There are a few standard plays emerging and the Winter Olympics this year, and betting on which country will win the most gold medals in Sochi is definitely one of them. This is getting a lot of traction from our members, and I can totally understand why. There’s a lot of value here for you to take advantage of.
The truth of the matter is that the scale of the Winter Olympics is much smaller than the summer games. At the 2010 Winter Olympics, 184 medals were handed out. There were 962 medals awarded in the 2012 Olympics in London. I’m not mentioning this to denigrate the status of what’s going to happen in Sochi this month in the slightest. It’s just worth mentioning because there are fewer medals for the taking overall.
The 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver saw the hosting Canadians haul home the most gold medals with 14 so most people assume that our neighbors to the north will have a repeat performance. When you bet on which country will win the most gold medals in Sochi, check out the odds next to the total. The oddsmakers are giving you +130 odds that the Canadians take home over 9.5 gold medals at Sochi. The under for that bet is priced at -150, meaning that it’s favored and more likely. Canada might have enjoyed an advantage simply by being at home during the last games.
Perhaps the more daring take in this market is hyper efficient Germany, who have been the most consistent gold medalists in the past three Winter Olympics. In 2010 they won 10 gold medals after winning 11 in 2006. In 2002 they finished with 12 gold medals and a game-leading 36 medals overall. Germany is a seriously tempting +260 to win over 10.5 gold medals (under is -320). When you consider that they’ve finished second (twice) and first in gold medal count over the past three games, you can’t ignore them when you bet on which country will win the most gold medals in Sochi. They’re a powerhouse at the Winter Olympics and nothing suggests that they won’t be ready to bring their best yet again.
The favorite for the most gold medals in Sochi is actually Norway with a total of 11.5 (-125 for the over, +105 for the under). They’re bringing a stacked field of competitors to all the alpine events, the biathlon and others, but history is against the Norwegians even if the oddsmakers favor them. Norway finished with 9 gold medals at the 2010 Olympics, tying the Americans, and also won the most in 2002 with 13 gold medals. In 2002, they were blanked across the board in a somewhat stunning turn of events. I’m not going to pretend to know Norwegian athletics to a degree where I can bet freely on this country winning more than 11.5 medals, but the linemakers have to have given them the highest total for good reason.
When you talk about volume of athletes, very few can compare to the mega power of the United States at any version of the Olympics. The Americans have brought home the most medals overall of any country in the past three renditions of the winter games, and have always finished in the top-3 when it comes to gold medals. Their last two appearances yielded 9 golds, while they won 10 in 2002. If you’re going to bet on which country will win the most gold medals in Sochi, the USA at over 10.5 is attractive simply because they bring more athletes than any other participant.
This brings us to Mother Russia who boast a 10.5 gold metal total in the sportsbook along with Germany and the USA. Even for the host country 10.5 seems like a lot. Italy won just 5 gold medals in Turin and the stacked Americans only brought home 10 gold medals when the games were in Salt Lake City. Even Japan, which hosted in 1998, won just 5 gold medals. At Nagano, Russia won 9 golds, which is the most they’ve earned in the last four versions of the Winter Olympics. Unless Vladimir Putin plans on rigging the Winter Olympics heavily, I wouldn’t touch the over with Russia in this market. There’s better value elsewhere when it comes to betting on which country will win the most gold medals in Sochi.