The Olympics is probably one of the best events for both casual sports bettors and pros alike, but for very different reasons. For the casual fan, having a flutter on the Olympics brings life to events that couldn’t possibly be enjoyed otherwise.
Now I’m not doubting there’s a huge amount of skill in kayaking down the side of a man made hill, but I’ll be damned if most people know a good kayaker from a bad one. Put some money on it though, and it’ll be instantly be brought to life. The split times that are reported as they descend are particularly good for the sweat. “Row Polish man who’s name I can’t pronounce, ROW!”
The line may have to be drawn at Dressage though. To the un-trained eye, not even the prospect of a big scoop could make a slowly dancing horse exciting. Actually, while we’re at it, I think Rhythmic Gymnastics needs to be added to that list, but at least that has nice women to look at. What do you mean: “They’re 15?”
On the a more serious note, there’s plenty of money to be made by the astute bettors at the Olympics too. While events like the Men’s 100M, the Basketball tournament, and the Tennis will be priced up meticulously by the bookmakers, those who are experts in some of the lessor known sports have an opportunity to clean up. If you’re a big fan of Boxing and follow it all year round then you’re at an immediate advantage to most punters who bet on the Olympics. Indeed, there are plenty of plenty of sports bettors who make their living all year round on the lesser followed sports, staying away from the likes of Soccer and Tennis completely.
Taking a look at some the events that are going to prove most popular bettors, if we start with the Mens 100M it’s being priced up as a two horse race between Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, with Bolt at 4/5 and Blake at 7/5. Blake however has recently beaten Bolt over 100 and 200 M at the Jamaican trials. Is Bolt price too short?
In the Men’s Basketball market the USA are very short at 2/9 with Spain the second favourites at 4/1. These are the only two teams that the bookies are giving a hope to and it’s really difficult to look past the powerhouse Americans.
As the Games draw closer events like the Rowing, Tennis and Football tournaments will draw a lot of interest, but for now the bookies are being cautious and haven’t priced up most of the markets yet. Whatever happens, there’s no doubt that between Euro2012 and local Olympics it’ll be a big year for UK and Ireland based bookmakers.