London 2012 Olympics Betting

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On 27 July 2012, London will be the focal point of the sports world as the city hosts the XXX Olympiad—the 30th Olympic Games. In total, 26 twenty-six different sports will be contested involving thirty-nine disciplines. There will be thousands of the world’s top athletes on hand from hundreds of countries. And it’s a sure bet that London bookmakers will be making the most of every wagering opportunity.

From Athletics and Archery to Swimming, Cycling, Rowing and Track & Field, dozens of markets will be available. Shopping around for the best odds is a must, and smart bettors will be taking full advantage of the many free bets, cash matching options and other promotions being offered both online and off.

London won the right to host the 2012 Games in 2005, beating out bids by Moscow, Madrid, Paris and New York City. The London Organising Committee for The Olympic Games has since been very busy under the leadership of Olympian Lord Sebastian Coe, developing the venues for the various events.

Within Greater London, three zones are under development: The Olympic Zone, The River Zone and The Central Zone. Also, the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in Dorset is being readied, and a cable car across the Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and The Royal Docks is being constructed.

With an initial infrastructure budget of £5.3 billion, an additional £1.7 million to revitalise Stratford’s Lower Lea Valley and separate funding for running the Paralympics, a final price tag of over £9 billion is expected. That figure includes extra security, which has become a major issue in light of recent lawless behaviour in London streets; something the British government has vowed will not be tolerated

Betting on the Olympic Games is already underway. At william hill, for example, wagers can be made on which countries will win the most Gold Medals. They are set up as “match bets,” such as USA vs. China, Great Britain & Northern Ireland vs. Russia, France vs. South Korea, and Japan vs. Italy, to name a few. Bets can also be placed on how many Golds will be accumulated by Great Britain & Northern Ireland, over/under 23.5.

The United States is an early 1/2 favourite to lead the haul of Gold Medals, followed by China at 13/8. By contrast, Great Britain & Northern Ireland are being offered at 33/1 and France is the longest of long shots at 250/1.

Other bookmakers have taken different approaches to early wagering on the London Olympics. paddy Power is already offering ante post betting on which men’s tennis player will win Olympic Gold; Djokovic leads at 6/4, followed by Nadal at 9/4, Federer at 7/2 and Britain’s lone hope Andy Murray at 6/1. Meanwhile, Stan James has odds on who will light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony, putting Steve Redgrave in front at 8/11, followed by Kelly Holmes at 4/1 and Paula Radcliffe at 7/1.

Once the Games proper get under way, betting attention will turn to specific events and athletes. Already listed as primary betting categories by many sportsbooks online are the 100-metre sprint, which is expected to feature the return of Jamaica’s amazing speedster Usain Bolt, and the swimming races, where America’s phenomenal Michael Phelps, winner of 16 Olympic Medals, could dominate once again.

Oddly enough, in football-crazed Britain, the Olympic football matches are not seen by bookmakers as a major interest. The reason: FIFA has invoked too many restrictions on who may play. For example, previous World Cup players are barred from participating, thus greatly weakening the strongest national sides. What’s more, all but three male competitors from each team must be under 23 years of age.

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