How to Bet on the Beijing Olympics
The Olympics have it all—the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, and mucho betting opportunities. Here’s how to wager on the games, in Beijing next month.
Every four years, sports fans get two weeks of nonstop athletic competition, courtesy of the Olympic Games.
Of course, Covid-19 messed up the timeline the last couple of years—the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing will follow almost directly on the heels of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo—as the 2020 games were actually held in 2021.
And while much has been made of a multinational diplomatic boycott of the China games—the U.S. announced last year that it would not send an envoy, along with the U.K., Australia and Canada—the country’s athletes, including Team USA, are free to participate.
From Friday, February 4 through Thursday, February 20, elite amateur and professional athletes will compete on a glittering global stage. The events will be broadcast live from three zones: the Beijing Zone, the Yanqing Zone and Zhangjiakou Zone. Each zone has its own Olympic Village and will host a number of different events.
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Ready to Bet the Olympic Games?
Sports betting is now legal in 30 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, but legal wagers have become widespread only in the past couple of years. As a result, most Americans haven’t bet their first Olympics yet. Relax. Betting the games isn’t much different from betting on other sports.
Among the most popular markets include medal counts: which nations will win the most gold, silver and bronze medallions, with odds for who will win the most, straight up and set to an over/under.
Currently, Norway is a -500 favorite to grab the most gold, and -800 to capture the most medals overall (see complete medal odds below).
Other markets are sports- or athlete-specific. For example, you can choose the winner of a race, game or event, or the number of medals to be earned by an individual competitor.
While most states offer Olympic betting, a few have opted out because they don’t permit betting on amateurs or those under the age of 18. In addition, some sportsbooks won’t offer wagers on judged events, such as figure skating, freestyle skiing, ski jumping and some snowboarding events.
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Most Popular Winter Olympic Sports
This year’s Winter Olympics will include 109 medal events across 15 sports. Here are some of the favorites:
- Alpine skiing: Eleven competitions will include speed events (downhill and super G) and technical events (slalom and giant slalom).
- Ice hockey: Twelve teams divided into three groups will play off to determine seeding, followed by a knockout phase of four elimination rounds. Olympic hockey is essentially the same as NHL, and the betting is similar too.
- Biathlon: This sport combines precision-rifle target shooting and cross-country skiing in one race. It includes a total of 11 events across men’s and women’s circuits.
- Curling: In this sport, players on ice slide a curling stone toward a target as their teammates sweep the lane with brooms. There are women’s, men’s and mixed doubles teams in this surprisingly popular and entertaining event.
- Snowboarding: Men’s and women’s snowboarding first became an Olympic event at the Nagano Games in 1998. Giant slalom and halfpipe competitions are rated by accuracy, style and difficulty.
- Figure skating: This event, a show of athletic power combined with sheer grace, is always a fan favorite. Participants are judged by the accuracy and technical difficulty of their performances.
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Go for Olympic Gold
Which country will win the most gold medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics? Here are the current odds:
- Norway: -500
- Germany: +650
- Russia: +1000
- Canada: +1400
- USA: +1400
- Netherlands: +4000
- China: +10000
- Sweden: +15000
- Switzerland: +15000
- Austria: +20000
- Japan: +25000
- France: +50000
- Italy: +50000
- South Korea: +50000
- Finland: +75000
- Poland: +100000
- Australia: +200000
- Czech Republic: +200000
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Before you fill out your betslip, do a little homework. Research past Olympic performances to get a feel for the sport and the athletic demands. Shop your favorite sportsbooks to find the best odds and lines. Above all, enjoy yourself and keep it safe. Always create a budget and stick to it.
Watch the Olympic Games
The 2022 Winter Olympics will be broadcast on the NBC Universal family of networks, which includes NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, the USA Network and the Olympic Channel. NBC’s streaming service, Peacock, will also feature live content. All channels are carried by most cable providers and streaming services such as YouTube TV, Sling, Fubo, etc.
Keep in mind that Beijing time is 13 hours ahead of Eastern Time, and plan accordingly. For a complete schedule of Olympic events, click here.
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