Dating back to 1896 in Greece, the Olympic Games is regarded by many as the biggest event in sport. Attracting athletes and fans from around the world, the Olympics involves many different disciplines. Ranging from the long jump and 100m sprint to tennis and archery, those competing dream of winning the gold medal.
For those watching, Olympics betting sites add to the excitement and rewards. Olympics betting is growing in popularity, with many leading bookmakers now offering markets. So, whether you are looking to place bets on the 400m hurdles or newly introduced skateboarding events, this page has everything you need to know. We recommend our top Olympics betting sites, as well as outlining how Olympics betting odds work.
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Olympics betting may not be the first market in which punters think of at online bookmakers. However, the Summer Olympic Games is an event that increasingly attracts the attention of bettors. Many of the best-known bookies now offer betting on Olympics. This is certainly a good thing for punters. However, it does make deciding on which site to sign up on more difficult. This is why our experts have looked closely to identify the best Olympics betting sites. When ranking bookmakers in this area, we use the following criteria:
The introduction of five new disciplines means that the Summer Olympic Games now features 33 different sports. As a result, there has never been so much choice when it comes to betting on the event. However, there are undoubtedly some sports which gain more interest from fans and punters than others. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular Olympic sports to bet on:
Track & Field – The first events in which many think of surrounding the Olympics come from track & field. Sprinting, middle and long distance running are joined by jumping and throwing events, such as the triple jump, discus and javelin. The 100m and 200m finals always attract great interest from punters. The likes of Usain Bolt, Linford Christie and Elaine Thompson have won gold here over the years.
Swimming – Events from the pool are also hugely enjoyable. Whether it be breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle or butterfly, races over different distances are available to bet on. Michael Phelps, Jenny Thompson and Ryan Lochte have all dominated in their time.
Gymnastics – Having been part of the Olympic movement since 1896, it should come as no surprise that gymnastics is another hugely popular event at the Summer Games. Rhythmic and trampoline events now accompany floor, bar and other apparatus disciplines.
Basketball – Olympic basketball odds are also found at many betting sites today. Part of the Summer Games since 1936, basketball is played by both men and women, with the USA having dominated over the years.
Football – Both men and women are involved in football at the Olympics. Players in male teams must be aged under-23, with three exceptions being allowed, while there are no such restrictions for female teams.
Cycling – Cycling at the Olympics takes place in the velodrome, as well as on the road and mountains. It is generally track cycling which grabs the attention of punters. Events including the sprint, pursuit and Keirin are available to bet on.
Tennis – The world’s leading tennis players also take part in the Olympics. The likes of Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams have all won gold for their respective nations over the years.
Martial Arts – Karate, judo, taekwondo and wrestling are also part of the Summer Olympics. Attracting interest from a specific set of followers, the battle for medals here is intense.
Now that you know the events available to bet on, it is time to take a closer look at the most popular Olympics betting markets. Bookmakers are unlikely to cover each and every event at the Summer Games, with the following being the most in-demand:
100m Final – The men’s and women’s 100m final is the highlight of the Olympics for many. Despite being over in a matter of seconds, the build-up and race itself often makes for great entertainment. Being crowned fastest in the world is a title desired by many.
Marathon – One of the greatest tests of endurance comes with the marathon. Part of the Olympics since 1896, the race takes place over 26 miles. Punters can bet on who will win the men’s and women’s race, as well as potentially whether a world record will be broken.
Cycling Team Pursuit – Involving two teams, each with four riders, the Team Pursuit is one of the most exciting events at the Summer Olympics. Taking place over 4km, the team registering the fastest time will win. Meanwhile, victory can also be declared if one team catches the other. Great Britain has won the men’s gold for three consecutive Games.
Rowing Coxless Four – Another event in which Britain has excelled in over the years is rowing. Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent have both won five and four golds respectively. The majority of Olympics betting sites will offer markets on the race.
Aside from the standard Olympics betting markets, there are a host of alternatives for punters to consider. Known as specials with most bookies, the following markets also attract major interest from bettors:
Medals Table – The medals table outlines which countries have been the most successful at the Olympic Games. The likes of the United States, China, Great Britain and Australia regularly feature in the top positions. Many bookmakers accept bets on which nation will finish at the top of the pile. Gold medals count for more in this case, with silver and bronze medals also contributing.
Great Britain Total Golds – Available with a host of British bookmakers, punters can wager on how many gold medals Great Britain will win during the Olympics. This is across all sports and events, with GB having won 27 at Rio 2016.
Prop Bets – A small number of prop bets are also likely to be available during the Olympics. Such markets could potentially include a country not to win a single medal, a certain singer to perform at the opening ceremony or there being a disqualification in a particular event.
As we have already mentioned, the prices offered for Olympics betting markets will differ between bookmakers. While this potentially not being a significant difference, it can still impact how much punters earn. Those with a good knowledge of the Summer Games are likely to be in a position to find good value. Below is our recommended Olympic betting bookmaker for those looking for the leading odds.
Like with other sporting events, including Premier League football, tennis and cricket, live betting markets are available surrounding the Olympics. This means that punters are not restricted to just placing bets before events. While not available on all Olympic events, bettors are likely to be in a position to wager once events such as the marathon, long jump final and tennis gold medal match are underway. Odds will fluctuate based on how athletes are performing. Many bookies also now offer a cash out feature, which is especially useful for live betting.
The Olympics is an event enjoyed by millions across the globe. While many will watch the action on television or desktop devices, others will follow events on mobile. This is why it has never been more important for Olympics betting sites to be fully functional on phones and tablets. This is already the case with the vast majority of bookmakers. Some have even taken the step of developing and introducing a dedicated betting app. Either way, olympics betting markets should be available with just a few taps of your screen. Features such as Touch and Face ID make mobile betting all the more efficient.
Whether you are new to Olympics betting or have been wagering on the Summer Games for years, it is important to give yourself the best possible chance of beating the bookies. While there is no guaranteed formula for success, the following Olympics betting tips will stand you in good stead:
For those in the UK, the 2021 Summer Olympics will be broadcast by both the BBC and Eurosport. Meanwhile, it is anticipated that a number of bookmakers will also cover events from the Games. The following are the betting sites to have offered Olympics live streaming in the past. We have also listed just how punters can qualify to watch streams.
The fact that the Tokyo Olympics was postponed until 2021 will have only made punters more eager to back their favourite athletes and teams. Olympics betting is growing in popularity, with many of the leading online bookmakers now offering markets here. So, whether you are looking to bet on the 100m, table tennis, mountain biking or skateboarding, our recommended Olympics betting sites are well worth checking out.
An increasing number of online bookmakers accept bets on the Summer Olympic Games. However, there are undoubtedly some which perform better than others. Having tested all available operators, we recommend the likes of MansionBet, 888Sport and BetRegal.
Betting on the Olympics is safe, as long as wagers are placed on sites licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. All of our recommended Olympics betting sites meet this requirement, while also having a number of additional safety measures in place.
Yes. All of our top ranked Olympics betting sites offer some form of sign up offer. Whether it be free bets or a deposit bonus, such rewards are generally worth utilising, as long as the terms and conditions are fair for all parties.
The 100m and 200m sprints are popular Olympic betting markets. Away from the track, the marathon also attracts great interest from punters, along with events from the cycling track, rowing, martial arts and tennis, among others.
Yes! The majority of bookmakers will offer live betting on Olympic events. This means that punters can place bets even after events have begun. This can be very rewarding, especially if you can back an athlete to come from a losing position to claim glory.
James is a freelance writer who specialises in the world of sports and iGaming, producing engaging and accurate content for online publications, including news articles, reviews, press releases and social media marketing.
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