Olympics Betting: Here Are This Week’s Best Opportunities At Michigan Sportsbooks

Written By Martin Harris on July 27, 2021

Perusing some of Michigan‘s online sportsbooks reveals a seemingly endless number of opportunities to try your best at 2020 (well, the 2021) Olympics betting odds in Tokyo. All are all offering a wide variety of traditional bets, futures and even some live betting.

One factor Michigan sports bettors need to keep in mind is the fact that there is a 13-hour time difference between Michigan (Eastern) time and Tokyo’s time zone. Events happening in the morning in Tokyo occur during prime time in MI, while those happening in the evening in Tokyo are taking place during the morning. Don’t get tripped up and miss placing your wagers because the event you wish to bet on has already ended!

Here are a few sports that will be grabbing fans’ attention over the next couple of days. And for full promotions information throughout the Games, check out our hub page for the Olympics.

Can US men’s Olympic basketball rebound?

After dropping its opening contest to France 83-76, all eyes are on the US men’s basketball squad. The Americans suddenly find themselves in a challenging situation during the group stage.

There are only 12 teams competing, divided into three groups of four. Each team plays the other three in its group. The top two teams from each group advance to the quarterfinals. The two highest-ranked third-place teams will make it as well, with their records, followed by point differential, determining who makes it.

If the US can win its remaining two group stage games, they clinch a quarterfinal spot. But if they lose one of them, they could miss the quarterfinals altogether. The men’s remaining group stage games are as follows:

  • 12:40 a.m. ET Wednesday (Wed. afternoon in Tokyo) — Iran vs. United States
  • 9 p.m. ET Friday (Sat. morning in Tokyo) — Czech Republic vs. United States

Right now, Michigan sportsbooks uniformly list the US as a prohibitive favorite over Iran in these Olympics betting odds markets, with point spreads currently hovering around -39.5 or -40. Although that might seem a huge spread, the US should want to run up the score if they can, given the potential later significance of point differential. Later in the week, the US will also be a big favorite against the Czech Republic, which only beat Iran by an 84-78 score.

When it comes to futures, the US remains the overall favorite to win the gold despite its slow start. FanDuel, BetMGM and PointsBet all currently have the US at -250 to take first place, while DraftKings has them at -210.

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The odds suggest Australia, Slovenia, Spain, and France will present the US its greatest challenges, with Australia getting the nod as the second-highest favorite.

It goes without saying there are numerous basketball props available as well, both for teams and players. There are some basketball-specific promotions worth noting, too.

For the US-Iran game, DraftKings Sportsbook has a promo boost on a prop that Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard will score 40 or more points combined. The odds are up from +126 to +140. That pair together scored a lowly 21 points vs. France, though most expect them not to repeat that performance.

BetMGM Sportsbook also has an ongoing promotion involving Team USA basketball. Place a bet of $20 or more, and get a $5 free bet you can use anywhere else on the site.

Simone Biles developments put gymnastics odds into tumble

Unlike some states, Michigan allows sportsbooks to accept wagers on certain judged events, which means wagering on gymnastics is allowed.

The big news that US women’s gymnastics superstar Simone Biles withdrew from Tuesday’s team final has introduced much uncertainty going forward. The women’s all-around final occurs on Thursday (starting at 6:50 a.m.), with individual event finals coming this weekend. Biles’ will obviously affect the odds for those events.

As such, if you check right now, you won’t find too many women’s events listed. You can, however, bet on the men’s individual all-around that starts at 6:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

The US has two men in the final, Brody Malone and Samuel Mikulak. Mikulak is generally rated a longshot to win (e.g., +5000 at DraftKings and BetMGM), while Malone has a better chance (+1500). Either could make the podium, though, with Malone at +300 or +400 to do so, depending on your outlet of choice.

Nikita Nagornyy of the Russian Olympic Committee is generally regarded as the favorite (ranging from +125 to +200), Japan’s own Daiki Hashimoto should also have a strong chance. Both DraftKings and BetMGM have Hashimoto at +300 to win, while PointsBet Sportsbook actually has him the favorite ahead of Nagornyy at +140.

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Swimming continues to dominate prime time TV

Meanwhile, swimming has been enjoying the early spotlight so far, and many more big events are coming up over the next couple of days. Swimming is great for Michigan bettors, as many finals are happening in the morning hours in Tokyo. As a result, that is exciting (and live) prime time viewing in MI.

For example, tonight (Tuesday), the following finals are all taking place:

  • 9:41 p.m. ET – Women’s 200m Freestyle
  • 9:49 p.m. ET – Men’s 200m Butterfly
  • 10:45 p.m. ET – Women’s 200m Individual Medley
  • 10:54 p.m. ET – Women’s 1500m Freestyle
  • 11:26 p.m. ET – Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay

Five-time gold medal winner Katie Ledecky will be back in that spotlight during those two individual events tonight. She’s a big favorite to win the 1500m freestyle (e.g., -1115 at DraftKings, -950 at FanDuel Sportsbook).

However, the oddsmakers have Ariane Titmus of Australia the favorite in the 200m Freestyle (at around -300) ahead of Ledecky (around +350). Ledecky did win the gold in this event in 2016.

For the men, Hungary’s Kristof Milak will be the big favorite in the 200m Butterfly (at -2000 or -2500). The US’s Gunnar Bentz is a longshot (+5000), but will be among the eight in the pool competing in the final.

Wednesday night will bring still more exciting swimming finals. If you can get up and watch the preliminary heats in the morning (starting at around 6 a.m.), you might then arm yourself with some knowledge when betting on these finals tomorrow night:

  • 9:30 p.m. ET – Men’s 800m Freestyle
  • 9:44 p.m. ET – Men’s 200m Breaststroke
  • 10:28 p.m. ET – Women’s 200m Butterfly
  • 10:37 p.m. ET – Men’s 100m Freestyle
  • 11:31 p.m. ET – Women’s 4 x 200 Freestyle Relay

The US’s Caeleb Dressel is the favorite in the Men’s 100m Freestyle. The sprinting specialist currently holds the world record in the 50m Freestyle (where he’ll be the favorite again later in the week).

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Seek out promotions when choosing sports, bets

These offerings just scratch the surface, really, with nearly every Olympic event offering numerous ways to wager. As you do, be sure to keep an eye out for other Olympics-related offers and promotions.

For example, DraftKings has another promotion running each day through Aug. 2. Make at least one daily bet of $10 or more on an Olympic event and receive a $5 free bet. You can also bet $50 or more and get a $25 free bet.

There are other promotions, too, such as at BetRivers Sportsbook. If you wager between $500-$999 on Olympics events over the course of the Games, you get $1 credit for every bronze medal the US wins. Bet $1,000-$2,499 and get $2 credit for every silver and the US team collects, along with the bronze bonus. Bet $2,500 or more and get $3 credit for every gold medal the US gets, along with the other bonuses.

Keep an eye out for other promos and odds boosts as the arise as well. As the Olympic athletes well know, finding even the smallest edge can be valuable.

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Photo by Eric Gay/AP
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Martin Harris

Martin Harris is a writer and teacher who has reported on poker, online gambling, and sports betting since the mid-2000s. Once a full-time academic (Ph.D., English), he currently teaches part-time in the American Studies program at UNC Charlotte. In 2019, his book Poker & Pop Culture was published by D&B Books.

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