Odds and opinions galore on the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. We’ve compiled some of the best insights on several top events.
The quadrennial Commonwealth Games are the world’s second-biggest sporting event (in terms of countries, athletes and events) following the Summer Olympics. The 2010 games in New Delhi, India feature 6,700 athletes from 71 nations competing in sports as diverse as squash, triathlon, boxing and netball.
While the games are the pinnacle of diversity, for the past 24 years they’ve been dominated by one country: Australia. The athletic Aussies have been dominant in several events in the Commonwealth Games, especially swimming and athletics.
But while they’re bringing a host of prime competitors to Glasgow for the 2014 games, oddsmakers and punters alike are favoring athletes from lots of different countries. If you’re debating who to bet on in the 2014 games, take a look at our analysis of some of the top sports.
Rugby is probably the Commonwealth event that is most popular with sports bettors. This time the fearsome Kiwis are predicted by everyone and their mother to take away the gold. BetVictor has them at 4/5 odds followed by South Africa at 2/1, England at 11/2 and Australia at 14/1.
The Kiwi national team has been so dominant throughout history that they have a winning record against every country they’ve played against. That includes England and South Africa. However, the South Africans have come closer than anyone to competing with the Kiwis.
The conservative bet would be to take New Zealand to win the rugby gold medal outright. However, if you’re feeling adventurous don’t be afraid to choose South Africa. They offer a higher payout and have a better chance of winning than most people realize.
Athletics are always one of the most exciting events in the Commonwealth Games, and several countries bring top teams year in and year out: England, Australia, Kenya, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and several more.
This year, most punters are predicting England to slightly edge Australia as the overall medals winner, with Kenya rounding things out. In the individual events things get a lot more interesting.
• Australia is expected to dominate in men’s and women’s swimming, so much that it makes more sense to bet on an underdog and hope for a big payday
• New Zealand looks to continue its rugby dominance, while South Africa is a dark horse worth paying attention to
• In athletics, expect England to win the most medals but the Jamaicans to dominate the men’s 100 meter
Jamaica isn’t bringing enough athletes to compete for the medals lead in athletics, but they are bringing the best athletes. Fastest man on earth Usain Bolt will lead them in the 4X100 meter relays, with bookmakers like Bet365, BetVictor and Betfair pegging them to win.
Jamaican sprinter Nickel Ashmeade and Jason Livermore are two of the top contestants for the 100 meter sprint. Online sportsbook in the UK Bet365 is favoring Ashmeade with 8/13 odds. Richard Thompson of Trinidad is at 5/1 and Livermore at 7/1.
While Ashmeade’s odds look close to overwhelming, remember that the sprint lasts only about 9 seconds. Anything can happen during that time, so choosing Thompson or Livermore certainly wouldn’t be a bad bet.
Swimming is always a fan favorite in both Olympic game and Commonwealth Games betting. Something about watching men and women perform at such a high pace and intensity is exhilarating, to say the least.
The sport has traditionally been dominated by those Aussies and this time around oddsmakers are going wild over them again. In the 4X200 meter relays the men are being given ridiculous 1/66 odds by BetVictor, with Scotland at an extremely distant second at 14/1.
Considering you need to bet $6,600 to win $100, it’s not even worth betting on Australia. Take a chance and go with Scotland or England on that event.
As for the women, the Aussies also look fearsome. BetVictor is giving Taylor McKeown 2/5 odds of winning the 200 meter breaststroke, followed by Alia Atkinson of Jamaica at 9/2. In the 4X200 relay the Aussie women are given the same odds at the men, so consider betting on England at 14/1. They’ll be looking to cut their former colony down to size.
Men’s Triathlon: the Battle of the Brownlees
Men’s triathlon is set to be one of the most interesting betting events for two reasons. The first is that it’s all-around a great sporting event featuring arguably the best-trained athletes you’ll find in any competition, and the second is that the top two contestants are brothers.
Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee of England are far and away the favorites to take home the gold and silver medals, respectively. Alistair won the gold and Jonathan the bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
This time, Ladbrokes is picking Alistair to beat his brother with 1/3 odds compared to 3/1. However, Jonathan will be extra motivated after having lost in London. Going with the favorite may be the safe bet, but we think you can’t go wrong either way.