Podcast: How to Bet on the 2021 Tokyo Olympics

Matt Landes is joined by “Whale Capper” Drew Dinsick for an in-depth look at betting on the Tokyo Olympics.

It’s taken a year longer than expected, but come Friday the torch will ignite at Tokyo Olympic Stadium. If you want to add betting value to the entertainment value of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, you’ve come to the right place.

While Olympics betting menus can vary significantly from sportsbook to sportsbook, a simplified focus on the widely available over/under lines for countries’ gold medal counts offers sufficient value unless you have the inside scoop on a particular market. In other words, the athletes won’t be the only ones going for gold -- they’ve got company with us gamblers.

Courtesy of outstanding analysis by “Whale Capper” Drew Dinsick, this week’s guest on Props & Hops, here are three podium-worthy wagers for your Olympics portfolio:

🥉 Bronze: USA Over 43.5 Gold Medals (-170)

First thing’s first: This line is all over the map. You could take a nice payout in the range of +180 on over 46.5, play over 45.5 for a more standard -110, or lay a little lumber on 43.5. I’m opting for the third option in order to unlock 44, 45 and 46 as “win” numbers.

Drew acknowledges the US underwhelmed in swimming trials, but doesn’t think it justifies the gold medal total being “bet to the under like somebody knows what the final medal total is gonna be.” The US should still be a force in swimming, as well as track and field and gymnastics.

With more medals being awarded in Tokyo than in previous Olympics, a mid-40s output is attainable.

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🥈 Silver: Japan Under 27.5 Gold Medals (-170)

Like the US, Japan’s total has been steamed to the under -- the key difference in Drew’s eyes is that the move against Japan has been more correct, and hasn’t yet gone far enough. Also like the US, Japan’s line varies widely from one book to another so shop around where you can.

In Drew’s words, “everything has to go their way” for this bet to lose -- Japan would need to virtually sweep judo and add to its gold tally in sports such as cycling, badminton, baseball, golf and women’s tennis. If the host country can thread the needle, more power to the Land of the Rising Sun.

🥇 Gold: South Korea Over 11.5 Gold Medals (Even Money)

Drew anticipates South Korea cleaning up in archery and tae kwon do, among other sports. He also foresees edges for South Korea outside the lines of competition.

For starters, South Korea has a home-field advantage of sorts -- Korean athletes aren’t traveling nearly as far as most others to get to Tokyo, and with Seoul in the same time zone there won’t be a body clock disruption.

Additionally, the pandemic hasn’t been as impactful in South Korea, resulting in less disruption to athletes’ training.

And as a subtle but substantial factor, how’s this for motivation: South Koreans who win gold are exempt from military service. In a sport like golf, where pros across the world were laser-focused on The Open in the UK just last week with a major meaning more than Olympic gold, South Korean athletes have been gearing up for the Olympics and nothing else.

Add it all up and South Korea’s gold medal count may well hit the teens.

Do you have a question or a topic you’d like Props & Hops to feature on an upcoming episode? Connect with Matt on Twitter or Instagram.

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