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2018 Winter Olympic Games Betting Odds & Preview

New disciplines and new countries join the Winter Olympics

Olympics 2018

PyeongChang, South Korea is the home of the 2018 Winter Olympics as 92 nations will be sending representatives over to compete for medals. The opening ceremony will be held on February 9th at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium and for South Korea, this will be the second time it has hosted the Olympic Games, with Seoul having hosted the Summer Games back in 1988. Pyeongchang had been in the bidding for both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics but they lost out in the final round of both campaigns. They got the 2018 award in the very first round of voting easily beating out Munich, Germany and Annecy, France.

This is the 23rd edition of the Winter Olympics and the Closing Ceremony will happen on February 25th. Four years ago in Sochi, it was Norway who claimed the most gold medals, bagging eleven of them, one ahead of Canada. It was the United States who earned the most number of medals at the event, a total of 28 but only nine of those were gold medals. Great Britain collected four gold medals in 2014. Lizzy Yarnold got the Skeleton gold, Jenny Jones got a snowboarding bronze, while the men’s curling team got silver and the women’s curlers got bronze.

The Venues

The bulk of the action from the 2018 Winter Games comes from the Alpensia Resort which will host the likes of the ski-jumping, alpine skiing, luge, bobsleigh and hosts the Olympic Village as well as the Olympic Stadium. Freestyle skiing and snowboarding come from the Bokwang Snow Park, with other alpine skiing disciplines coming from the Jeongseon Alpine Centre. Then the action on the ice, like the curling, speed skating and ice hockey all comes from the Gangneung Olympic Park with the Kwandong Hockey Centre hosting the women’s ice hockey competition.

The Olympic Events

There will be 102 events going across seven different sports at the 2018 Winter Olympics and within all of that it breaks down into fifteen disciplines. This will be the first time ever that a Winter Olympics have had more than 100 events. There are some new disciplines which will be making their entry onto the scene which is always exciting. Mixed Doubles Curling is one of those, along with mass start speed skating which should be fascinating to watch, mixed team alpine skiing and big air snowboarding.

Medals Quota

Alpine skiing (11)
Biathlon (11)
Bobsleigh (3)
Cross-country skiing (12)
Curling (3)
Figure skating (5)
Freestyle skiing (10)
Ice hockey (2)
Luge (4)
Nordic combined (3)
Short track speed skating (8)
Skeleton (2)
Ski jumping (4)
Snowboarding (10)
Speed skating (14)

Russian Doping

Late in 2017, the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended because of the major Doping Scandal. Any Russian competitors though who are able to meet the IOC’s doping regulations will be attending under the name of “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” (OAR) with a neutral flag and the Olympic anthem played for them.

Alpine Skiing

There is the downhill, giant slalom, super-G, combined and the team event making up the disciplines for the skiing schedule at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The big players include Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, and the United States, along with the Olympic Athletes from Russia. However, as for the nation that picks up the most medals from the overall Alpine Skiing, men and women combined? Then look no further than the Norwegians who are expected to go well this time around. Austria topped the skiing medal table four years ago and the USA are generally well in the picture. Norway are 8/5 favourites at William Hill to land the most golds at this Winter Olympics.

Curling

There is a men’s, women’s and a mixed doubles tournament at the 2018 Winter Olympics. There are thirteen nations participating in the competitions and it was Canada who claimed the gold in the men’s and women’s events four years ago and will be back as favourites. Great Britain had a great tournament at the 2014 Winter Olympics with the men taking silver and the women collecting bronze. They will be expected to get in among the medals again and realistically represent Great Britain’s best chances of medals.

Men’s Ice Hockey

You are not going to be seeing household names from the NHL representing their nations at the Olympics. That is because the NHL wanted the International Olympic Committee to cough up for player insurance for anyone participating in the games. The IOC weren’t prepared to do that, so national teams are blacklisted from selecting any player with a current NHL contract. So it throws the challenges of the USA and Canada in particular for the gold medal, into some jeopardy. It may well be worth looking elsewhere because of all that, skipping over the USA in particular, to make a gold medal run. Because of the Russian doping controversy, there’s no actual Russian team, instead, they will be running under the moniker of Olympic Athletes from Russia. The Canadian team should still have more depth than most. But with the big guns weakened, Sweden may fancy a good run after their runners-up spot four years ago.

Women’s Ice Hockey

Canada should gun hard for the gold in the women’s ice hockey tournament again. They are just head shoulders above the rest of the world in the women’s game and while the United States should be knocking around the medals as well, it’s hard to see any kind of upset that would prevent the Canucks getting gold. It was a really tense affair in the 2014 Final with the Canucks pulling back from a 1-0 deficit in the third period, sending the game to overtime at 2-2 with captain Marie-Philip Poulin getting the winner.

Great Britain

Great Britain have 33 athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics, 20 men and 13 women. The Curling teams make up almost a third of the British representatives in the squad. There has been a target of five medals from UK Sport placed on Team GB to bring back with them. That would set a new record for Team GB at the Winter Olympics. The main areas in which they are looking for success in are Curling, Speed Skating along with Ski and Snowboard. Three is probably more of a realistic threshold to measure British success by at the Winter Olympics 2014.

Winter Olympics Most Gold Medals Odds

Norway 8/5, Germany 13/8, USA 9/2, Canada 6/1, Netherlands 9/1, South Korea 25/1, France 33/1, Austria 40/1, Switzerland 40/1, China 50/1, Sweden 50/1* (Betting odds taken on January 21st at 11:00 p.m.)


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