The Olympic Games are arguably the world’s largest sporting events. It assembles participants from over 200 International Olympic Committee (IOC) members in a sports extravaganza. All notable sports from ball sports, athletics, swimming and gymnastics to equestrian and sailing partake in the championship. In essence, the Olympics bring together all sport under one roof. Its medal is the most coveted in the sporting world. With the evolution of online sports betting and an ever-increasing amount of betting sites betting on the Olympics has become a major market for the worlds leading bookmakers. We have created this Olympics betting page to help guide you through the different sports, available online betting sportsbooks and what to look for in a top betting site and even the different types of bet on offer.

A Brief History of the Olympic Games

Originally, the Olympics were religious gaming festivals held every four years in ancient Greece. They were held in the City of Olympia at the Sanctuary of Zeus, the sky and thunder god. The tassel was between city-states in the ancient Greece kingdoms. Like the current day, athletics was the main sport on offer, although horses and chariot races also featured. It’s alleged that the Hercules, the son of Zeus, was the first to call the games the Olympics, in honour of the city which hosted the games.

The 17th Century AD signalled the start of what we celebrate as modern-day Olympics. The inaugural games were at the Cotswold. The first modern-day Olympics under the IOC were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. 14 nations participated with over 240 athletes taking to the field. The subsequent events grew in membership and games, and through a series of development, it metamorphosed into what we call today as the Olympics Games.

The Olympics are divided into two; summer and winter. They take place every four years with two years separating each category. The summer Olympics are the highlight of the sporting world’s calendar, hosting up to 28 different Olympic sports ranging from track and field, cycling, boxing and water polo to newly introduced Olympic sports such as beach volleyball, basketball and surfing. Winter games started in 1924 with ice skating and ice hockey. Over the years, the committees have added more sports such as skiing, luge and snowboarding. Other Olympic games models have recently been introduced, namely, the Paralympics and the Youth Olympics.

Historically, the IOC usually selects the cities to hold the event. However, they have a rotational system among continents for fair representation. The 2008 summer Olympics were held in the Far East (Beijing China) while the 2012 edition occurred in Europe (London, UK). The 2016 Olympics were in South America (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and 2021 will be in the Far East (Japan). The selection is based on the city’s amenities, infrastructural capacity and political stability.

The United States and the Chinese Olympic teams have been the most dominant countries in the recent Summer Olympics since they participate in nearly all events. What mostly matters is the number of Gold Medals the team wins, as opposed to the total number of medals.Betting On The Olympics

Olympics form great events for online sports betting since it is a culmination of multiple sporting clusters. The majority of online sports betting sites create special bonuses for the competition to celebrate its existence. They come in different forms like reload bonuses, free bets and odds boost. Track and field are the most followed Olympic sports, although football, rugby and tennis also have a great following.

Some of the popular online sports betting sites that rate highly when it comes to betting on the Olympics include Betway, William Hill and Unibet. Players look to these betting sites since they have enticing offers and their experience in gaming and big championships makes bettors prefer them to other available betting sites.

Best Bookmakers for Olympics Betting

What you need to know/Tips/Strategy

Although the Olympics follow the sport’s set rules, there are other factors to consider before placing a bet on the Olympics. All track events are popular for betting since the bettor can follow the recent history, including the heat performances. Also, previous athlete performances in the Olympics and build-up events such as the Diamond Leagues form a good analysis guide.

For ball sports, recent performances at the international level is a good place to start. Also, player performances in their respective clubs can contribute to Olympics betting. Statistics never lie as they are a direct pointer.


The Best Sites For Betting on Olympic Sports

When it comes down to making a bet on the Olympics, there is a wide choice of sports betting sites to consider. With so many different events taking place the top Olympics betting sites are jostling to create an edge over the other. However, others stand out, thanks to their innovative approaches. The 2021 Olympics will feature competitive customer-centric offers, with reload and odds boost. Some of the best Olympics betting sites to go to when making a bet include:-


Gauging from the ray of offers on UniBet, this online betting site has very competitive offers for each sport. From experience, such notable events have special bonus offers ranging from a free bet to a UniBoost. Also, its wagering requirement is either low or 0, giving the gamer an upper hand in controlling their bet.

Other offers include the referral bonus, jackpots and free bets. From such a line-up, the bookie can create a promotion-specific for Olympics betting. It also has features such as live streaming and live betting for in-play gamers.

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William Hill

What sets William Hill apart from other sports betting sites is its daily offers. Every day has a specific bet with an odds boost and other promotional offers. It also has the best betting odds guaranteed offer on specific sports. In essence, the bookie has some of the most competitive betting odds available, making it the UK’s top betting site.

It also hosts other offers such as #YourOdds promotion or the bonus drop. Such credentials pit William Hill as a reputable sportsbook to stage a competitive promotion for the 2021 Olympics.

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When looking for competitive odds and a wide range of available markets, one of the most popular sportsbooks in Europe is Betway. Specific sports have special offers attached, with gaming features such as the early pay-out and money back. It also has promotions for specific sports that covers the whole season. Olympics betting can replicate such a model.

Special occasions such as the Olympic s can also benefit from the odds boost and free match bet on specific sports. Given the gaming experience and its network, Betway can stage a successful exclusive Olympic betting bonanza making it one of the best sportsbooks around.

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What to look for in a bookmaker when Betting on the Olympics

When it comes to betting on the Olympics, different sports betting sites have different abilities and experience to run a successful betting campaign. However, some pointers can help any player shortlist the best sites. Top on the list is competitive odds and varied betting markets. It must have a clean record in coordinating tournaments. Other notable features include competitive bonuses, secure platform and mobile gaming features.

Types of Popular Bets

Outrights (Individuals and Teams)

Outright bets address clear winners in their category. A Sport such as athletics can relate to the outright favourite individual for the race. Team outright bets compare winners from sports such as football or water polo. They are the most popular betting markets available as they are easy to research.


A Future bet refers to a bet whose outcome is a long way from happening, weeks or even months in advance. Markets such as the tournament winner or overall race winner form the futures. Compared to the other pre-match bets, future odds are bigger due to the risk involved. Online sportsbooks who have already set their Olympic betting markets can have future bets even now.


Prop bets are chanced bets where the betting site creates a likelihood of an action occurring during match/race. It may not directly correlate with the game’s overall outcome, but it is an integral part of the game. Markets such as who will score and when to score are some of the prop bets.

Live Betting

The contemporary player prefers betting in real-time as they watch the game unfold. They believe that the game’s progress can give them the idea of how the game will run. However, since every second matter, the risk is relatively significant, which makes odds higher compared to pre-match odds.


Some sports such as football have clear favourites based on the individual/team’s ability. If left to run as other betting markets, the outcome would be obvious, meaning the odds will be lower. However, the bookie gives the weaker team a head start, the odds will be higher since the stronger team has to equal and surpass the advantage.

Top Odds for Olympics Betting

Chronology Of The Summer Games

Every summer Olympics have their highs with spectacular performances. Records are created, new stars emerge and new technology is used in determining outcome accuracy.

From London (2012) to Rio de Janeiro (2016) and now Tokyo (2020/1), the tournaments have developed in both stature and capacity. The following are some of the Olympic highlights and their effects on the sports fraternity.

Tokyo (Japan) 2020/21

Tokyo was ready to welcome the world for the 2020 summer Olympics. The stage was set, the theme agreed on and the infrastructure prepared. However, it never came to pass as COVID-19 flue ravaged the world. The 2020 summer Olympics were postponed until 2021 to give time to the participating nations to handle their control measures.

As 2021 began, the IOC continued the preparations and called on the world to embrace the 2020 summer Olympics as the Ray of Hope after the damaging pandemic. Games such as Golf and Rugby 7s will feature for the second time in the Olympics.

Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) 2016

The Rio Olympics saw a return of new rivalry in traditional track events. There were 9 venues in total, including the historic Maracana Stadium. A total of 207 nations participated in hosting over 11,000 athletes. Dubbed the Rio 2016, the games were the largest in Olympics history.

Highlights of the tournament were the retirement of Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, the 100 metres record holder. The USA topped the medal table with 121 (46 gold), Great Britain 2nd with 67 (27 gold), their best tally since the 1908 Olympics held in London.

London (UK) 2012

The XXX Olympiad ran from July 27th to August 12th 2012 in London. In total, there were 10,768 athletes gathered from 204 IOC member nations. The games saw Michael Phelps, an American swimmer become the all-time Olympian with a medal tally of 22. Saudi Arabia, Brunei and Qatar, traditionally patriarchal countries fielded female athletes for the first time.

Once more. The USA took home 104 medals (46 gold) to top the medal chart. China and Great Britain were 2nd and 3rd with 91 (38 gold) and 65 (29 gold) respectively.

Chronology Of The Winter Games

Out of the necessity to create universal games for athletes living in cold areas, the IOC created the Winter Olympics. The first winter games were held in 1924, Chamonix, France. It consisted of Ice hockey, skiing, skating, bobsleigh and curling. Over the years, more Olympic sports have been included to make the games more defined and inclusive.

The last 3 winter games were held in Canada (2010), Russia (2014) and South Korea (2018). The 2022 winter Olympics will be hosted in Beijing, China. Russia is the most successful team with 9 overall wins, followed by Norway (8 times) and Germany (4 times.)

Beijing (China) 2022

The competition is scheduled to take place in February 2022 in Beijing China, making it the first on Chinese soil. There are 7 sports representing 15 disciplines to make up 109 events. The city was chosen, thanks to its amenities and experience in hosting international events.

There will be an additional 7 sports in the 2022 games. A huge battle between the defending champions Norway and Germany will liven up the games, with new countries as a possible occurrence. The games run on a Joyous theme as a unifying factor following the ravaging pandemic.

PyeongChang (South Korea) 2018

92 nations assembled in Gangwon Province, PyeongChang city. A total of 2922 graced the occasion to participate in 102 events across 7 sports. It was held between 9th and 25th February 2018. South Korea had hosted the Summer Olympics before, having hosted the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

Notable highlights in the games include the addition of 4 more sports in the competition and 6 new countries joining the Winter Olympics for the first time. Once more, Norway led the total tally with 29, Germany 31 and Canada 21.

Sochi (Russia) 2014

The games run from 7th to February 23rd 2014 and it brought together over 2800 athletes from 88 countries. They participated in 98 sports spread across 7 sports, with the highest team (country) carrying the day. As the first Winter Olympics in Russia was held in one of the Soviet Nations, the tournament was a success, owing to its backing and medal standing.

Russia topped the medal table with 30, closely followed by Norway and Canada. The United States had the larger medal tally (28), but with fewer gold (9).

Famous Olympians in Recent History

Many Olympians have become legends of their chosen sport. Record-breaking performances in both the summer and winter Olympics have produced some of the most memorable achievements in Olympics history.

Micheal Phelps (Swimming)

By far, Michael is the greatest Olympian in his category. Throughout his career, he recorded 23 gold medals, the highest ever by any athlete. Besides, he holds the record for 5 swimming categories, including the famous 100 meters butterfly.

Usain Bolt (Athletics)

He holds the record as the finest sprinter of all times. His speciality is in 100 and 200 meters dash, and the 4 X100 metres relay. He holds the world record. In essence, he was racing time, which led him to break the records he set himself.

 Marit Bjorgen (Cross Country Skiing)

Turning to the winter Olympics, Marit is the all-time champion in cross country skiing with over 29 medals. Her favourite winter Olympics was 2010 where she won 5 events, before retiring in April 2018.

Olympic Betting Sites FAQs

For the summer Olympics, the United States has the highest total tally, thanks to their stellar performance every edition. Norway also has a reasonable total tally compared to other participants.

A good number of online sportsbooks have Olympic Special bets. However, Unibet and William Hill have good classifications of Olympic betting. Their offers, experience and reward model are competitive to warrant their status.

For individual players, the most common market is the game/race winner as it gives a direct reference to the final outcome. For teams, game/ tournament winners are popular. Its analysis is straightforward, making it easier to bet.

Most sportsbook’s welcome bonus applies across the board. Since the Olympic Games are a summation of all individual and team sports, the welcome bonus applies. Irrespective of its structure (deposit bonus, free bets or money back), they allow Olympic betting.

Betting can happen before or during the event. Pre-match betting gives bettors to set their outcome before the actual game. Live betting also applies to Olympic betting.

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Written by:   Nathaniel Bush


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