Image source: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0 / CC BY-SA via Wikimedia Commons
Last season both the women’s and men’s Cross-Country World Cup were won by Norwegian athletes, Ingvild Flugstad Ostberg and Johannes Hosflot Klaebo. In the 2020 FIS Cross-Country World Cup betting predictions we look at the main favorites for this season.
Bookmakers are giving the best chance in the women’s race for Therese Johaug to win the overall standing with only 1.01 odds. In the men’s race, the competition looks much tighter, with reigning champion Klaebo and Russian Alexander Bolshunov having similar odds.
2020 FIS Cross-Country World Cup Betting Predictions: Women’s race
Therese Johaug won the distance world cup in 2018-19 and came third in the overall standing. But we can find even better results in her past, explaining why she is the top favorite. So far she has won seven gold in the world championships, three Olympic medals, and five World Cup titles. Johaug was banned from competing from 2016 for 18 months after a positive drug test. She had to miss two seasons, including the Olympics in Pyeongchang. She returned last season though and was competing in great form. This year she can take back her title.
Norway’s other top skier is reigning champion, Ingvild Flugstad Ostberg. She has won gold medals in the team relays and team sprints in the Olympics and World Championship. She also has an individual silver in sprint from the 2014 Olympics from Sochi. In the 2018-19 season with balanced performance, Ostberg won 5 races, including the Tour de Ski. She managed to keep her lead from January until the very end. Her odds to keep her title is 9.00 with Unibet.
Other nation’s top athletes
Two Swedish skiers are also in the favorites in our 2020 FIS Cross-Country World Cup betting predictions. Last season’s sprint world cup winner, Stina Nilsson has won the Olympic gold in her strongest field, beside a silver in the World Championship this year and two golds in the team events. She finished fifth overall but can reach a better result in the next season. She has 8.00 odds for the win.
The only 20-year-old Frida Karlsson is a huge talent, already winning a silver and a bronze individual medals on the World Championship this year, and gold with the Swedish team in the relay. She has become the youngest cross country world cup gold medallist. Great results are expected from her, bookmakers are giving her 9.00 odds to win the title.
Russian Natalia Nepryaeva finished second behind Ostberg in the previous season, fighting for the title even on the last race. She is 24, she also belongs to the younger generation. She has won a bronze medal in the Olympics in 2018 and another bronze in the World Championship this year with the Russian team in the relay. Her odds are 13.00.
Betting predictions for the men’s race
Norwegian Johannes Hosflot Klaebo has won the overall cross country world cup in 2018-19, ahead of big rival, Russian Alexander Bolshunov. Klaebo is only 23 but has already won three Olympic gold medals in 2018, three gold in the World Championship, and 8 World Cup titles. He had this season 11 World Cup wins but had to concentrate even on the last race, where he got the victory too. Amazing performance at such a young age, his odds to keep his overall world cup title is 2.10.
His main opponent is Bolshunov, who is the same age as Klaebo, meaning lots of similar fights between the two athletes in the upcoming years. He has silver medals from both the Olympics and World Championship in the team events, and three individual silver medals as well. Bolshunov managed to win the distance world cup last season, his odds to win the overall next time is 2.35.
Online sportsbooks in Norway are predicting another Russian skier, Sergey Ustiugov in the top three. He will have a tough job, with other great Norwegian skiers in the field. Just to show Norway’s dominance, in the top 10 in the overall standing there were 6 Norwegian skiers. No surprise Norway won the Nations Cup as well both in the men’s and ladies’ competition.