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2022 Winter Olympics Odds: Betting Guide for the Beijing Games
As the World Cup does not get underway until November, it is the Winter Olympics that will assume the mantle of the biggest world sporting event for much of 2022 and the best betting sites are ready for the flame to be lit.
109 gold medal events, incorporating seven sports and 15 different disciplines, means plenty of betting opportunities for everyone.
Of course, some countries take winter sports more seriously than others. Jamaica, with its world-renowned bobsleigh team, are particularly keen on that one event at least!
But in all seriousness, Norway, Austria, Sweden and many North Americans are fanatical about several things involving snow, ice, skis and skates.
The opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics will get underway on February 4. However, a few competitions will have already begun. Meanwhile, the first gold medals will be awarded on Saturday, February 5, and festivities will end on Sunday, February 20, when the last four medal events will be decided.
China won the bid to stage the Winter Olympics back in 2015 and they have chosen Beijing as the host city.
The city is in a unique position as the first place to host both Summer and Winter editions of the Olympics. Many venues used for the 2008 Summer Olympics are being used for a second time, but obviously for different sports.
For example, the National Indoor Stadium, once used for rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and handball, will now host ice hockey.
The Winter Olympics betting odds have markets open on which country will land the most gold medals, and also who will grab the most medals total.
At 1/6 Norway are overwhelming favourites to win the most gold medals at the Games. ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) follow at 8/1, Germany are at 9/1 and Canada are next with 16/1 odds.
Norway is also favourites to win the most overall medals on new betting sites, but at 1/4 only the very brave will be tempted. But everyone should admire the nation’s Winter Games exploits given their population is only 5.3 million.
Like the marathon at the Summer Olympics, the winter version has its own centrepiece event. That is the Men’s Downhill Skiing. Due to be staged on February 6, it is likely to be a betting highlight.
In 2022 there is no definitive favourite in the Men’s Downhill. However, Switzerland’s Marco Odermatt will be a very short price to land the Men’s Giant Slalom and is one of the best bets for gold at Winter Olympics.
The 24-year-old has been a win-machine this season and he will probably start as odds-on favourite for that race.
In women’s skiing the slalom is a straight fight between the USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin and Petra Vlhova of Slovakia. The former has had the better season, but Shiffrin took her rival’s scalp in the final slalom before the games.
Ice Hockey is normally a real crowd pleaser but with players from the USA’s National Hockey League (NHL) unable to play at the Games, this looks an easy open goal for the ROC at 6/4 when it comes to betting on the Winter Olympics.
Norway took 39 medals at the last Olympics, and many are predicting they will reach 45 this year. Half of those could come from the Biathlon and Cross-Country events. However, ROC has some very strong candidates, and they could easily cause some upsets in the combined 23 events.
In Speed Skating the Netherlands are the country to follow. They left the last Winter Olympics with 20 medals. 14 of those were golds or silvers in this sport.
ROC can enjoy a similar dominance in Figure Skating – their 15-year-old Kamila Valieva is odds-on in the Women’s Free Skate – but there are only five medal events in the sport.
The USA are sending a squad 222 athletes to the games, but it is an ageing team. They have four five-time Olympians on their roster: Snowboarders Lindsey Jacobellis and Shaun White, Curler John Shuster and Katie Uhlaender, who goes in the Skeleton.
All but 54 of their athletes have contested at least one Winter Olympics in the past. There is no clear sport the country will excel in, but they will go home with a good cross-section of medal winners.
The latest predictions forecast 22 medals for America, with seven golds.
The UK, that small island with 67 million inhabitants but very little snow, is predicted to leave Beijing with three medals.
Thankfully the reigning Snowboard Cross World Champion, Charlotte Bankes has renounced France – the country she represented at the last two Olympics – to line out fot Team GB.
Likewise, Gus Kenworthy, a silver medalist at the Sochi 2014 Games in Freestyle Skiing, has abandoned Team USA after two Olympics. He too is now a Brit!
Thoroughbred Brits Zoe Atkin, Kirsty Muir and James Woods are in the Freestyle Skiing, plus Snowboarder Katie Ormerod also has a shot at some silverware.
But, Team GB’s record of returning home from a Winter Olympics with five medals looks safe.