2018 Winter Olympics Betting Advice: Value Bets
I'm kind of obsessed with the Winter Olympics. When they were held in my hometown of Calgary in 1988 my grandfather was the president of the games, so I grew up around the Olympics. They are a far different animal than they were back then - far more complex and less pure - but they are still very compelling. It also doesn't hurt that Canadians are pretty good at the games. As fun as they are to watch, the Olympics can be pretty good to bet on as well. As always, there are some bets that are much better than others. Here are eight bets that stand out as offering pretty solid value ( Odds are from Bovada ):
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Alex Harvey to win Sprint Classic Cross Country Skiing (+1200): Johannes Klaebo is a massive -600 favorite to win this race. That is deserved - Norway is absolutely dominant on the flat snow, and Klaebo is a demon. But the shorter the race is the better the chances of something crazy happening. I have a bias towards the Canadian here at this price if something happens to Klaebo, but there is value in Swede Calle Halfvarsson at the same price as well.
Mikaela Shiffrin to win Women's Slalom (-350): The American has just dominated this event - Olympic gold at 18, three world titles in three tries, five World Cup season wins in six years. She is ridiculously good, and slalom is the most predictable and consistent of the alpine events. The price is really low but still fair.
Thomas Dressen to win Men's Downhill (+2000): Dressen, a German, won Kitzbuhel, the biggest of World Cup events, in January. He was the first starter in the downhill portion of the Olympic Alpine Combined, which took place on a significant portion of the Men's Downhill course, and he set a time that was never beaten. He suits the course, and he's wildly confident and in form. The price is right here.
Norway to win Men's 4x10km Cross Country Relay (-275): Norway is impossibly strong and deep in cross country skiing right now. Their fourth skier could be the top skier on most other teams. The 10km is far enough that small mistakes aren't fatal, and the cream is going to rise to the top. This price would be fair at -500.
Canada to win Women's Curling (-175): Canada knows how to curl, and the women's field this year isn't as deep or as strong as it has been at times. They should be able to win the round robin to position themselves well in the playoffs, and they will control their destiny. This team is battle tested already - there are seven or eight teams in Canada that would be favored in this tournament, and this squad has beaten all of them to earn the right to be here. The price is solid here.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to win Ice Dance (+170): This Canadian team won gold in Vancouver and silver in Sochi. They left the sport for a couple of years and then returned under new coaches. They are skating with ferocity, and they are better than ever. They have already skated once, anchoring the Canadian squad that won gold in the team event. They look great. The French team is favored, but the Canadians know what the judges want from them, their routine is more dynamic, and they are in a zone. This is worth a bet at the price.
Nathan Chen to win Men's Figure Skating (+175): Chen, an American, has come from almost nowhere in the sport - he made his international debut only last year. He is unbeaten in international events this year, though, and that's because he jumps like crazy. He had a rough outing in the short go-round of the team event, but now he has the Olympic nerves out of the way and should be in better form here. At this price he's a great value.
Germany to win Luge Team Relay (-1600): This price is low, but it could be much, much lower and it would still be worth a look. Germany owns luge of every kind, so when you combine it all together it's almost unfair. They won all four gold medals in 2014. They were upset in the men's singles this year but still finished third and fifth. This is as close to a lock as anything in the games.
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