If it feels like we just recently had an Olympics, you’d be right. Remember, the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo became the 2021 Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now about six months later, we’re about to dive into the 2022 Winter Games.
Although there’s no tennis, basketball, or golf in the Winter Games, there are still plenty of exciting events to wager on. Sportsbooks in PA are going to have plenty on the menu, so let’s take a look at some of the most popular events and the ways you can bet on them.
Betting on the Winter Olympics: Most Popular Sports
Usually, ice hockey is the sport that attracts the most action at the Winter Olympics but things could be slightly different this year. That’s because the NHL has decided not to send its players to Beijing, so we’re not going to see the professional stars represent their country like we normally do. That being the case, it’s going to be much tougher to handicap these games.
Taking a look at the United States rosters, some of the names we’ll see include:
Drew Helleson, David Warsofsky, Nick Perbix, Jake Sanderson, Matty Beniers, Kenny Agostino, Ben Meyers, Aaron Ness, Andy Miele, Matt Knies. Not exactly household names.
If you’re wondering what you’ll be able to bet on, most of the best PA sports betting apps will have lines for each contest (moneylines, puck lines, and totals), you’ll be able to bet futures at FanDuel among other books, (who’ll win the event) and there will be live betting for every contest.
Curling has always been popular in Canada but it stormed into the mainstream in the United States in the last Winter Games when John Shuster and the Americans won a medal for their country for the first time ever. It had never been done before that. Now he’ll be looking to smash some more records in 2022.
If you haven’t gotten into curling yet, you should check it out. It’s one of the most entertaining sports in the Games and there’s lots of strategy to it.
If you’re betting on figure skating, always watch out for that Russian judge. Jokes aside, this is one of the most artistic sports on the ice. You’ll be able to bet on all of the individual events (men’s and women’s) and then also the pairs.
This is one of the sports where there will be some decent information out there on the competitors, which might help you make some good betting decisions.
Of course, the likes of Chloe Kim and Shaun White have made this one of the more popular sports for Americans to keep an eye on. Not only can you watch the snowboarders compete in various races and slalom, but you can also see them get some big air off jumps and in the halfpipe. There are all sorts of ‘wow’ moments on the snowboard, so make sure you tune in. And get some money on the riders to make it extra entertaining.
Mikaela Shiffrin is one of the faces of the American team heading to Beijing and there will be plenty of pressure on her to win at least a medal. She’s also going to be favored – or among the favorites – at her events.
In general, alpine skiing is all about the need for speed, and DraftKings has a variety of betting choices to put you in the center of all the action. If that excites you, tune in to see the skiers flying down the mountain at blistering speeds.
While it’s sometimes hard to figure out what’s the best bet on a micro-scale – since the athletes are amateurs and we don’t always have a ton of information on each competition – an easy bet is zooming out to a macro scale and betting on each country’s performance.
Sportsbooks will post over-unders for medal count for each country, which gives you the opportunity to bet whether a country will win more or less than that mark. For example, if the United States’ medal count over-under is set at 101.5, you can decide whether they will have 102 medals or more and go over, or 101 medals or less and go under the number.
If you do your homework, you’ll typically find some good value with these props.
One of the most popular Olympic props at BetMGM, and on the board at other sportsbooks in PA will be betting on which country will finish with the most medals. How this works is you’ll see every country on the board and then you choose which country you think will finish atop the board. For example, if you see the United States at +300, a $100 bet will pay $300 in profit if they do, in fact, finish the 2022 Winter Olympics with the most medals.
If you’re betting on this prop, you can look at historical data to see which countries do well. Also, keep in mind that you can usually bet a prop that focuses solely on gold medals as well (who’ll win the most golds), so if that’s your preference, that’s also an option.
American Athletes To Watch At 2022 Winter Olympics
- Shaun White – Snowboarding
- Chloe Kim – Snowboarding
- Mikaela Shiffrin – Alpine skiing
- Nathan Chen – Figure skating
- Jessie Diggins – Cross-country skiing
- Taylor Gold – Snowboarding
- Elena Meyers Taylor – Bobsleigh
- Erin Jackson – Speedskater
- Alex Ferreira – Freestyle skiing
- David Wise – Freestyle skiing
- John Shuster – Curling
- Chasey Josey – Snowboarding
- Emily Sweeney – Luge
- Vicky Persinger/Chris Plys – Mixed doubles curling
- Carlo Valdes – Bobsledding
- Breezy Johnson – Alpine skiing
- Kallie Humphries – Bobsledding
- Jason Brown – Figure skating
- Jamie Anderson – Snowboarding
- Brock Crouch – Snowboarding
- U.S. Women’s National Ice Hockey Team
Can I Legally Bet On The 2022 Winter Olympics in PA?
Yes, as long as you’re in a state that has legalized sports betting, like Pennsylvania, and are over the age of 21, you’ll be able to bet on the 2022 Winter Olympics in PA. However, keep in mind that different sportsbooks will have different offerings.
Some sports betting apps in PA will have more bets than others, so take your pick.
Will There Be Fans At The Events?
There will be fans at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing but the ones attending the events can only be locals from mainland China. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to linger and that’s impacting a lot of issues in terms of attendance. Beyond that, there are some political rifts ongoing, which we won’t fully delve into, but that’s also attending which countries and entities go to Beijing.
From a betting perspective, expect the Chinese athletes to have a decent home-field advantage with the audience backing them strongly. Other athletes won’t likely get the same cheers.
Featured image credit: Jae C. Hong – AP