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Tokyo Olympic Medal Odds: USA The Overwhelming Favorite

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

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games finally kicked off on Friday, July 23, after being delayed a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Team USA has had a great start to the Games and is still an overwhelming favorite in Olympic medal odds to win the most overall medals in the Games. The USA leads the Tokyo 2020 Olympics with 31 medals heading into Day 5, followed by China (27), Russia (23), Japan (21) and Great Britain (16) tied with Australia (16) to round out the top five.

Online sportsbooks are expecting continued domination from the USA and have moved the Americans up to -5000 favorites (98.04 percent implied probability) in Olympic medal odds after four days of competition.

Not only do the best betting sites have the USA projected to have the most overall medals, but they also have made the Americans the -1600 (94.12 percent implied probability) faves to finish the Olympics with the most gold medals

Olympic Medal Odds: Who Will Win the Most Medals?

Odds to win most Overall medals: Tokyo 2020 Games
Russian Olympic Committee+4000
Great Britain+5000
Italy +50000
South Korea+50000

Odds as of July 28 at Bovada

See Odds Shark’s Best Betting Sites

Why is the USA Favored to Finish With the Most Medals at the Tokyo 2020 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 and most gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Team USA has had the edge in overall medals 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.

Through four days of competition, oddsmakers seem to be proving right in their analysis as the USA has jumped out to a fairly commanding lead in overall medals odds and they lead the Games with 31 heading into Day 6.

16 of the team’s 31 medals have come in the pool, including four golds, with four more medals coming in shooting (three gold). All of USA’s other 15 medals have come in separate events.

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, it rarely happens.

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.

That being said, Japan is out to an early lead for the most gold medals and is fourth in overall medals heading into Day 6.

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.

Best Bet: China +1400

The Americans SHOULD come away with both the most overall medals and the most gold medals. But there couldn’t be worse value betting on the U.S. at this point.

Instead, bettors are better off taking their chances with China at +1400 and hoping they can keep up with an American team that is favored in several of the track and field events that haven’t started.

How to Read Olympic Betting Lines and Odds

If you are learning how to bet on the Olympics, the first and most important step before wagering on gymnastics or track and field is understanding each betting type, and how to read the associated Olympic odds.

Moneyline: Olympics Straight Betting

The moneyline, otherwise known as a straight-up bet, is the most common type of Olympics wager. With moneyline bets, you simply pick the winner of an individual sport or team event. An Olympic moneyline wager on a match between Sweden’s women’s soccer team and Germany’s women’s soccer team might look like:

  • Sweden -140
  • Germany +145

The favorite to win (Sweden) is always shown with a negative sign (-), which indicates how much money you have to wager in order to win $100. The underdog (Germany) is almost always indicated by a positive sign (+), which is how much money you would win if you were to wager $100. Don’t worry. You don’t have to bet $100. Moneylines are not minimums. They are simply ratios. The majority of Olympics betting sites will accept straight-up wagers as low as $0.50 to $1.00.

Point Spreads: Olympics Spread Betting

Point spread betting is a little less common in the Olympics compared to most of the other major sporting events. Having said that, you’ll still be able to find plenty of Olympic spreads over the course of the Summer Games. Spreads are mostly used in team sports in order to handicap the favorite and encourage more betting on both sides. An example of a spread bet in an Olympic rugby match might look like:

  • France -7.5 (-110)
  • Australia +7.5 (-110)

In this case, France is the 7.5-point favorite over Australia, which makes the Aussies the 7.5-point underdog. A wager on France is only a winner if the French beat Australia by eight (8) or more points. A wager on Australia would be a winner if they win outright or lose by seven (7) points or less. The half-point (.5) is used to avoid a “push.”

When a push occurs, the sportsbook has to refund all action on the wager, which is unprofitable for the service. Regardless of which team you bet on in the example directly above, the moneyline (-110) indicates a “cost” ratio of risk $110 to win $100.