Online sportsbooks are already accepting bets on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics scheduled to kick off later today.
The opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games is scheduled to take place at 20:14 local time tonight in Sochi, Russia. After that, athletes from a record number of 88 countries will compete in the games for the next two weeks. Naturally, both online and land based bookies will be covering the events with lots of betting odds under Russian gambling laws and in other jurisdictions.
Let’s take a look at what sporting events are the most popular with punters in the Russian Federation and worldwide.
Ice-hockey is usually the crown event of every Winter Olympics, and Sochi is no different. This time around the Russians are on home turf and are, naturally, one of the favorites to take the gold medal. In fact the Russians have never won the Olympics since the country became independent.
The Soviet Union has 7 golds, and the last time they triumphed was in Albertville in 1992, but then they were playing under Unified Team right after the collapse of the USSR. The Canadians are leading the table with 11 Olympic golds, USA are third with 3 gold medals, Sweden has 2, Czech Republic and Finland 1 gold each, and interestingly enough Great Britain has 1, but that was won back in 1936.
All professional players from the NHL and the KHL (the Continental Hockey League in Europe) will be making it to Sochi, setting up quite exciting tournament with lots of fierce competition. online sportsbooks in Russia prepare to cover the ice-hockey tournament fully.
Canada and Russia are leading the bookies’ tables with equal odds of 19/10 to win the gold, followed by Sweden with a line of 11/2. USA are next with 7/1 odds, Finland has 11/1, Czech Republic – 12/1, and then come the more distant prospectives of Switzerland with 33/1 odds and Slovakia with 40/1.
That’s for the men, but women will also compete for gold. Here everyone expects the Canada v United States final, where the Canadians are given more favorable odds of 17/20, while the Americans had to settle for 1/1 odds. Next up are Finnish women with 20/1 odds, and then the hosts, Russia, with 22/1 chances to take the gold medal.
Betting odds for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
• USA is expected to win most medals
• Punters will have extensive betting options at online sportsbooks in Russia
• Jamaica will be competing in the two-man bobsleigh event
Martin Fourcade of France and Emile Hegle Svendsen of Norway are the favorites to dominate the individual biathlon events. They both received 5/2 odds to win in three Biathlon events. Norway men are also favored to win the relay with 4/5 odds, followed by the French with 4/1 and the Russians with 5/1. In the women’s relay it’s Norway on top with 6/5 odds, next up are Germany with 12/5 odds, and Russia with 9/2.
In cross-country it’s also Norway on top of the tables to win the men’s relay with 2/5 odds, followed by Russia with 3/1 and Sweden with 5/1 odds. In the women’s event it’s also Norway with pretty short odds of 1/25, followed by Finland with 10/1 and Sweden with 12/1.
Norwegian Axel Lund Svindal and American Bode Miller are leading the way at the internet betting in Russia on who’s going to win the downhill event. Svindal is top with 3/2, Miller is next with 3/1, the rest of the field is just too far away with Erik Guay next with 13/1 odds.
Canadian men are widely expected to win the Games with 4/7 odds, while the next hopefuls are Sweden with 4/1, and Great Britain with 11/2. The hosts Russia are last in line with a line of 100/1. The same line-up is true for the women as well, but with different odds. Canadians got a line of 6/5, the Swedes – 2/1, and the British – 5/2 odds.
Shaun White has got 4/9 odds to take home the gold in the men’s halfpipe. Russian Yuri Podladhikov and American Danny Davis will be his biggest competition with 9/2 and 7/1 respective odds. Torah Bright of Australia is the favorite to win the women’s event at 5/4 odds, followed closely by the American Kelly Clark at 6/4, and another Australian Holly Crawford at 10/1.
Figure-skating will also enjoy a lot of spot-light during these Games with Team competition joining the Olympic program for the first time in history. The biggest question, of course, is can Evgeni Plushenko beat Patrick Chan to take the individual gold. The Russian got 4/1 odds, while the Canadian received more favorable 9/10 odds.
As for the women it’s South Korean Yuna Kim set to repeat her gold medal success of four years with 5/6 odds. Japanese Mao Asada is next with 9/4 chances, and Italian Carolina Kostner with Russian Julia Lipnitskaia are next with 8/1 odds each.
Cool Running movie is certainly not forgotten by many fans of the sport, and the Jamaican Olympic team will compete in Sochi. But of course, the Jamaicans are outsiders to win the two-man event at 100/1 odds. The favorites here are the Americans with 11/8, Switzerland with 12/5, and Russia with 17/4 odds.
The medal competition
USA are expected to collect the most medals in Sochi at 1/1 odds, followed by Norway at 9/5, Germany at 6/1, and the hosts, Russia, at 8/1 odds. However, Norway are favored to win most gold medals at the Games with a line of 11/10, followed by USA at 5/2 odds, and Germany tied with Canada at 8/1, Russia are next with 10/1.
We wish all Olympic athletes the best of luck during the two weeks of competition in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. We will be definitely covering the most interesting events and occurrences with our daily news.