Norway's Poised for Alpine Skiing Victories in Pyeongchang
Alpine skiing encompasses four exciting events during the Winter Olympics – Downhill Skiing, the Slalom, the Giant Slalom and the Super Giant Slalom (or Super-G). The difference between the three types of slalom is not only the distance between the gates that the skier must pass through, but also the speed. The Super-G event is thought of as more of a speed challenge than a technical one, such as the Slalom and Giant Slalom. But where should you place your money? Read on to see which skiers are favourites for the different races.
Bookmaker William Hill can’t seem to choose which skier is more likely to take home the gold in the Downhill event, offering the same 7/2 odds for bets on Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal and Switzerland’s Beat Feuz. Svindal has seen an amazing return to form since an Achilles tendon injury put him out of the entire 2015 season. His most recent Downhill wins were in Groeden and Beaver Creek in December 2017. However, Feuz’s form has been slightly better overall, with two Downhill wins this year in Wengen and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
A distant third-place bet is Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud, currently attracting odds of 5/1 at Paddy Power. Although Jansrud is favourite for the Super-G, he does also compete in the Downhill, with limited success in the past. An outside bet to consider is Austria’s Matthias Mayer at 10/1. While he doesn’t have the winning streak of the two favourites, he has shown flourishes in the past, winning the Downhill Combined Disciplines event in Bormio just after Christmas.
The Slalom is a more technical ski, with athletes having to judge their turns to angle them through the gates, as they pick up a penalty for each missed one. One man who’s on point is World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher, who’s won an impressive 26 Slalom races in his career, with 56 appearances on the podium. It’s little wonder that William Hill has him sitting at 9/10 to walk away with the gold medal.
A slightly more daring bet may be the young Norwegian skier Henrik Kristoffersen, who came first in Kitzbühel and second in Schladming this year. At 23 years of age, he shows incredible confidence on the slopes, and at 2/1 odds, he might be worth a punt.
Men’s Giant Slalom
Hirscher is also favourite to win the Giant Slalom, attracting odds of 3/4 at Unibet. Kristoffersen is also ranked as a solid bet at 5/1, but Frenchman Alexis Pinturault has snuck into second with slightly better odds of 4/1. His last Giant Slalom win was in his native France in the town of Val d’lsere in December 2017. He also managed third place this year in Adelboden, so might be worth a look.
Men’s Super Giant Slalom
Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud is favourite to win gold in the Super-G, offering odds of 3/1. He’s a double Olympic Champion from 2014 in Sochi, winning bronze in the Downhill race and gold in the Super-G. His last Super-G win was in Lake Louise in November 2017, and more recently he came second in Kitzbühel in January.
Aksel Lund Svindal swaps places with Jansrud in these odds, with William Hill placing him second favourite at 4/1. Two Austrians, Max Franz and Vincent Kriechmayr, enjoy joint third place with odds of 8/1. Both are regular podium finishers for the Super-G, with Kriechmayr taking home the top spot in December’s FIS World Cup event in Beaver Creek.
While few American male skiers appear in the top draw, Mikaela Shiffrin hopes to bring back some gold to the USA. William Hill is so confident that she’ll win that they're offering 1/5 odds. She’s without a doubt the world’s best female skier at the moment, having come first six times during the FIS World Cup in the last three months alone.
However, she failed to qualify in the last Slalom race in Lenzerheide, so she’s not infallible. A smart second bet would be Sweden’s Frida Hansdotter, who came second in Lenzerheide as well as achieving several other podium finishes in the 2017-2018 season.
Women's Giant Slalom
Unsurprisingly given her form, Shiffrin is odds-on favourite to win gold on the Giant Slalom too. However, William Hill is not as confident in her for this as for the Slalom, with odds of 6/4. A trio of skiers are tied in place as second favourite – Italy’s Federica Brignone, France’s Tessa Worley, and Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg. The bookmaker is offering 5/1 odds for each one. If we had to pick one it would be Worley, who claimed the most recent victory in the Giant Slalom in Lenzerheide.
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