Jul 8, 2021
Casino Blog

A Guide to Betting on the Olympics

The Olympic Games only happen every other year – alternating between winter and summer versions. However, when talking about the Olympics, most people are referring to the summer games, as this is the larger of the two events. The Olympics are always a major spectacle, drawing in fans and casual spectators alike, and captivating audiences for the duration of the tournament.

This year’s games are about to begin in Tokyo, Japan. A year later than originally scheduled, there is even more excitement and anticipation about them than usual. 205 countries are participating in over 300 different events and 33 different sports, including soccer, tennis, gymnastics, athletics, boxing, basketball, and martial arts. The spectacle of the grand opening ceremony will kick off the games on Friday July 23rd and they will continue until Sunday August 8th.

Place Your Bets

Betting on sports has always been a way to make them more exciting and increase the tension; and the Olympics is no different. Offering people many more options for betting than your standard soccer or baseball game, the Olympics is a great place to have a flutter.

If you’re used to betting on weekly games, you’ll know there are always plenty of options; it’s not just about choosing a winner, you can also place bets on stats like goals scored, number of home runs, interceptions etc. While the Olympics offers a much larger choice of events to bet on, the specific bets you can place have a much narrower range. For example, you can bet on who will win the men’s 400m hurdles, but you can’t bet on someone tripping, how many hurdles will be knocked down, or the speed the winner reaches as they cross the line!

Betting in the Olympics is much simpler, which is why it attracts such a wide range of bettors. And using a sportsbook to place your bet online is quick and easy, even for first-timers.

How the Markets Work

The most obvious thing you can choose to bet on is how the medals are dished out. Each event awards a gold, silver, and bronze medal to the top three finishers. So, you can place a bet on a specific athlete to gain a medal in their specific event, for example, Katie Ledecky to place in the 800m freestyle swimming. You can even bet on her getting a specific medal – and as she’s two-time defending Olympic champion in this event, placing a wager on her getting gold isn’t too much of a long shot!

However, the medals don’t just go to individual competitors; there is a winners’ table with all of the countries taking part and their running totals. You can also place bets on which country will get the most medals overall, the most of each colors, and even which countries won’t get a medal at all. You can also bet on how many medals a country will get in a certain sport – so if you fancy China in the gymnastics, you can bet on how many golds you think they’ll get across all the events in that category.

Hot Tip: The United States has won the most gold medals in five out of the last six summer Olympics, a feat they look likely to repeat in Japan 2021.

Why do People Love to Bet on the Olympics?

As previously mentioned, placing a bet on a sporting event heightens the excitement for the viewer. It can also be a fun competition between friends about who can predict the most winners correctly. But for avid supporters, it can be difficult to place a bet against their own team, even if they know that’s the correct call.

Even though the Olympics involves different countries, and everyone wants their own to do well, not every country competes in every event, making it possible to make completely neutral bets. Because you are watching the best athletes in the world, choosing who to wager on is based entirely on their skills, rather than your allegiances, making it easy to stay impartial and make a good decision.

Also, the variety of sports on offer gives more fans a chance to place a bet. If you’re not into baseball, basketball or football, you probably don’t have any interest in placing a bet on those markets. But the Olympics lets fans back their favorites in other sports where they have more knowledge and interest, for example, sailing, swimming, cycling, or shooting.

Who to Look Out For at the Olympics

Whilst the schedule of events is all set, the list of competitors won’t be finalized until just before the start, as some are still completing qualifying events. However, the sportsbooks will offer bets right up to the start of the events so there’s plenty of time to choose your picks once the final line ups are announced.

Some big names are sure to be returning though and are well worth a punt. These include:

  • Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, competing for the US.
  • Eliud Kipchoge, the only man to run a marathon in under two hours, competing for Kenya.
  • Naomi Osaka, Japan’s biggest tennis star, who skipped the French Open and Wimbledon in order to focus all her attention on the Olympics.
  • Adam Ondra, representing the Czech Republic, and looking to take gold in the first ever climbing event at the Olympics.

Whoever you choose to bet on, the Olympics is sure to be a fascinating watch.

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