Winter Olympics 2018: UK Hopes Amidst Busy Betting Markets
2018 promises to be a great year of sport and one that will feature a number of major tournaments throughout the year. For many, the highlight will doubtless be the Football World Cup in Russia but before that, things will get underway in some style with the Winter Olympics.
The event will take place in Pyeongchang in South Korea from the ninth to the twenty-fifth of February and we’ve a full two weeks of top action with 15 sports on show.
As for the betting, bookmakers are steadily getting involved and the markets will get busier in the lead up to the event but we’ve already got some good options in the ante post lists.
As markets for individual events continue to come in, one of the more popular alternatives is to bet on who will win the most number of gold medals across the games. Norway are the favourites here and can be taken at 13/10 with ComeOn at this point.
Germany are second favourites across the sportsbooks and are available at a price of 7/2 with Mobilebet while the USA come next at odds of 4/1 with ComeOn and RedBet.
The first, and most obvious piece of research to carry out here is to look at the games of 2014 in Sochi and see how the final medal table worked out. Squads will have changed to an extent as athletes retire or lose form but things won’t have altered drastically in four years.
Russia actually took top place in the table with 13 golds in 2014 but the country is out at 9/1 with 888Sport to do so again. There is an element of home advantage to any sport and of all the squads to assemble in South Korea, the Russians may have the most changes to their roster.
Norway were next on the list with 11 gold medals and with Russia expected to fall away, they look to be the obvious favourites for Pyeongchang 2018. The USA came fourth with nine golds while neighbours Canada were marginally ahead of them with 10.
The Canadians could therefore be seen as an option here at a tempting price of 6/1 with MobileBet. There haven’t been too many changes to their best performers in four years and a small improvement could convert at an excellent price.
Best of British?
Sadly there is nothing to get too excited here from a British point of view. Back in 2014 at Sochi, the country claimed one gold medal plus a silver and two bronze and at this point, no bookie is listing a price on the Great Britain side to top the medal table in South Korea.
The country has enjoyed some notable successes in the Winter Olympics – who can forget Torvill and Dean – but aside from some isolated medals in skiing and bobsleigh, this isn’t really our strength.
There could be some British options in individual events however and the range of markets for these are increasing as the games draw closer.
Betting on individual sports for the games in South Korea will intensify as the Winter Olympics draws closer but we’ve already got some interesting prices for some of the marquee events.
Cross country skiing will be among the first of the events to be decided at these games so we have some active markets for biathlons and other disciplines. The women’s 7.5km skiathlon is first up and the favourite to take the Gold Medal here is Marit Bjorgen who is a very short odds on at 11/20 with 888Sport. Bjorgen is 37 now but the odds setters believe that age will be no barrier for this skier who has claimed gold six times now in various Winter Olympic events.
The most active bookmakers ahead of the Games include ComeOn and MobileBet and they have an extensive set of markets that carry almost identical prices. Men’s biathlon markets are already open and the early stages of these show matches between individuals. For example, you can bet on the opening clash where Michal Krcmar, at 2/3 with ComeOn and MobileBet is favourite to beat Krasimir Anev at 11/10 with the same bookmakers in the opening rounds of the 10km sprint.
Similar markets exist for all biathlon and cross country skiing events right now as they are the first to be decided when the games start in South Korea next February.
Markets can be upset in these disciplines and you can certainly find some value but this is very much a niche sport and one where you need to do plenty of research. The winter sports season has started right across Europe and results are coming in for biathlon and other skiing events so take them on board and look for any pointers for the future.
You don’t have to have achieved expert level to make a call on these but it pays to watch the events if possible and study form and fitness before making a bet on Winter Olympic skiing.
Other events such as figure skating are quiet in regards to available markets but this situation is sure to change in the weeks and months that lead up to the event itself. Certainly, the more established bookmakers should start to pick up on these as the New Year begins.
All eyes will be on South Korea at the start of 2018 as the 23rd Winter Olympic Games heads in to Pyeongchang. Strong teams from across Europe may be looking to dominate the two weeks of competition but there will be challenges at the top of the medals table, most notably from North America where Canada and the US are both expected to send strong teams this year.
The betting markets are also starting to gain some momentum now as the games draw closer and while, at the time of writing, there are several months to go until the opening ceremony, there are some good early prices out and some value that we can all take advantage of.