Hannah Kearney | USsPost.com
February 14, 2010 by Post Team
Hannah Kearney | USsPost.com:Some of the buzz of the first day of competition at the Olympics has been drowned by the postponement of the men’s downhill. It’s one of the premier evenst of the Games, but slush and fog have pushed the race to Monday afternoon. It’s shaping up to be a war between the Swiss and Canadiens for that one, but since its not going off today, we’ll postpone our own discussion on the race until then.
The hockey tournaments do start today. Are you interested in laying chalk on a hockey game? Well today is your lucky day. The Canadien Women’s team is -11.5 over the Slovakians today. Canada could win 13-2 and you wouldnt win that bet. What’s amazing is the total for the game is over/under 12. Does that mean a shutout is likely? If you bet Canada, you might as well bet the over since you cant win one and not the other. I feel like the oddsmakers are telling us something here, I just dont know what. We have four hours to unravel this mystery and unlock our inner degenerate before the puck drops.
Otherwise, five gold medals will be awarded today. Here is a snapshot of the field and odds for each:
MENS 5,000 SPEED SKATING
A long skate this afternoon for the Gold Medal. And, it would be a major upset if Netherlands Sven Kramer doesnt stand on the top podium when its all said and done. He was a silver and bronze medalist in Torino in 2006 and since then has become the dominant figure in the distance races in world competition. He is the three-time world champion in this event and in the 10,000 meters. He holds the world record in both events. The betting odds reflect his dominance. Kramer was -300 earlier the week, meaning to win $100, one would have to risk $300. On race day, however, those odds have become more expensive. A quick tour of Books this morning reveals the going rate at -400. On one hand, he sure does look like a sure thing, going with the dominant World Champ appears to be an easy way to win money. On the other hand, I have never laid that kind of juice to win a bet before. Do I really want to start on a sport I watch once every four years? Havard Booke of Norway is 3/1 and Bob de Jong of the Netherlands is 4/1. Everybody else is a longshot with Americans Chad Hendrick, 12-1, and Shani Davis at 22/1. Actually, Hendrick’s odds are a bit all over the map. He’s 12/1 at sportsbook.com, 10/1 at BetUs and 16/1 at BoDog. Davis is only listed at BoDog.
What I find pretty cool about Olympic odds is just how creative some of the games are. This race is expected to be a blowout, but at BoDog, they’ve attempted to sweeten the betting pot by putting some head to head matchups on the board. That book offers a Booke vs de Jong head-to-head bet at even odds, so in a roundabout way you’re predicting pretty much who will win the Silver Medal. They’ve also pitted American Hendrick and Davis against one another, making Hendrick the -150 chalk and Davis at +110. I couldnt find any odds on the over/under on subtle and hidden insults these rivals, who are for from friends, will throw at one another in the post skate pressers.
SKI JUMPING NORMAL HILL
Today’s ski jump is a two-person horse race between Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer and Swiss Simon Amman. The only place I can find with odds on this event is pinnacle sports. Amman is the 2.77 to 1 favorites with Schlierenzauer at 3.3 to 1. Basically, its neck and neck between these. Pinnacle doesnt list any other competitors. You can take the field and hope somebody else breaks through at -178 odds.
WOMEN’S BIATHALON, SPRINT
You’d think the best way to pick a winner here is to go with a German babe. They have four in this event who are among the favorites. Magadelana Neuner is +180, Andrea Henkel is 6/1, Kati Wilhelm is 10/1, and Simone Hausbauer 10/1. Not so fast my friends. Despite the Germans strength,however, it’s France’s Sandrine Bailly thats the betting favorite this morning, currently going off at Even odds. Sweeden’s Helena Johnnson, the current World Cup leader, she checks in with 5/1 odds. Americans are expected to contend for a spot in the top-10, let alone the podium and I cant find odds on any of them anywhere.
SHORT TRACK SPEED SKATING, MEN’S 1500
NBC will be featuring American Golden Boy and Dancing With The Stars star Apolo Anton Ohno tonight as one of his event is broadcast live in its entirety tonight in primetime. At BoDog, you get get 13/2 odds on Ohno winning the gold. But, if the odds are any indication, dont expect any Uncle Sam magic this evening. If the medals fall according to the odds, this will be a South Korean sweep. Ho-Suk Lee 3/2, Jung-Su Lee 2/1 and Si-Bak Sung 15/4 are the top three favorites on the board. Other Americans in the field include John Robert Celski, 22/1, Jordan Malone, 33/1 and Oliver Jean, 40/1. At BoDog, you can bet Celski vs Malone with Celski the -175 chalk. And, if you want to win money on Ohno, but dont think he can skate to gold against the South Korean contingent, then take him to beat Canadien Charles Hamelin (who is 8/1 to take gold) straight up at -150 odds.
WOMEN’S FREESTYLE MOGULS
Like the women’s sprint biathalon earlier in the day this is anyone’s ball game. Any of a half dozen women could bump and slalom their way to a Gold. It was will a battle between the Americans and Canadiens. Canada’s Jennifer Heil is the betting favorite to bring gold to her home country, which would be the first gold ever won by a Canadien during an Olympics they’ve hosted. At -125, she’s hardly an overwhelming favorite, but all the late money coming is backing the home country hero. Her competition is tough and has brought in plenty of their own backers. Hannah Kearney and Heather McPhie, both Americans, check in next in line at 3.5 to. Canada’s Kristi’s Richards is 5/1 and Team USA’s Sanrda Bahrke is 8/1. The top five favorites are either Canadien or American. Bragging rights are on the line. Please win, ladies. I dont wont to stop wearing my USA Moguls swag around town.
So, the question is do I gamble on any of this. I mean, its all so speculative. I dont watch any of these sports. But, you know what, I’m always up for a challenge, so I went ahead and laid out -125 odds to win 50 bucks on Heil to win Gold tonight. It gives me a non-American rooting interest. And, doesn’t a Canadien woman winning a rare home gold for her home country the opening night of the Olympics just sound like something that will happen? Why not. Go Leafs Go.
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