The U.S. Olympic Men’s Track and Field team consists of 64 members and is consistently a powerhouse in the sport. But only a few can win the gold, namely the trio in the 200 meters and Grant Holloway for the hurdles events if the Olympic betting lines are accurate.
Kerron Clement most recently brought a gold medal home for the 400-meter hurdles in the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro. Prior to this, Aries Merritt won the Olympic 110-meter hurdles in 2012 while Angelo Taylor won the 400 hurdles (with Clement finishing right behind him) in 2008.
It will be big shoes to fill for the likes of Holloway, Rai Benjamin and the rest of the Olympic men’s track team. Other than Holloway and Benjamin, the Americans are not expected to even finish on the podium. But don’t count them out entirely.
Remember the name: Grant Holloway. The 23-year-old is the runaway favorite to capture the gold medal at -250, per the Olympic odds. Holloway has been smashing records left and right, including a 40-year-old NCAA mark and this year’s World Indoor Tour in the 60-meter hurdles
Holloway had a sterling 2019, setting personal bests in the 60-meter dash, the 110 hurdles, the long jump and the 4 x 400-meter relay. He also won the 2019 World Championships in Doha. His 12.81 time at the 110 hurdles this year ranks second all-time.
Devon Allen (+2200) and Daniel Roberts (+3500) are longshots to win, and finishing on the podium will be considered a monumental achievement for both.
Allen, a former football player, is an accomplished hurdler on the national level. He has won four titles within the U.S., including the 2016 Olympic Trials. He made it to the finals in Rio but finished fifth, just shy of a bronze medal.
In 2019, Roberts finished second to Holloway in the NCAA Championships. His time was the second-best overall in the 110 hurdles. He went on to beat Holloway in the Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Although he was disqualified in Doha but crushed his Olympic trials, Roberts posted his personal best.
Other Olympians to watch include Cuban Orlando Ortega and Russian Sergey Shubenkov, who are both at +700 to win the gold. Jamaican Ronald Levy is at +850.
But as far as the sportsbook’s odds, Roberts offers plenty of value here and could surprise with a podium finish or even a shocker over Holloway.
The 400 meters is a different beast entirely. Benjamin opened at +200 behind the heavy favorite in Norway’s Karsten Warholm (-225), who set the world record earlier this year. However, money has come in on Benjamin and his line has shortened to just +175.
The “very chill” Benjamin was second to Warholm in the 2019 World Championships, finishing 0.24 seconds behind him. However, he has dominated in the U.S. and has a lengthy collection of gold medals from the NCAA, U.S., and the Olympic Trials this year, where his 46.83 clocking is third all-time.
Warholm and Benjamin are heavily favored to finish in the top two. Behind them, the odds lengthen for Alison dos Santos of Brazil at +1250 and Abderrahman Samba of Qatar at +1600. Kenny Selmon, another American, faces the longest odds on the board at +10000. A podium finish for Selmon is unlikely.