The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games get started on February 4, with athletes from around the world gathering in China for a chance at glory.
There is a cloud of uncertainty hovering over the Games with concerns over COVID-19 looming over every event and every athlete, but the competitions themselves should still be an exciting display of athleticism and intrigue.
One of the most popular ways for bettors to interact with the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is to bet on the overall medal standings.
Online sportsbook Sportsbook is expecting domination from Norway at these Winter Games and has the Norwegians listed at -800 to win the overall medal count. Norway is followed by the Russian Olympic Committee (+900), Germany (+1000), Canada (+1400) and the USA (+1400) to round out the top five.
Not only do the best betting sites have Norway projected to have the most overall medals, but they also have made the Norwegians the -400 (80.00 percent implied probability) faves to finish the Olympics with the most gold medals.
Olympic Medal Odds: Who Will Win the Most Medals?
|Russian Olympic Committee||+900|
Odds as of February 1 at Sportsbook
See Odds Shark’s Best Betting Sites
Why Is Norway Favored In Olympic Medal Odds?
Norway led all countries in the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics with 39 medals and tied with Germany for the most golds with 14.
The Norwegians make their bread in the skiing events. Seven of the country’s 14 golds came in cross-country skiing (the national sport), two were in ski jumping and three others came in alpine skiing, biathlon and freestyle skiing.
In total, only five of Norway’s 39 medals came in events in which the athletes weren’t wearing skis. And they are expected to repeat that same level of dominance.
Marit Bjørgen, the most successful cross-country skier in history, won five medals herself in 2018 and retired after those Games. You would think that might put a dent in Norway’s potential dominance in the event.
But cross-country skiing in Norway is like hockey in Canada, and the Norwegians have a roster of talent unparalleled by any other country in the skiing events. They should again win about a third of the 36 cross-country skiing medals and be very competitive in alpine skiing, biathlon, ski jumping and Nordic combined. A bit of quick math will show you it will be hard for Norway to finish outside the top two in overall medals.
Norway has also grown its program to become competitive in non-skiing sports such as curling, snowboarding and speedskating. Picking up a few medals in those sports would easily put them over the top.
Best Bet: Russian Olympic Committee +900
It is hard to dispute that the Norwegians should easily finish in the top two. But betting Norway at -800 won’t win you much of anything.
Instead, we’ll go with the athletes representing Russia as the Russian Olympic Committee to land the most medals.
Like Norway, the Russians should win a bunch of medals in cross-country skiing and have a well-rounded program that should produce plenty of success in hockey, speedskating, figure skating and snowboarding.
Germany should also be very competitive and always does well in events such as luge and bobsleigh, but they won’t have the numbers in skiing events to rival either the ROC or Norway.
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 skiing or hockey 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 Sportsbook of an individual sport or team event. An Olympic moneyline wager on a match between Sweden’s women’s hockey team and Denmark’s women’s hockey team might look like:
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 (Denmark) 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 Winter 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 hockey game might look like:
In this case, Canada is the 1.5-goal favorite over USA, which makes the USA the 1.5-goal underdog. A wager on Canada is only a Sportsbook if the Canadians beat USA by two (2) or more goals. A wager on USA would be a Sportsbook if they win outright or lose by one (1) goal. 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.