Tips for Betting The Tokyo Olympics This Summer
After a full year’s delay and a considerable amount of drama, the Tokyo Olympics are officially all systems go for a summer of patriotism and betting on obscure sports that your grandparents do in their retirement home (sailing, synchronized swimming, BMX racing, etc.) The opening ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, July 23rd, and honestly, it couldn’t come sooner. With the NBA finals wrapping up next week, baseball in its dog days, and no big UFC or YouTube boxer fights on the radar, we needed this to get us through the next few weeks of waiting until football starts.
While it’s an exciting time, it can also be a dangerous one. It’s easy to get swept up in patriotism and lose a bunch of money on a table tennis player just because he happens to be from New Jersey. That’s where your friend Action Jackson, the Wizard of Odds and Prince of Parlays, comes in. I’m here with my four tips to help you actually make money this summer betting on the Tokyo Olympics.
Tips for Making Money Betting on the Tokyo Olympics This Summer
1. Stay Involved with Futures Betting
The opening ceremonies on Friday, July 23rd kick off a hectic, two-week frenzy of events that culminates in the closing ceremonies on Sunday, August 8th. It’s easy to get lost in the drama, but the best way to stay involved throughout is with the most simple kind of bet – futures.
There are two basic types of futures bets that you can make at the start of the tournament for each country, with a quick glance at the odds for the top picks of each:
1. Most Gold Medals (by Nation)
You can also find lines for total medals odds, but the majority of the focus is on the golds. Either way, it’s the same story – the US is far and away the lock to win the most medals, as they have in the last 5 Olympics. At -700 odds though, there’s not a ton of value. But it’s still nice to throw a few units on and cash in at the end of the Olympics.
If you’re looking for value picks, the only country with a real shot of beating the US is China. They have top athletes in a wide range of competitions, including some of the obscure sports like archery or badminton, that help with total medal counts.
However, the real value comes with…
2. Over/Under Medals Bets
Again, these are generally offered for gold medal and total medal bets and operate like a standard bet.
Here’s a quick look at the US over/under for gold medals odds from William Hill:
I love the over bet here. First off, in the 2016 games, the US won 46 gold medals and they are looking even more stacked this year, with Gabby Douglas returning to claim up to 5 golds, 4 of the top 5 golfers in the world, a men’s basketball team full of stars (hopefully they can turn it around), and the top track and field team in the country. Plus, it’s just fun to root for the over when it comes to America and gives you rooting interest in every sport.
Outside of futures bets, you’re also able to bet on results and props for each of the individual sports.
2. Bet on What You Know
This is advice we give for every single big sporting event like UFC fights or golf majors, where casual fans tune in only 3 or 4 times a year, but it’s even more important during the Olympics.
There are a total of 33 sports and 339 events this year, a shocking number that can get overwhelming quickly. To make things even more overwhelming, there are 4 sports added to this year’s events (karate, surfing, skateboarding, and sport climbing). And we’re getting back baseball and softball for the first time since 2008.
Instead of going nuts and throwing money on every event just because the US has someone in it, focus on the sports that you actually know something about.
Here are some sports you probably already follow that you can bet on:
Take a quick look at the rosters of each team before you bet. But you should have a good sense of which countries have a shot in each matchup. And when in doubt, bet on Gabby Douglas.
3. Find 2-3 Sports to Get Really Into
On the flip side, the Olympics are a great time to get really into a few sports that you won’t care about for another 4 years, especially if your country has a top athlete competing. As always, though, make sure you’re doing your research beforehand and betting based on the numbers, not your gut. It’s not just a good way to make money. Dropping detailed knowledge about the badminton bracket or France’s chance at medalling in fencing in casual conversation is a great way to sound really cool at a pregame or happy hour and definitely isn’t weird and annoying at all.
There are a number of new athletes to watch in the new sports. But below are a few US athletes to watch in some of the more obscure sports:
I’d also recommend giving
- John John Florence is a top surfer to watch from Hawaii. And he will be representing the USA on the surf team.
- From the Women’s team, Carissa Moore is a surfer to watch. She is the first American female to make the US Olympic Surf team.
- Skateboarder Nyjah Husto on Team USA is expected to win the gold. There’s also a 12-year-old girl, Sky Brown, who’ll be competing for Great Britain that I can guarantee will be the talk of the tournament.
- Karate athlete Tom Scott is a favorite on the US Olympic Karate team.
rugby a chance. The USA is currently knocking on the door of medalling and is right now given the 4th best odds to win the tournament. Plus, it’s a thrilling game that’s only going to rise in popularity. Give it a watch this Olympics, and you might find yourself tuning in for matches throughout the year.
4. It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Nowhere is bankroll management more important than in the Summer Olympics. It’s over two weeks of nonstop action, with the chance to bet at all hours of the day and night. It’s very easy to get sucked in and blow your entire bankroll in the first 48 hours of action. So make sure you’re sticking to your units and only betting on events you’ve actually researched.
Pro Tip – stay away from betting on qualifying events, especially basketball. The point-spreads are massive, and as we’ve already seen with the USA team (that’s already lost twice), anything can happen as squads are slowly learning how to play together. Plus, athletes are saving their best stuff for the medalling rounds, so make sure you wait until then to actually place any bets.
Happy betting this Olympics season. We’ll be covering some of the bigger sports on a more detailed level throughout the next few weeks. So make sure you tune in to win big this summer.