t been announced. Some tennis players like Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Simona Halep, and Nick Kyrgios have withdrawn. If Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka stay in the draw, they will be the favorites no matter the draw.
Some track and field lines are posted involving US athletes. The US men’s 4X100m relay team is -250 to win gold, while Sydney McLaughlin is -335 to win the women’s 400m hurdles. Some of these lines will change as the events get closer, so again, shop around for the best deals.
Athletes like Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel, and multiple track and field competitors participate in multiple events. Some books offer which individual will win the most medals or most golds.
Fans can also get live bets on Olympic events, and some books even offer props, much as they do for the Super Bowl or March Madness. Look back on the 2016 games or each sport's latest individual World Championships to do as much research as possible before jumping into bets on unfamiliar sports.
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