Assemble national pride with a breakthrough betting platform and what results in the next couple of weeks. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (delayed until now as a result of the global pandemic), offering widespread wagering for the first time ever.

The Olympic Games run until Aug 8. New Jersey online bettors observe numerous options.

Team USA heavy favorite for most Olympic medals

Taking a broad concept, they can slam a wager at lopsided prices for the United States to win the most medals. Not many will opt for -1000 across the major NJ sportsbooks, but some with large bankrolls will take a small return on a near-certain sure thing.

Gamblers can also stab at the U.S. total medal count of 111.5 over-under at William Hill, for example, with odds of -115 either way.

The projected medals total across the sportsbook spectrum is slightly less than in 2016 when the USA earned 121 medals. It included 46 gold, 37 silver, and 38 bronzes.

That nearly doubled the 70 earned by second-place China (26 gold, 18 silver, and 26 bronzes).

Major advancement is expected here from China, with DraftKings Sportsbook putting the medal total at over-under 85.5 for that country.

Besides the medal count, gamblers can direct individual bets on swimming and track and field props, as they become available. Some have a Garden State connection, more on that below.

Either way, the Olympic betting realm has arrived.

DraftKings Sportsbook ‘loaded for the Olympics’

NJGamblingSites.com caught up with Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings. He summed up the Olympic wagering menu with the words “We are loaded for the Olympics.”

“I think basketball is going to be the No. 1 sport, but soccer is also going to do pretty well. Tennis is going to do well. Golf is going to be good too,” said Avello.

“As a surprise, table-tennis is going to do business too. It did well during the pandemic and then afterward,” he said of a sport that, in the initial stages of COVID-19, was all that people could wager upon.

Avello also revealed a concept bettors will savor. Books have no information edge on a circuit that plays out once every four years.

“We have a ton of sports up there,” he noted. “Surfing, rowing, volleyball, cycling. There is no way you are able to research all of them and have a great feel for it.

“If there is something soft on that board, it’s a guarantee that a sophisticated player will find it and play it.  Gamblers will peruse everything, looking for some hidden value and they are going to find some.

“For us, the idea is to put up a lot of content and see what people like.”

Setting the 2020 Summer Olympic scene

Bettors can take over-under medal counts on numerous countries.

A New Jersey resident emigrating from overseas, especially Europe, may have a sense of the athletic level of his/her native country. Witness the passionate betting on England and Italy by New Jersey gamblers in the recent Euro 2020.

The 2020 Summer Olympics feature five new sports:

  • Surfing
  • Sport climbing
  • Skateboarding
  • 3×3 basketball
  • Karate

Plus, baseball and softball are back as medal sports for the first time since 2008.

While the Rio de Janeiro 2016 games saw 28 sports with 306 medal events, these games advance to 41 sports and 339 events.

DraftKings has introduced a promo for first-time users. Bet $1 on any Olympic event and win $100 in free bets if the U.S.A. wins any medal in any event.

So, it’s $100 in free bets. Go to the promos section on the DraftKings website.

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Olympic odds for high-profile sports at DraftKings

The United States is -320 to win the basketball gold medal, with Australia second at +750.

The first team for the U.S. is Sunday, July 25, as a relatively modest -12 against France.

Here is a betting angle: Watch a particular sport and handicap it, round by round, as if it’s a professional league here. Eventually, some patterns will emerge.

LPGA Rediscovered

We haven’t seen the LPGA Tour, for the most part, because of COVID-19. But it moved to the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Nelly Korda, the 2019 money-winner, is in the Olympics, at +600 to win the women’s golf gold medal.

So is Inbee Park, at +600

Jin Young Ko, another LPGA stalwart, is +900

At +1800 is Lexi Thompson. New Jersey golf fans know her. She captured the LPGA ShopRite Classic at Seaview Country Club in Galloway in 2019.

Thompson, a Florida native, is a transplanted New Jersey favorite.

Olympic betting fun: the Springsteen thread

New Jersey has a stellar group of athletes in Tokyo. Many cannot be represented in bets, but some props emerged just before the Games and can align with tunes from a famed Garden State native.

Imagine a betting-world foray for rock legend Bruce Springsteen, skipping the worn Born to Run parody.

How about: “Sha-La-La-La, I bet chalk with a Jer-sey girl …”

Even if that can’t be done with his own family.

You can’t bet Jessica Springsteen’s equestrian event, but the 29-year-old daughter of Springsteen and wife Pattie Scialfa did make the United States Olympic team. The Colts Neck native competes in a sport that hasn’t developed a full betting platform.

More Jersey-girl chalk

Gamblers can wager collectively on Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath, two stalwarts on the U.S. women’s soccer team.  Lloyd, from Delran, also plays for Gotham FC in the National Women’s Soccer League. Heath is from Morristown.

The U.S. Women’s soccer team is the +120 favorite to win the gold.

Yes, they were just stunned 3-0 by Sweden in an opening-round game that wasn’t even that close. But gamblers can watch the women try and rebound.

And if you think they can’t?  Sweden is +350 at DraftKings.

Blinded by the Olympic light

Sydney McLaughlin of Dunellen does have blinding speed.  She already has set a 400-meter world record for the hurdles and is the first woman to clock in under 52 seconds (51.9).

By the time McLaughlin graduated from Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains in 2017, she had already visited Rio as part of her first Team USA experience in 2016.

Now she’s an Olympian and major chalk.

She’s -250 at DraftKings for the 400-meter hurdles gold medal. McLaughlin is the class of this field.

You won’t like the odds, but a small bet to cash an Olympic ticket on another Jersey superstar?

Why not?

At the very least, a must-watch if you can find the telecast.

Glory Days, the male side

Toms River native Todd Frazier finds himself in the Olympic fervor. The former New York Mets and Yankees star is part of the American team that’s a live dog at +350 in the baseball competition.

Japan is +160 followed by South Korea at +310.

Team USA is comprised of many former MLB players, who may want one crack at their glory days.

For bettors, the Olympics have a new purpose. And for television networks concerned about the odd hours some events are shown, there’s at least one more reason for people to watch.

AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

 

 

About

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.