The Olympic Games take place every four years, but they’re staggered so that the winter and summer competitions are held two years apart. Thousands of athletes compete to bring home medals for their respective countries, and the competition is an entertaining mixture of national pride and old rivalries.
Since most of the nations on the planet take place, you can count on Olympics betting to have a significant level of popularity every two years. As much as fans love to wager on their home country, they also enjoy betting on rival neighbors to put on a poor showing. When it comes to gambling on sports, the only event with more emotion tied up in the wagers is the World Cup.
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2018 Winter Olympics
We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. If it feels like it has been a long time since the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia- it’s because it has. That was in 2014. Fast forward to 2018 and the Winter Olympics are about to get underway in South Korea: Pyeongchang, South Korea to be exact.
After coming up short in their bid for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games, Pyeongchang received enough votes to get the nod for the 2018 edition.
There’s a whole lot to get excited about no matter who you are. If you are itching to get a bunch of bets in, then the month of February is going to be busy for you. With 15 sports and 102 events on the Winter Olympics schedule, something tells me finding some interesting wagers won’t be a problem.
Over the course of two weeks, athletes from 90 nations will be competing in a plethora of thrilling sports. Witnessing exhilarating performances on television is not going to be a problem: that much we can assure you.
So, when can you expect all the excitement to get underway?
The Opening Ceremony takes place on February 9th- but you don’t even have to wait until then to get your “Winter Games fix on.” Ski Jumping and Curling actually get underway the day before. Figure Skating and Freestyle Skiing get going the day of the Opening Ceremony and the Winter Games are off to the races.
If you are wondering if there are any new events on the schedule, we got you covered. There are four new additions to the Pyeongchang Games.
- Big Air Snowboarding
- Mixed Doubles Curling
- Mixed Team Alpine Skiing
- Mass Start Speed Skating
We really have my eye set on the Big Air Snowboarding as we think that event will garner tons of attention, and we expect it to live up to the hype.
For those readers who’ve never experienced the thrill of betting on the Olympics, here are a few interesting facts to get you excited about the upcoming competition:
- Two of the countries that rank in the top 10 for winning medals no longer exist. These include East Germany and the Soviet Union.
- The first Olympic Games took place in Greece in 776 BC, and it was part of a festival meant to honor Zeus, the king of the Greek gods.
- The oldest participant in the Summer Olympics was Oscar Swahn of Sweden. He competed in 1908, 1912, and 1920. He won gold in 1912 at the age of 64 and silver in 1920 at the age of 72.
- The original Olympic games were held until 393 AD, when Emperor Theodosius of Rome banned them for the celebration of pagan gods.
- First flown in 1920 and created by Pierre de Coubertin, the Olympic flag features five interconnected rings on a white background. Each of these rings represents a continent, and their connection symbolizes the international friendship promoted by the Olympics.
- If an athlete finishes outside the top three in an event, they receive a paper diploma for participation instead of a medal.
- The United States leads all nations in the number of medals won during the Olympic Games. The current total is 2,681, with 1,072 gold, 859 silver, and 750 bronze.
- The only person to win medals in three different sports during a single Olympic Games was Frank Kugler. Representing the United States in 1904, Kugler won a silver in freestyle wrestling, two bronze in weightlifting, and a bronze in the tug of war.
- The ancient Olympics started as a series of foot races, with men competing in the nude. Women weren’t allowed to participate, and married females were barred from attending.
- Michael Phelps of the United States is the Olympic athlete with the most medals. From 2004 to 2012, he won 18 gold, two silver, and two bronze.
The Olympics in 2018 feature 28 different sports, and you can count on sportsbooks to offer odds on all of them. Events like men’s basketball should be easy for bettors to research, while the women’s long jump and men’s 50 km walk should prove far more challenging.
Here are some of the most common wagering option you can expect to find:
- Futures – These are wagers decided in the future, often months in advance. A current example allows bettors to predict which nation will win the most gold medals at the upcoming summer Olympics. Options for silver and bronze medals should also be available.
- Outright Winner – This option exists for the men’s and women’s version of all 28 sports in the Summer Olympics. In order to get paid, just pick the outright winner of an event.
- Prop Bets – This form of wager deals with something other than the outright winner of a single event. I’ve seen one wager offering 4/6 odds on Usain Bolt winning both the 100 and 200 meter gold, and there are sure to be over/under wagers on the number of medals won by various athletes or nations. You can also expect some unconventional options such as the length of the opening ceremonies and how many world records are broken.