Betting on Summer Olympics Makes Debut in 2016 at Nevada Sportsbooks

With the pro basketball and hockey seasons coming to a close, many bettors are already thinking ahead to football season. But those in Las Vegas will also finally have the opportunity to wager on events in the 2016 Summer Olympics this August for the first time after the Nevada Gaming Commission approved it in February of 2015.

William Hill is the leading sportsbook operator in the state with 105 locations throughout Nevada and has already made 49 options available for this year’s Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro both in person at the betting window and on the company’s mobile app. Among the events you can currently wager on include track and field, basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball and handball. More than half are track and field events.

Leading the way in track and field is popular Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who has won the gold medal in the men’s 100 and 200 meters in each of the past two Olympics. Bolt is listed as a bigger favorite to win the 200 in 2016 according to oddsmakers at -350 (bet $350 to win $100) compared to -190 for the 100.

Another decorated athlete that will be showcased in men’s track and field is American Ashton Eaton, who holds the world record in the decathlon and won the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics. Eaton is massive -700 chalk to repeat, but he is not the biggest favorite on the betting board. That distinction goes to women’s hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk, who is -1300 to win her first gold after taking silver in London.

There are several more interesting prop bets on the Rio Olympics at William Hill that simply require you to wager “Yes” or “No” regarding who will win a particular event. For example, the United States men’s basketball team will be going for its third consecutive gold medal after winning it in 2008 and 2012. If you think the U.S. will win gold again, you would need to lay -600 on “Yes” compared to getting a price of +450 (bet $100 to win $450) on a “No” answer.

The U.S. women’s soccer team is also coming off a first-place finish in the 2015 World Cup but is not even favored to win gold for a fourth straight time in its prop, with “Yes” paying +145 compared to -165 for the “No” side.

Likewise, Brazil has won more World Cup titles in men’s soccer than any other country with five. Yet the Brazilians are +220 to win gold in their home country and -260 not to win gold. It is worth noting that they have never won gold in this event, previously taking home silver in 2012, 1988 and 1984 and bronze in 2008 and 1996. Mexico won gold in London while Argentina finished first in the previous two Olympic Games.

However, Brazil is the +160 favorite in men’s volleyball over eight countries and others grouped into the field (+5000). The U.S. is the +225 second choice while Russia is +350 and France is +500. Russia (2012) and the U.S. (2008) are the previous two gold medal winners with Brazil last finishing first in 2004.