When talking about the online sports betting market people mostly think Football (Soccer or NFL) but betting on the Olympics especially the Winter Olympics is a huge event. Over the past few years the sports betting industry have refined their product to make it an easy thing to bet on nearly every Olympic Sporting event. There are a total of 2500 athletes competing in 98 events across 7 different sports.
For this article I will be taking my example from the Bodog Sports betting site which I am most familiar with and which have their live odds posted. As you may know the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies are on February 7, 2014 in Sochi, Russia but be assured the betting has already started.
At a first glance I can see that the odds for Men’s Ice Hockey are already posted with Canada and Russia being the favorite at 3.0 and 3.25 respectively and Austria being a long shot at 1001 to 1. The USA is at a respectable 7:1 odds and I would gather that these odds will fluctuate as the betting starts to pour in. Keep in mind that the Bodog sports betting site only accepts bets from Canadians residing in Canada so their sports betting patterns may reflect differently with the rest of the world and may influence the line.
Sports betting is without a doubt gambling but it is best to realize that there is a lot of science as well as math involved when determining a sports betting line. Team match ups, player match ups, win loss records and past match ups all directly affect the line taken on a given event. One of the most important aspects of a moving line is how much money a particular sports book is getting on a specific event. If one side of a bit is getting an inordinate amount of action the line may move to help balance it out.
For example if for some reason the United States was getting a high amount of betting action with the odds of 7:1 then that line might actually move closer to 6:1 all based on the money action alone! That is one of the reasons you will see different sports books with different lines because their player base is unique to itself and move the lines to balance their in house betting.
This can by a big advantage to the savvy online sports better who has already determined who they expect to win an event. In the example of the Bodog sportsbook which only takes bets from Canadians I would expect a larger proportion of the betting to go in favor Canada winning the Hockey gold medal which would therefore inflate the odds for the other countries. If a player was betting that the United States will be the upset winner it would make sense for them to have an active account with the Bodog Sportsbook if they happen to be offering the best lines on the US in this event.
Hockey is not the only Olympic Sport available for wagering, most online sportsbooks will have lines available on Hockey (Men’s and Woman’s), Alpine Skiing, Cross Country, Figure Skating and even Curling. You can bet the over/under on the number of gold medals by country and even make parlay bets!
Online sports betting has truly evolved into a massive industry over the past few years and it is good to see the Sportsbooks themselves have evolved to provide an expanded and usually easy to use platform which enable their users to place internet bets on events like the Winter Olympics. It is not uncommon for a sport’s better to have accounts at multiple online sportsbooks to take advantage of the moving sports lines from book to book. It is helpful to take advantage of some of the websites which have comparative live lines like those found at Footballbets.com or Sportsinsider.com.
Enjoy the upcoming Olympics, this should be an exciting event and the Russians will surely not disappoint. This years’ winter Olympics will include 6 new events including the Ski Halfpipe (men’s and women’s) and the Luge team relay. For those of you placing wagers may your teams bring home the gold!