For the next two and a half weeks, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing will provide nearly endless betting opportunities for a bunch of intriguing events and sports that might not get a lot of attention in a non-Olympic year. There are the staples of hockey, curling, figure skating, skiing, and bobsledding, to name a few, that are always worth keeping an eye on.
Let’s go through some of the more prominent sports with an eye to the Olympics betting odds as well as the key dates and general information for each:
Curling and luge were the first two sports in action on Wednesday but the Olympics’ official Opening Ceremonies aren’t until Friday at 7 a.m. Eastern time. The calendar for each sport can be found here, as events continue until February 20th, when Closing Ceremonies are scheduled for.
Right now, on the BetUS sportsbook, Norway is the overwhelming favorite to win the most gold medals (-500) and the most medals (-700) in general, which isn’t surprising considering Norway’s dominance in skiing and other outdoor snow sports. Germany is +500 to win the most gold and +900 for the most medals while the Russian Olympic Commission is +1000 and +900 respectively.
The U.S. (+1500) and Canada (+1600) are big underdogs in the gold medal chase and have slightly better odds (both +1200) in the overall medal race.
While it’s a little disappointing that NHL players aren’t participating in the men’s tournament in this Olympics, there are a lot of really good former NHL players and top prospects on the top teams — the U.S., Canada, ROC (odds-on favorite), Finland, Sweden, and Czech Republic are the top contenders in the men’s tournament — with a bunch of names you might be familiar with.
Group play for the men starts on February 9 The American team is pretty young with 15 players currently in the NCAA. There are some guys with NHL experience, like David Warsofsky and Brian O’Neill, but if the Americans are going to make noise in this tournament, it’s going to be because of top prospects Jake Sanderson, Matty Beniers, and Brendan Brisson, among others. The U.S. is +1500 to win the gold for the men, which is a reasonable reflection of the team’s youth and inexperience.
Canada (+600) is led by longtime NHLers Eric Staal and David Desharnais as well as prospects Owen Power (the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft) and Mason McTavish. The best team is the ROC (+125) which won gold at the 2018 Games — also without NHL talent — and is led by Slava Voynov and Nikita Gusev, among others.
The competition is much tighter and more top-heavy on the women’s side, as both the U.S. and Canada are -110 co-favorites to win gold with teams like Finland and Switzerland forming a clear second tier. The U.S. brings back a lot of its gold-medal-winning roster from 2018, in particular star forwards Hilary Knight, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Amanda Kessel, and Hannah Brandt.
Canada is led by Marie-Philip Poulin and Jocelyne Larocque and got off to a good start, crushing Switzerland 12-1 on Wednesday. The U.S. had a tougher time with Finland on Thursday, winning 5-2 but losing star Brianna Decker to a leg injury that will keep her sidelined for the rest of the tournament.
Canada is the co-favorite in both the men’s (+200; tied with Great Britain) and women’s (+275; tied with Sweden) curling tournaments. The U.S. — which won its first-ever gold medal in men’s curling in 2018 — is +1200 on the men’s side, which opens up play on February 9. John Shuster, who was the skip for the 2018 gold medal team, is back for the Americans and is one of the U.S. team’s flag-bearers for the Opening Ceremonies.
The U.S. is a big +1600 underdog on the women’s side, which starts up February 10th. The Americans didn’t reach the playoffs in PyeongChang so they’ll be looking to improve significantly this year.
The ROC (-500) is heavily favored to win gold in the figure skating outright team trophy based on the Las Vegas odds but the U.S. has the second-best odds at +500. There are also a bunch of individual figure skating and speed skating competitions you can wager on if you’re betting online
American Nathan Chen — who won bronze in 2018 as part of the team figure skating competition — is a -300 favorite to win gold in the figure skating men’s singles outright.
The Americans have a bunch of really well-known names participating across the multiple snowboarding events, headlined by Shaun White and Chloe Kim who both will compete for gold in the halfpipe.
Jamie Anderson has the second-best odds (+225) in the women’s slopestyle competition. Red Gerard (+425) will compete in the men’s slopestyle four years after he shocked the world and won gold in PyeongChang to become the youngest American man to win gold in 90 years. Gerard is still just 21 years old and has the third-best odds behind Canadian Mark McMorris and Norway’s Marcus Kleveland.