At Rio 2016, there will be 42 Olympic disciplines featuring 306 events across 19 days of intense competition. With so much going on, many athletics fans will focus their betting on the better-known athletes and events.
Beneath the surface, though, there are many more betting markets to consider. Here is a roundup of the stranger and less obvious betting markets for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Before exploring some niche events, it's worth looking at the specials betting for the Olympics. Right now, Ladbrokes has a number of special markets combining events for athletes, with punters given "to win" or "not to win" options. The latter will appeal to doubters who don’t believe the world’s best will win multiple titles.
Usain Bolt has dominated the 100m and 200m for the past two Olympics, so betting against a third double gold could be considered strange at 8/11. Meanwhile, Great Britain’s doubters can go against Mo Farrah winning the 5,000m and 10,000m at 11/8, with Team GB not claiming gold and silver in the heptathlon priced at 4/9.
During the games, some sportsbooks are going further than others with their coverage. For instance, bet365 is offering fencing odds for both men’s and women’s events, which will include epee, foil and sabre for individuals and epee and foil for teams.
For the men’s team epee, which will conclude on 14th August, France has been priced as 11/8 favourite. However, the French drop to 8/1 for the team foil on 12th August, with the Italians viewed as 6/4 favourites for the gold.
Meanwhile, China is 7/4 favourite for the women’s team epee event on 11th August, leaving Romania just behind at 3/1. China then disappears from the team sabre on 13th August, with Russia viewed as the top prospect at evens.
Water polo is another niche discipline with solid betting coverage among sportsbooks like Ladbrokes, where markets are available for gold medals and group winners for men’s and women’s teams.
At Rio 2016, men’s water polo will be one of the longer events, lasting from 6th-20th August. In the early odds, Serbia is priced as 4/5 favourite to clinch the gold, while Hungary comes next at 5/1. A drop-off then follows for Croatia at 6/1 and Hungary and Montenegro – both on 8/1.
Women’s water polo will begin three days later on 9th August, with the gold medal decided on 19th August. Ultimately, it could come down to a USA-Australia final, with both teams in separate groups. In the lead-up, Coral is offering the USA at 4/6 and Australia at 3/1.
Coral is offering individual and team odds for men’s and women’s archery at Rio 2016, with South Korea fielding some of the top male competitors. In the individual event, Kim Woojin is considered the 2/1 favourite, while fellow countrymen Lee Seungyun (9/2) and Ku Bonchan (7/1) are ready to challenge when the action begins on 5th August.
South Korea also has the most favoured archers in the women’s individual event, with Choi Misun aiming to lead the field at 11/10 when competition starts. Next up is South Korea’s Ki Bo Bae at 3/1, who wants to retain her Olympic title from London 2012.
Given South Korea’s talent, the men’s team is widely favoured at 1/4 to win gold on 6th August. Behind them, the odds lengthen to 13/2 for the USA and 12/1 for both China and the Netherlands. It’s a similar case for the women’s team, who also lead the odds at 1/4. Before the 7th August final, Chinese Taipei (7/1) and China (9/1) are next in the odds.
Ladbrokes is one of the leading sites with canoeing markets for men and women. When the men’s C1 canoe single slalom starts on 7th August, Benjamin Savsek (Slovenia) will lead off as the top prospect at 3/1. Behind him, David Florence (Great Britain) is available at 7/2 and Matej Benus (Slovakia) at 9/2.
For the men’s K1 canoe slalom on 10th August, Ladbrokes has made Peter Kauzer (Slovenia) the 3/1 favourite, having claimed world and European titles. Kauzer’s closest competitors could be Jiri Prskavec (Czech Republic) at 7/2 and Sebastian Combot (France) at 4/1.
The women’s K1 canoe slalom will launch on 8th August and the final will be decided on 11th August. At that point, world cup winner Jessica Fox (Australia) could emerge as champion, having been made 2/1 favourite by Ladbrokes. Her closest competitors are likely to be Maialen Chorraut (Spain) priced at 7/2 and Katerina Kudejova (Czech Republic) at 6/1.
Check out Ladbrokes today for in-depth betting on hundreds of events at Rio 2016.