The Olympic Games or “Olympics” are not only the most celebrated sporting event in the world but one of the most popular to bet on. With over hundreds of competitions divided between the Summer and Winter Olympics, Olympics odds are available from the sportsbook. Even when both Olympics are still years away, you can bet on these odds.
How Do Odds Work on Olympic Games?
To understand the Olympic betting lines, you will have to familiarize yourself on how to read the odds. These come in three forms, decimal, fractional, and American. The first two are straightforward but American is a staple in the sportsbook.
These odds show either a negative number (e.g. -150) or a positive number (e.g. +130). The former shows how much you need to wager to win $100 ($150 with the example) indicating that this line has an implied probability greater than 50 percent. The latter indicates how much you win on a $100 bet ($130 with the example), which implies a probability of less than 50 percent.
The most available Olympics betting odds you’ll come across are futures. Since the Olympics only occur every two years, futures allow you to place a bet on the Olympics when it is still far away. Futures are usually an outright bet meaning you bet on a nation, team, or athlete to win a competition straight-up.
The moneyline is the most straightforward of Olympics odds; bet on who you think will win the competition.
The point spread is available in some sports. This is also sometimes called “handicap”. This is generally available in sports like basketball, soccer, and tennis. A spread is where an oddsmaker adds or subtracts points from competitors to “even” the playing field. To win this bet, your chosen competitor’s final score must win after the spread or handicap is added or subtracted.
Another popular market is the over/under (or total). This is simple, bet on whether the total will go over or under the oddsmakers’ line. A popular over/under to bet on is the medal count for each country (e.g. USA’s total gold medals).
Props or “proposition” bets are side bets you can make that have very specific conditions for a bet. They can vary depending on the event you are betting on but some popular props are markets like player points in basketball, which players score goals in soccer, and if a world record will be broken in track or swimming.
Examples of Betting Olympic Games
We can give a ton of examples on Olympic Games betting. But since you will likely be going into outright betting, here is an example of what one would look like. Let’s use the Winter Olympics’ medal table. This is to determine which nation finishes with the most medals:
- Norway -300
- Germany +550
- United States +1100
- Canada +1200
- China +2000
Only one of these nations can finish with the most medals (if two nations tie, the bet would be voided (wager is refunded) unless there is a tiebreaker explicitly stated e.g. whichever nation has more gold medals). Judging by the odds here, Norway is a large favorite as we need $300 to win $100.
But should Germany or the United States finish with more medals, a $100 bet on either will pay $550 and $1,100, respectively.Follow us on Twitter