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View from Down Under: Plenty on offer at Pyeongchang for Aussie punters

While Australians swelter in the midst of summer, punters will be looking to the snow of Pyeongchang and the Aussie team’s hopes at the Winter Olympics starting this weekend.

Australia is the only Southern Hemisphere nation to have won gold at a Winter Olympics and its chances of featuring in the medal haul this year were only improved by the addition of four new disciplines, including big air snowboarding.

Although the 51-strong Australian contingent is not expected to challenge its Northern Hemisphere counterparts for the top of the medal tally, the bookies are tipping big things from several members of the team in South Korea.

Australia boasts the reigning halfpipe world champion in Scotty James, who will be competing in his third Olympics at the age of just 23.

Despite coming an unlucky second at the X Games in Aspen last month, James offers great value at $6 (+500) as the fourth favorite to take the gold medal on the Sportsbet board.

Britt Cox, the youngest athlete at the 2010 Vancouver Games, is now 23 years old with 11 World Cup medals behind her.

The moguls specialist got her 2018 off to a strong start with a win in the first World Cup event of the year in early January and is the third favorite to win gold at $6 (+500).

Aerials ski veteran Lydia Lassila followed a gold medal at Vancouver with bronze in Sochi and is poised to become the first Australian woman to compete at five Winter Olympics.

At the ripe old age of 35, Lassila returned to competition in 2017, after a hiatus from the sport, to claim three World Cup victories and is an attractive bet for gold at $8 (+700) on the William Hill board.

Australia’s most successful male aerial skier, Sochi silver medallist David Morris, won bronze at last year’s world championships and is on long odds of $67 (+6600) to win his event.

Australia’s flagbearer, Alex Pullin, got his snowboard cross season off to a flying start with back-to-back World Cup gold medals in Argentina last month and is rightful second favorite for Pyeongchang at $5 (+400).

While Australia’s women’s snowboard cross hope Belle Brockhoff has three World Cup gold medals to her name, she suffered through a horrible 2017 marred by injuries.

Local punters will be hoping she’s recovered enough to make good on the tempting $23 (+2200) on offer from William Hill for a gold medal next week.

Back home, Australia’s cricketers are looking to make up for a dismal limited-over series against England with a win in the Trans-Tasman T20 Tri-series.

After beating New Zealand by seven wickets in Saturday’s opener, the Aussies are favorites to take out the series ahead of Wednesday night’s second match against England.

Sportsbet is paying $2.20 (+120) for Australia to win the February 21 final in Auckland, with $2.70 (+170) for England and $3.50 (+250) for the Kiwis.

In the A-League, Melbourne City will look to cement its finals credentials when it takes on top-of-the-table Sydney FC on Saturday. 

Third-place City downed Brisbane 2-1 this week to seriously dent the Roar’s chances and are on $3.40 (+240) to make it two in a row, with $2 (+100) for Sydney and $3.60 (+260) for a draw. 

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