Olympic Ski Jump Disqualifications, Ice Hockey Lineups Challenge Bookmakers

Author Image Article By
Last Updated: 
Share On Your Network
Olympic Ski Jump Disqualifications, Ice Hockey Lineups Challenge Bookmakers
© PA

A couple of centimeters can make a big difference — in athletic competitions and sports betting.

On Monday, uniform violations of a few centimeters resulted in five female athletes being disqualified from the mixed team ski jump final at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

One uniform was deemed 2cm larger around the thighs than allowed. Larger uniforms give ski jumpers an aerodynamic advantage, ski officials said.

Bettors Expect Fairness When Wagering, Bookmaker Says

In the sports betting world, such violations are cause for concern, according to a veteran bookmaker. The odds on an event then have to be adjusted, sometimes quickly.

Casey Lewless, a sportsbook manager with experience in Las Vegas and Louisiana, told Gambling.com that bettors expect an honest outcome but aren’t getting it when factors like uniform violations occur.

“That’s not fair to the bettor,” said Lewless, sportsbook manager at Penn National’s riverboat casinos in Bossier City, Louisiana.

Public Information Useful to Bettors, Bookmakers

If information is available to anybody, such as the weather at a baseball park on game day, bettors can use those facts in making wagering decisions, Lewless said. Bookmakers also can put public information to use in setting odds on an event.

But bookmakers and betters have no way of knowing about uniform violations or any other nonpublic factor, such as crooked officiating, that could skew the outcome, he said.

Fairness in sports is vital not only to the integrity of the game but also to bettors, Lewless said.

“When you go to the ticket window, you like to think, ‘I have at least a 50-50 chance of winning,’” he said.

Five Skiers DQ’d at Winter Olympics

The skiers who were disqualified from competition Monday are Sara Takanashi of Japan, Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria, Katharina Althaus of Germany, and Anna Odine Stroem and Silje Opseth of Norway.

Takanashi is the athlete whose suit was 2cm wider around the thighs than permitted, NBC News reported. Takanashi’s “huge” 103-meter jump on Monday was disqualified because of the uniform irregularity.

Takanashi and Germany’s Katharina Althaus had been considered among the favorites.

In the medal competition, Slovenia took advantage of the disqualifications to win gold.

Russian athletes won the silver medal, while Canada earned bronze, which USA Today called “stunning results” on both counts.

COVID-19 Concerns Keep NHL Stars Out of Olympics

Violations like those that led to disqualification in the ski jump competition are not the only factors bookmakers consider when setting the odds on any event.

Especially this year during the coronavirus pandemic, bookmakers have had to take unusual circumstances into consideration in determining which men’s ice hockey teams would be the favorites in Beijing.

With the National Hockey League pulling out because of COVID-19 concerns, Olympic teams this year are playing without NHL stars.

Canada, U.S. Face Off Friday

The 2022 U.S. team, which includes 15 current college players, begins play Thursday against China, a lightly regarded team whose roster includes one former NHL player, Brandon Yip, a former Colorado Avalanche draft choice. Game time is 8:10 a.m. ET.

Canada’s men open play on Thursday against Germany, also at 8:10 a.m. ET. Canada is in Group A with the U.S., China and Germany.

One day later, on Friday, the U.S. and Canada face off for another go-round in their intense cross-border rivalry.

Three University of Michigan players are expected to suit up for Friday’s game, including Matty Beniers and Brendan Brisson on the U.S. team and Owen Power for Canada, according to USA Today. Power and Beniers were selected first and second in the NHL’s 2021 draft. Game time is 11:10 p.m. ET.

Canada is coming off a string of Olympic success. The national team has won three of the past five Olympic gold medals, and bronze in 2018.

Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey Odds

The odds to win gold in men’s Olympic ice hockey this year, below, are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook:

  • Russian Olympic Committee +150
  • Finland +450
  • Sweden +550
  • Canada +700
  • Czech Republic +900
  • Switzerland +1400
  • United States +1600
  • Germany +2000
  • Slovakia +5000
Author Image Article By
Last Updated: 
Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Linkedin Icon Email Icon Copy Link Icon