Olympics Betting

Written by: Joseph Falchetti, Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert
Last updated:
8 minute read
Olympics betting

Olympics betting is a form of sports wagering you only get to do every four years. It’s an opportunity that sports bettors shouldn’t miss.

Since the proliferation of online sports betting at the turn of the century, online sportsbooks worldwide have offered odds on just about every Olympics sport.

The next Olympics should again surpass the betting handle of previous years.

Best Sportsbooks To Bet On The Olympics

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Tokyo 2021 Summer Olympics

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics will be the XXXII edition of the games.

Originally scheduled to take place in July-August 2020, the event was postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

General Information About The Tokyo Olympics

Betting on The Olympics
  • Host City: Tokyo, Japan
  • Opening: 23 July 2021
  • Closing: 8 August 2021
  • Nations: 206 (expected)
  • Athletes: 11,091 (expected)
  • Events: 339 in 33 different sports

Best Olympics Betting Sites

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Olympics Betting Odds: Tokyo Olympics Gold Medals Tally

The Tokyo Olympics is rapidly approaching, and with it, the chase for the number of medals won by each country is in full swing.

With countless countries vying for an Olympic medal, sportsbooks have put together a list of odds on which country will take home the most medals.

Odds To Win Tokyo Olympics Most Gold Medals

NationBetUS Olympics Betting Odds
Russian Olympic Committee+1800
Great Britain+1600
South Korea+5000
Show More ↓ Show Less ↑

How To Bet On The Olympics

How To Bet On The Olympics

If you want to bet on the Tokyo Olympics, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The first thing to consider is whether or not you want to bet on who will win the overall medal count.

You can also wager on individual sporting events, just like you would in other competitions, such as basketball and soccer.

But the most important part of betting on the Olympics is choosing a trustworthy online sportsbook to place your bets.

Follow these steps to place your first bet:

  1. Choose A Trustworthy Online Sportsbook

    We’ve compiled a list of the top online sportsbooks that allow you to place bets on the Olympics.

    These sportsbooks have an excellent reputation and offer attractive bonuses as well as secure payment methods. Our experts have tested them all.

  2. Sign-Up

    After you’ve chosen your online sportsbook of choice, you can sign up. Complete the form with all your personal details.

    It is essential to provide accurate information as they may ask you for proof of identity if you want to withdraw your funds.

  3. Deposit

    Go to the banking section of the website. It’s usually on the top menu.

    Choose your preferred deposit method. We suggest either credit cards or crypto deposits because the transaction is faster.

  4. Claim the Welcome Bonus

    Once you haved deposited, you are eligible for a sportsbook welcome bonus.

    The amount of money you used to fund your account at your first deposit is directly tied to the bonus amount.

    Be sure to read the terms and conditions.

  5. It’s Time To Bet!

    When the money hits your account, it’s time to place a bet on the Olympics. You will need to search for the sport you are interested in wagering.

    Then enter the amount that you wish to place. Before you place the bet, double-check the number and money you wish to invest.

List Of Sports For The 2021 Summer Olympics

Olympic sports frequently change. Almost every year, there are new sports added and some that have been removed.

The list of sports has changed a lot over the past few decades. Most of the sports are available for betting in domestic or international competitions.

In 2021, five new sports will be debuting at the Summer Olympics: surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing, karate, and baseball.

The list of sports for the 2021 Summer Games are:

  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Beach volleyball
  • Boxing
  • Canoe/kayak
  • Cycling
  • Diving
  • Equestrianism
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Judo
  • Karate
  • Modern pentathlon
  • Rowing
  • Rugby 7s
  • Sailing
  • Shooting
  • Skateboarding
  • Soccer
  • Sport climbing
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Synchronized
  • Table tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling

There are many sports to choose from at the summer Olympics. The broadcasting platforms will jump from one sport to another, giving you the chance to follow everything at once.

But let’s be honest. There are a few that we like more than others, and there is nothing wrong with that.

The top five most popular Olympic sports are:

Men’ Basketball

Men’ Basketball at the Olympics

The best part of the men’s basketball tournament? It features prominent National Basketball Association stars.

Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, and France all have many NBA players.

And, of course, the U.S. roster includes only NBA talent.

Women’s Soccer

Women's soccer is a popular Olympic sport

Americans love watching the United States women’s team because it wins so often.

But the women’s tournament, regardless of your rooting preferences, is terrific.

It features some of the top players in the entire world.


Swimming at the Olympic Games

Michael Phelps took the swimming competition to another level and made us care about the sport.

Katie Ledecky is now the biggest swimming star, and it’s hard not to root for her.

She’s fantastic, and her records are out of this world.


Olympic Gymnastics

The sport of gymnastics offers viewers all they can want in a sporting event.

Cool highlights, spectacular athletes, captivating stories, pageantry, and air flips are the event’s focal point.

Every competition in gymnastics has incredible rhythm and balance.


Track events at the Olympic Games

Track events are the best at any Olympics. It’s what everybody is waiting for.

One man or woman can run faster than all others. What’s not to like?

The Olympics highlight is undoubtedly the 100-meter final for men. This is where the “the fastest man in the world” title gets decided.

What Are The Most Watched Sports In The Summer Olympics?

During recent editions of the Olympic Games, gymnastics, swimming and track were the most watched sports in the United States.

Olympics Betting Strategy

Olympics Betting Strategy

Olympic betting isn’t much different from other competitions. Bettors should still use line shopping and bankroll management.

Essentially, preparing yourself to bet on the games is gaining knowledge about the sports and each team.

If you’re going to be wagering on medal counts of each Olympic team, then you’re going to need to gain knowledge of each country’s competitors on the whole.

For individual sports, much of the knowledge is already out there. The stakes change for the Olympics regarding the prize, but sports are still sports.

If you’re regularly betting on ice hockey or basketball and understand the sports inside and out, the Olympics just offers more betting opportunities.

The same goes for other sports like curling, although bettors will need a little more international knowledge.

Betting on the summer Olympics isn’t much different from gambling on the same sport outside the Olympiad.

Bettors can use their understanding of betting markets to find some +EV betting opportunities.

Olympic Betting Markets & Betting Limits

Olympic Betting Markets & Betting Limits

Betting markets for the Olympics won’t be as expansive as major sports, even though tens of millions worldwide watch the games.

To put it bluntly, even though they’re incredibly popular, that doesn’t always translate into betting action.

Bettors seem to be more interested in wagering on sports like basketball, football, and soccer.

Putting their hard-earned money down on the Brazilian water polo team just doesn’t have the same appeal.

With that said, betting markets for the games have increased in recent years.

For sports like hockey and basketball, bettors can expect the traditional sides, totals, and moneylines, with some props and live betting opportunities.

Olympic Prop Bets

Proposition bets, also known as prop bets or props, are bets made about the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event during a game.

They are not directly about the game’s final outcome. Olympic prop bets are an excellent betting opportunity to grow your bankroll.

You can try your luck by placing bets on the most drug-related disqualifications or which nation will win the most bronze medals.

Market Variation In Olympics Betting

Bettors will see a lot of variation among bookmakers with the markets available for the Olympics.

It is certainly something to check out if you’re looking to bet the games extensively before you deposit.

Olympic Bet Limits

Betting limits have a wide range. Sports like basketball and hockey will probably be close or equal to professional leagues or collegiate competitions.

Other sports, especially those that aren’t popular outside of the games, may have lower limits.

The same can be said for most future bets, regardless of the sport.

Betting limits will vary depending on the sport. Some sportsbooks will have extremely low limits for lesser-known sports.

Americans may bet with higher limits at the higher limit professional sportsbooks. But most recreational sportsbooks will have small betting limits for the Games.

Of these books, it is unlikely that you will bet more than $1,000 in any market, and even that may be on the high end.

Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Betting on Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics is one of the world’s biggest sporting events.

The most popular sports are ice hockey, cross-country skiing, and alpine skiing. These three sports are also the most popular sports to bet on.

Sportsbooks will offer plenty of odds before and during the winter Olympics on a multitude of winter sports.

The list of sports for the 2022 Winter Games are:

  • Bobsled
  • Luge
  • Skeleton
  • Ice hockey
  • Figure skating
  • Speed skating
  • Short track speed skating
  • Curling
  • Alpine skiing
  • Freestyle skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Biathlon
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Ski jumping
  • Nordic combined

The list of sports has changed a lot over the past few decades. Most of these sports are available for betting in domestic or international competitions or leagues.

History Of The Olympic Games

History Of The Olympic Games

The history of the Olympics dates back farther than any other sport or competition.

The games were played between 776 BC and 393 AD in Olympia, Greece, but few realize it took another 1503 years for the Olympics to return.

The first modern games were in Athens, Greece, in 1896.

Until 1994, the Olympics were every four years, with the Summer Games and Winter Games taking place in the same year.

That changed in 1986 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) separated the Summer and Winter Olympiads.

The change broke a 70-year-old tradition. Each of the Games is now every four years but separated by two years.

This began with the 1992 Winter Games and 1994 Summer Games. The most recent Olympics was the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, held in South Korea.

The next summer games are the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, and the winter games will be in Beijing, China, in 2022.

From the opening to the closing ceremony, the Olympics last a little over two weeks. The Winter Games are in February. The Summer Games are in August.

Olympics Betting FAQ

How many sports are there in the Olympics?

In 2021, the Summer Olympics will include 33 different sports. In the Winter Olympics there are currently 15 sports.

Can you bet on the Olympics?

You certainly can! Betting markets for the games have increased in recent years. For popular sports, like basketball, bettors can expect the traditional sides, totals, and moneylines, with some props and live betting opportunities. Also, higher betting limits than other sports.

Is gymnastics a Summer or Winter Olympic sport?

Gymnastics is part of the Summer Games and one of the most-watched Olympic sports worldwide.

Is basketball a Summer or Winter Olympic sport?

Basketball is part of the Summer Games, and one of the most popular sports in Olympics betting.

Check Out Our Complete Sports Betting Strategy Guide

About the Author

Joseph Falchetti

Joseph Falchetti

Editor-in-Chief, Pro Sports Bettor and Casino Expert

Joe is the author of the majority of sports betting pages on SBS and he serves as a gambling consultant to our content team. He's been mentioned on Forbes.com as a gaming analyst, and his articles have been linked by larger publications, such as the New York Times.

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