- Great Britain (W) has +1200 long odds to win the Diving – Women’s Synchronized 3m Springboard
- Mariah Duran skating for Team USA in the Skateboarding event has +1600 long odds.
- John John Florence has +550 long odds to win the Men’s Surfing event.
TOKYO – With the number of sporting events happening in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics, there is a slew of underdog betting options and dark horse competitors that sports betting fans should take note of.
From skateboarding to surfing, legal sports betting sites are hosting long odds on big-name athletes and teams like John John Florence surfing for the USA and Mariah Duran skating for the USA.
Looking at these dark horse athletes and teams at the Tokyo Summer Olympic games can net betting fans major payouts at sportsbooks.
Olympic Gymnastics Dark Horse
Artistic Gymnastics Balance Beam Women Winner
- Simone Biles -160
- Urara Ashikawa +260
- Liu Tingting +300
- Rebeca Andrade +1000
While most eyes are on Simone Biles, Urara Ashikawa representing Japan should be on every Olympic betting fans’ radar.
The 18-year-old sensation has won two FIG World Cups in her short career, beginning high-level competition in 2018.
Fig has the advantage of not having to travel far for the Olympics with the event being hosted in her home country. The lack of travel and the comfortability of competing at home could give the young gymnast a clear edge.
Olympic Skateboarding Darkhorse
Tokyo 2021 – Women’s Street
- Pamela Rosa (BRA) EVEN
- Rayassa Leal (BRA) +375
- Aori Nishamura (JPN) +425
- Leticia Bufoni (BRA) +525
- Momiji Nishiya (JPN) +850
- Mariah Duran (USA) +1600
- Funa Nakayama (JPN) +2800
- Hayley Wilson (AUS) +3300
- Roos Zwetsloot (NED) +3300
Mariah Duran has the shortest odds of any skater representing Team USA in the Women’s Street event. Duran has two gold medals, winning the X Games Sydney 2018 and the X Games Minneapolis 2018, and holds a silver medal for the X Games Austin 2016.
The inimitable style of USA skateboarder Mariah Duran! 😎🇺🇸🛹#StrongerTogether
— Olympics (@Olympics) July 20, 2021
Her primary focus is street, as all of her medals came from the street events. She is also older than the bulk of her competition and has been skating and competing at a high-level longer. Her +1600 odds should be appealing to longshot betting fans as she has the biggest chance to upset for Team USA.
“I almost feel crazy hitting people with that news,” said Duran. “I’ll be at the dentist and someone in the office will ask me what’s your occupation? And I say ‘athlete, skateboarder’ and they ask ‘are you any good?’ I can say, ‘well, I qualified for the Olympics!’”
The favorite, Pamela Rosa, is skating for Brazil and has a decorated career of her own. Rosa has three gold medals, the 2019 World Skateboarding Championship, X Games Oslo 2016, and X Games Austin 2016. She also holds three X Games silver medals in Norway (2019) and Austin (2015, 2014).
Her performance at the São Paulo World Skateboarding Championship is the primary reason she holds the shortest odds alongside fellow Brazil teammate Rayassa Leal who won the silver at the event.
Olympic Diving Dark Horse
Diving – Women’s Synchronized 3m Springboard
- China (W) -250
- Canada (W) +330
- Great Britain (W) +1200
- Germany (W) +3300
- Italy (W) +3300
- Mexico (W) +3300
- USA (W) +6600
- Japan (W) +10000
Great Britain’s Women’s diving team is filled with champions and Olympic betting fans should pay close attention to them.
Great Britain’s roster consists of 10-time gold medalist and European Champion Grace Reid who placed 8th during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, 15-time gold medalist and World Silver Medalist Lois Toulson, and 11 gold medalist and Commonwealth Medalist Kat Torrance.
With the amount of decorated winning divers on Great Britain, their +1200 long odds are a big steal at online sportsbooks.
The heavy favorites are China who won both the gold (Shi Tingmao) and silver (He Zi) medals during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
Shi Tingmao is widely viewed as the best diver in the world, and will also be competing to defend her gold medal in Tokyo representing China.
Since winning the gold medal in 2016, Tingmao has gone on to place first in every World Championships event for 3m diving. Most recently, at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, she finished first place with a score of 391.00.
China will surely be a tough team to conquer with Tingmao at the helm.
Olympic Surfing Dark Horse
Tokyo 2021 – Men’s Surfing Outright
- Gabriel Medina (BRA) +175
- Italo Ferreira (BRA) +325
- John John Florence (USA) +550
- Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) +700
- Jordy Smith (RSA) +1000
- Julian Wilson (AUS) +1200
- Kolohe Andino (USA) +1400
- Owen Wright (AUS) +2500
- Jeremy Flores (FRA) +4000
The big-name for longshot surfing betting fans is John John Florence. The Team USA surfer is one of the most recognizable names in surfing yet he has +550 underdog odds to take the gold.
Florence is a two time World Surfing League (WSL) title winner in 2016 and 2017, won first place at the 2019 Rip Curl Bells Beach, and just recently won came in 1st at the 2021 Billabong Pipe Masters.
Florence’s recent dominance is most impressive as he suffered an ACL injury in 2019 that sidelined him. Florence is back, however, and is ready for his first Olympic run.
His biggest competition is Gabriel Medina who is the heavy favorite surfing for Brazil. Medina actually lost to Florence at the 2021 Billabong Pipe Masters, coming in second with 7,800 points to Florence’s 10,000 points.
Medina did come in first at both the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic and the Rip Curl Rottnest Search. Despite having favorite odds, there is not a big gap in success and ability between Medina and Florence, making Florence the perfect dark horse pick.
Olympic Baseball Dark Horse
Tokyo 2021 – Men’s Baseball
- Japan (JPN) +105
- USA (USA) +300
- South Korea (KOR) +310
- Dominican Republic (DOM) +650
- Mexico (MEX) +1100
- Israel (ISR) +3300
With baseball returning to the Olympics in 2021, longshot betting fans should be looking closely at Team USA who won the Bronze in 2008, the last time the Olympics hosted baseball.
Shane Baz will be the starting pitcher for Team USA. Baz pitches for the Tampa Bay Rays and has an ERA of 2.26 so far in the 2021 MLB season.
Other veteran players include Eddy Alvarez, Triston Casas, and Brandon Dickson rounding out a strong roster of MLB pros. Team USA has the most MLB players competing in the Olympic Games.
The favorite, Japan, does have some of the biggest names from Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), however.
— 野球日本代表 侍ジャパン 公式 (@samuraijapan_pr) June 16, 2021
Due to the Olympic rules barring teams from using 40-man players, big names like Shohei Ohtani and Yu Darvish will not be able to play for Japan. This restriction aids Team USA, however, making them the best dark horse pick for this Olympic betting line.
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News tags: China | Diving | Gabriel Medina | Italo Ferreira | Japan | John John Florence | LSB Feature | Misugu Okamoto | Nyjah Huston | Olympic betting | Skateboarding | Summer Olympics | Surfing | Team USA | Tokyo | Tokyo Olympics | United States | Yang Jian | Yuto Horigome
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.