The Olympic Games is famed for showcasing some of the biggest sporting events in the world – from the iconic 100m final through to the gruelling marathon. Half the planet’s population will watch the 2020 Olympics this summer as thousands of athletes arrive in Japan seeking to fulfil their lifelong ambitions of winning gold.
Below, we’ve reviewed the best Olympics betting sites and looked into the markets to help you on your way. Learn which are the most popular Olympic sports to bet on, which markets are worth monitoring, and understand core strategies when placing a wager.
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This year’s athletics festival was delayed 12 months due to the coronavirus but the wait is finally over. Fans around the world are gearing up to watch all the action from Tokyo and plenty are also considering their 2020 Olympics betting options before it all begins.
Olympics betting is one of the most exciting ways to keep up to date with your favourite athletes and potentially win big! With 33 sports, 50 disciplines and 5,000 medals to distribute, there are plenty of chances to bet on Olympics odds and get even closer to the action.
If you want to place an Olympic bet but don’t know where to start then the medals table is usually a smart opening wager. There are scores of bookies offering 2020 Olympic betting odds – so we’ve curated the very best sites that focus specifically on Olympics medals.
|Russian Olympic Committee||25/1|
*Odds correct as of June 10, 2021 and courtesy of William Hill
When it comes to the Olympics, most fans automatically think about athletics and gymnastics as the two core sports of the Games. And it’s true that these two disciplines take up a big chunk of the action. But the beauty of having 33 different sports at one event is that there’s something for everyone.
What’s more, the global fame of the sport doesn’t always correlate with its popularity within the betting markets. Football and golf, for example, aren’t big Olympics sports – yet there is a hive of activity on these disciplines during the Games.
Below is a list of the most popular Olympic sports to bet on:
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As bettors, we often gravitate towards sports we are familiar with. That’s why football and golf are popular markets. Football has been an Olympic sport since 1900, while golf only returned to the event in 2016 after more than a century away. Golf betting was a big hit during Rio and should be again in Tokyo.
Individual sports such as swimming, athletics and gymnastics don’t attract too many bets outside of the Olympics. But their popularity spikes over the three-week Games as suddenly everyone becomes a javelin or pommel horse expert! Boxing acts as the perfect breeding ground for future professional superstars and boxing betting interest reaches a frenzy when the medals fights get underway.
As for the Olympic hockey betting odds, the sport has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity at the Games thanks to Australia and Great Britain’s recent prowess against the powerhouses of the sport Netherlands and Germany.
With over 5,000 medals awarded, it’s no wonder there are plenty of Olympic betting lines to follow throughout the summer. Now, there are two core market types supported by bookmakers: team and individual markets.
Team sports such as football, basketball, handball and rugby sevens feature bets on the eventual gold medalist, and also often for silver and bronze too. Most of these sports include a group stage before knockout rounds, which means there are opportunities to bet on individual matches throughout the Games. These matches open up the possibility of hundreds of betting variables to choose from – whether it be first goalscorer in football, handicaps in basketball or even innings betting in baseball.
Individual sports like the 100m, heptathlon, tennis and shot putt focus on specific athletes, which may require greater knowledge of those individuals. However, these are also perfect opportunities to not only bet on your favourite personalities but also follow them through the summer. In-play sports betting on events such as tennis and boxing is an ideal way to get closer to the action and potentially win big at the same time.
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Mastering a betting strategy at the Olympics is the perfect way to enjoy all the action and stick to a regular wagering pattern. Here are four Olympic betting tips you may want to follow throughout the summer:
Everyone rushes to athletics at the Olympics but there is great value to be found in niche sports. You may not be familiar with events such as weightlifting, canoeing and taekwondo but this is often where less realistic odds can be found. It’s here where favourites may be priced higher than usual, and where outsiders are actually a lot better than their odds suggest.
It’s common knowledge that host countries usually boost their medal haul at their home Games. In fact, on average the hosts can expect to win 20 more medals and almost 11 additional golds. So, keep an eye out for Japanese athletes – especially in the gymnastics, judo and wrestling.
You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy 2020 Olympics betting but it certainly helps to know a little about the team or athlete you want to back. Most new betting sites provide detailed stats banks for players to pour over and brush up on their knowledge. Watching the Olympics and taking notes of the commentary will also help better inform your bet decisions if you’re focusing on a niche sport.
The beauty of placing an Olympics bet is there’s no rush to get that wager down. After all, the Games last 16 days and there are thousands of medals to be won. So make sure you shop around, find the best online betting site to suit you, take advantage of promo deals and free bets and stay in control when making considered, smart bets.
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The history of the Olympic Games begins back in ancient Greece, around 700BC, when city states across the region sent their best athletes – usually warriors – to compete in events such as running, boxing and chariot racing.
The modern Olympics, inaugurated in 1896 by Pierre de Coubertin, were first staged in Athens. Just 14 nations competed during the one-week Games that April, across nine sports. The Olympics has been cancelled three times – once due to the First World War, twice due to the Second World War – and has been staged in every continent apart from Africa.
The United States has hosted the Olympics four times and will also stage the Games in 2028. Both London and Paris have hosted the event three times, while this summer will be the second time Tokyo have hosted the event after 1964.
It wasn’t until 1924 that the Winter Olympics began, with French town Chamonix hosting the first event. Over the years punters have been able to enjoy an increasing number of sports at the Winter Games and access Olympic ice hockey betting odds, skiing and curling markets.
|2016||Rio de Janeiro|
|2020 (in 2021)||Tokyo|
The 2020 Olympic Games were delayed a year due to coronavirus and will begin on 23 July 2021 and end on 8 August 2021.
The 2020 Olympic Games are being held in Tokyo, Japan and other cities across the country.
The United States has won the most Olympic medals with 2,828 combined (2,523 at the Summer Olympics, 305 at the Winter Olympics).
Cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins is Team GB’s most successful Olympic athlete with eight medals (5 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze)
The 2024 Olympics will be held in Paris, France. The Games will begin on 26 July 2024 and end of 11 August 2024.
"Jamie is a sports writer and editor with extensive experience in the sports betting industry. His work has previously appeared in publications such as FourFourTwo, Boxing News, RTÉ, Sky Sports, The Irish Post, The Unibet Blog, Bleacher Report and a string of Irish national newspapers."
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