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Tokyo Olympic Medal Odds: USA Is Overwhelming Favorite

Team USA is heavily favored to lead 2021 Olympics with the most overall medals.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are coming up this summer and start on Friday, July 23, after being delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Team USA is looking to reassert its dominance and is an overwhelming favorite in the odds to win the most overall medals in the Games.

Online sportsbooks are expecting heavy domination from the USA in 2021 and have listed the Americans as -750 favorites (88.2 percent implied probability) in Olympic medal odds to have the most medals when the Games conclude on Sunday, August 8. 

Not only do the best betting sites have the USA projected to have the most overall medals, but they also have made the Yanks the -800 (88.9 percent implied probability) faves to finish the Olympics with the most gold medals. The online shops have so much confidence in Team USA’s athletic ability and winning pedigree that they’ve also listed a prop for “USA vs The Field” with the Americans as -750 favorites and “Any Other Country” at +400.

Who Will Win the Most Medals at 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

Odds to win most Overall medals: Tokyo 2020 Games
CountryOdds
USA-750
China+550
Great Britain+1600
Japan+2000

Odds as of April 1 at Bovada

Odds to win most Overall medals: Tokyo 2020 Games
CountryOdds
USA-750
Field+400

Odds as of April 1 at Bovada

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Why is the USA Favored to Finish With the Most Medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

Maybe it’s because it’s been a streak since the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta or maybe it’s because the USA sends more athletes than any other nation, but the fact remains the USA is heavily favored in Olympic medal odds to finish with the most overall medals at the Tokyo Olympics. Team USA has had the edge in this category since 1996 and, outside of 2008 in China, has also led the gold medal count at each event over that span.

When you’re sending over 500 athletes who all have a legitimate shot to medal, you significantly increase your chances to lead this category and win this prop. So, it makes perfect sense why the USA, a country that reveres winning, would be a -750 favorite.

At the last Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the USA dominated again with 46 gold medals and 121 medals overall. Great Britain, next-closest in the standings, finished with 67 total medals. When you’re nearly doubling your competition, it’s hard to find a reason to bet against the USA for this prop.

Can Japan Gain Momentum in Olympic Medal Odds?

There would be a tendency from bettors to think that the host country is a good choice to consider in Olympic medal odds but unless you’re the USA, China or to a lesser extent Russia, don’t even bother.

For example, Brazil hosted in 2016 but didn’t even finish in the top 10 in the medal count. In 2012, Great Britain hosted and while they performed admirably, they still finished third behind the USA and China in the standings. Even the Chinese fell short to the Americans in the overall medal count in 2008 when they finished with the most gold medals. The USA just has too much margin for error given the number of world-class athletes the country sends to the Olympic Games.

For reference, the USA was the last nation to lead the medal count while hosting the Games and will likely have the chance to repeat that feat again in 2028 when the Summer Olympics are staged in Los Angeles.

There are 33 more events in the Tokyo Games than there were in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Games so there could be more opportunities for other nations to gain ground on the USA, even if some of those seem ideally suited for American athletes.

The additions include 3x3 basketball, freestyle BMX and Madison cycling. The new events are karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding. Lastly, baseball and softball return to the Games after being removed after the 2008 Beijing Games.