China Favorite to Top Olympic Medal TallyPublished August 6, 2008 by OCR Editor
The Games are a sports' betters dream, with odds available on events in 28 different sports.
The 2008 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, get started in Beijing, China this Friday with what is expected to be the most lavish opening ceremony in the Games' 112 year history.
With the Chinese government throwing enormous amounts of money into the Games in their efforts to outdo all previous event holders, sports punters will also have the chance to spend big with betting available on almost all of the 302 events in 28 sports being contested at this year's Olympics.
Throughout its history the Olympic Games has been as much about politics as it has about sport. For most of the cold war era, the battle between the United States and Soviet Union at the Olympics was a major part of the conflict between the two superpowers.
Now the emergence of a new superpower in China means the USA has a new rival to compete with in the medal tally.
Home court advantage
The Chinese, who finished second in the medal tally at the 2004 Athens Olympics with 32 gold medals, are expected to seize on their home advantage and win it for the first time. UK bookmaker Ladbrokes has them listed an odds-on 4/11 favorite. The US, who won at Athens with 36 golds, are 2/1, while the Russians - third at Athens with 27, are considered a distant 25/1 shot to top the medal tally.
The next seven teams from the Athens medal tally - in order: Australia, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, South Korea and Great Britain - all considered next to no chance of topping the medal tally. Ladbrokes has them included with all the minnows under the category of "any other country", which carries 100/1 odds.
Your sports betting news center
Betting is already available on most of the major events. The action in the swimming pool gets started from day one of the Olympics, as do most of the team sports such as basketball and soccer. Track and Field begins in the second week.
The Beijing Olympics will run from August 8-24, and we at Online Casino Reports will bring you regular previews of the action involving odds on the events from major online bookmakers.