London 2012 Olympics betting
The London 2012 Olympic Games run for just over two weeks from Friday July 27th and bookmakers are offering a huge variety of betting opportunities over the whole fortnight, with markets available on 30 sports. There will be full coverage across the BBC, beginning with the opening ceremony at 9pm on the 27th.
Alongside ever popular betting sports such as football, tennis and boxing, punters will have the chance to pit their wits against the bookies in lesser known sports like taekwondo, sailing and shooting.
The United States are the favourites to win the most gold medals at 8/13 with Bet365 and BetVictor, with China next in the betting at a stand-out 6/4 with Paddy Power. If you fancy Great Britain to cause a shock, you can get odds of 100/1 with Bet365 and Ladbrokes.
Paddy Power are offering the best odds of 2/5 that the US gathers the highest number of medals, China are 9/4 second favourites with Bet365 and Coral, while Russia are as short as 12/1 in places but 50/1 with Bet365, who also offer 80/1 on Great Britain.
Betting firms will be expecting the highest levels of interest in those sports where there is a chance of a British medal winner, plus of course the major track and field events, with the men's 100m Final being the highlight - can anyone beat Usain Bolt to the gold medal?
Bolt was beaten twice by Yohan Blake at the start of the month in Kingston, over both 100m and 200m, but he is still a general 8/11 favourite in the betting to defeat his fellow Jamaican in the 100m. Blake meanwhile is a best price of 7/4 with Coral.
Interestingly, with their rivalry likely to spur both men to run exceptional times, Coral offer odds of 3/1 on Bolt's 100m world record of 9.58 being beaten and with another compatriot Asafa Powell in contention, Coral also offer 10/3 on a Jamaican 1-2-3 in the 100m Final.
One of Team GB's biggest medal prospects is Jessica Ennis, who is the market leader in the betting for the Heptathlon at a best price of 4/5 with William Hill, whilst her nearest rival, Tatyana Chernova, can be backed at 23/10 with Sky Bet.
British cycling is already in the news with the fine performances of both Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in the Tour de France and the Olympic hosts will be anticipating more success at the Velodrome. Wiggins leads the British line-up in the Team Pursuit event and they are even-money favourites with Bet365, although Australia are expected to push hard for the gold.
Sir Chris Hoy won three cycling gold's in Beijing and is a clear favourite to add to that haul in the Keirin at 4/5. Defending champion Victoria Pendleton is 2/1 second-favourite in the women’s sprint event behind Aussie Anna Meares at 11/8, who she defeated at the World Championship earlier this year (all with Paddy Power).
Britain has another hot medal favourite in the open water swimming, with Keri Ann Payne fresh from winning the 10km World Championship. A silver medallist in Beijing, Payne is 11/5 with Paddy Power to claim gold in London. In the pool, Rebecca Adlington is an odds-on chance to retain her 800m Freestyle title, although she is as big as 4/1 with Paddy Power and Ladbrokes to win the 400m Freestyle again.
Elsewhere, Alastair Brownlee is 4/7 with Stan James and Ladbrokes to cap a fine year in the triathlon with Olympic gold, while Team GB are 8/1 with Bet365, BetVictor, Stan James, Ladbrokes and William Hill to land football gold under Stuart Pearce.