- Team USA basketball has been struggling, making longshot odds on teams like Slovenia at +1800 more appealing.
- Yohan Blake running for Jamaica at +8000 could upset the USA favorites and lead to big payouts.
- Ryan Murphy (USA) at +250 might be the biggest steal at online sportsbooks.
TOKYO – The Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo have a lot of dark horse athletes and countries to look out for with winning the gold.
Big names across multiple events could net major returns at online sportsbooks. Xu Jiayu and Ryan Murphy both have long odds for the Men’s 100m Backstroke event while both having a legit case to claim the gold.
Additionally, Team USA in basketball has shown turmoil, losing multiple exhibition games and suffering from roster inconsistencies due to COVID-19 protocols. Meanwhile, Team Slovenia has shown chemistry that is lacking with Team USA, making them a great dark horse pick for Olympics betting fans.
Olympics Basketball Dark Horse
Tokyo 2021 – Mens Basketball Odds
- USA -600
- Spain +900
- Australia +1200
- France +1800
- Slovenia +1800
- Nigeria +2500
Team Slovenia has improved significantly since Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic joined the team. Slovenia has qualified for the Olympics for the first time in the country’s history and has beaten every team they faced so far.
The margin of victory for all these games has been massive, beating Team Angola specifically by 50 points when they faced one another.
Team USA, which currently sits with the shortest odds, has been struggling both on and off the court. The USA lost to both Australia and Nigeria in an embarrassing fashion.
This is only the third time Team USA had back-to-back losses since 1992. Historically, Team USA has gotten the gold medal most years. The three years Team USA failed to get the gold, they suffered multiple losses in exhibition games leading up to the Olympics.
Additionally, the team is struggling with roster chemistry as safety protocols have sidelined NBA All Star Bradley Beal.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 15, 2021
Following Beal being out, Kevin Love withdrew from the team as well. The team announced replacements in JaVale McGee and Keldon Johnson, neither player has ever made an All Star Team. Team USA has less than two weeks to mesh this new team together.
Meanwhile, Slovenia has strong chemistry with one another and it is showing up on the court.
Olympics Volleyball Dark Horse
Tokyo 2021 – Womens Beach Volleyball Odds
- Agatha Bednarczuk & Duda Santos Lisboa (BRA) +400
- Sarah Pavan & Melissa Humana-Paredes (CAN) +550
- Alix Klineman & April Ross (USA) +600
- Kelly Claes & Sarah Sponcil (USA) +700
- Taliqua Clancy & Mariafe Artacho Del Solar (AUS) +800
The USA duo of Alix Kineman and April Ross at +600 is who longshot betting fans should look out for as the pair are tied for first in the FIVB Olympic rankings.
They were the first pair to qualify for the USA. The pair qualified with five tournaments still left impressing the international volleyball federation (FIVB) during a Doha tournament.
The pair has been together since 2018 and they have dominated the beach volleyball scene ever since. They finished second in the 2019 World Championships, and while this is Kineman’s first trip to the Olympics, Ross has placed high in the past, claiming the silver medal in 2012 and bronze in 2016.
The pair of Agatha Bednarczuk and Duda Santos Lisboa of Brazil are favored. Bednarczuk won the Olympic silver medal in 2016 and won the gold in the Hague World Championships in 2015. Lisboa is a 2014 Youth Olympics gold medalist with 15 FIVB World Tour appearances.
Together the pair won an international title in Rio de Janeiro, came in second at the Fort Lauderdale Major in 2018, and have not lost together since this. This includes consecutive title wins in Brazil.
Both pairs are running with one veteran Olympian and one first-time competitor on this stage. The USA pair has a solid chance to pull the upset.
Olympic Swimming Dark Horse
Tokyo 2021 – Mens 100m Backstroke
- Evgeny Rylov (ROC) +150
- Kliment Kolesnikov (ROC) +175
- Ryan Murphy (USA) +250
- Xu Jiayu (CHN) +350
- Hunter Armstrong (USA) +600
- Mitch Larkin (AUS) +1100
Ryan Murphy (+250) swimming for the USA holds the record for the 100m backstrokes at 51.85 seconds. Murphy qualified in the 2021 Olympics with a 100m backstroke time of 52.33.
Murphy is a three time Olympic Champion, giving him the edge as a veteran, and is the most decorated Olympian competing in the 100m.
Xu Jiayu (+350) has most recently won the 2019 World Aquatics Championship and qualified for Tokyo with a time of 52.88 seconds for the 100m backstroke.
Either option is a great choice at legal sports betting sites as they have surprisingly long odds and could easily upset the two Russian favorites in Evgeny Rylov (+150) and Kliment Kolesnikov (+175).
Rylov won the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics for the 200m backstroke and defeated Murphy at the 2017 World Championships. Kolesnikov swam for a qualifying time of 52.13 has 23 gold medals in World Championships, and is competing in his first Olympics.
Track And Field 100m Dark Horse
Tokyo 2021 – Mens 100m Odds
- Trayvon Bromell (USA) -125
- Ronnie Baker (USA) +350
- Akani Simbine (RSA) +700
- Andre De Graase (CAN) +1000
- Fred Kerley (USA) +1000
- Zharnel Hughes (GBR) +2000
- Marcell Jacobs (ITA) +3300
- Su Bingtian (CHN) +3300
- Yohan Blake (JAM) +3300
Yohan Blake at +3300 might be the best odds in this event. Blake qualified with a time of 10.28 at the JAAA qualifiers for the 100m event.
Blake recently ran for 9.95 at the American Track League event in Atlanta, showing that he has improved since his qualifiers in March.
Blake is currently the 11th fastest athlete of 2021 in the 100m. He also holds the second-fastest 100m ever at 9.69 seconds tied with Tyson Gay.
The favorite is Trayvon Bromell, currently the fastest athlete of 2021 with a 100m time of 9.77. This is Bromell’s first-ever trip to the Olympics, however, giving Blake the edge in experience which could lead to him taking the gold. Blake is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time silver medalist.
Olympic Soccer Dark Horse
Soccer Women’s Tournament Winner
- USA -180
- Netherlands +600
- Great Britain +800
- Brazil +1200
- Sweden +1200
While the bulk of the action is going on to the USA, Great Britain should be who longshot bettors keep a close eye on.
Great Britain’s roster consists of the likes of Kim Little, Karen Bardsley, Ellie Robuck, Millie Bright, and Lucy Bronze. All of these athletes compete in European leagues.
The favorites in Team USA did not get a medal in 2016, losing in the quarterfinals. While the USA might be motivated to redeem itself, this also shows that even goliath can lose and a team like Great Britain can capitalize.
This is only the second time since 1996 that Great Britain has qualified in the Olympics for soccer, but this squad of professional athletes is filled with veteran talent that could wind up shocking the world and sportsbooks alike.
News tags: 2021 Olympics | Alix Klineman | April Ross | Australia | Bradley Beal | Brazil | Japan | Kenneth Bednarek | LSB Feature | Nigeria | Noah Lyles | Olympics | Ryan Murphy | Team Nigeria | Team Slovenia | Team USA | Tokyo | Xu Jiayu | Yohan Blake
Coming from a background in narrative-based writing, Giovanni strives to write stories that will keep the reader engaged. Although he does pride himself in being accurate, how the story is told is also very important to him. When he’s not keeping readers up to date on sports betting laws and legislation, you can find him writing and recording music, playing videogames, or engaged in heated sports debates with his friends.