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Summer Olympics Betting Continues: Stagnant Economy Boosts Interest

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
Aug/20/2008

The 2008 Summer Olympics have been a ratings smash while betting on the summer games has never been so brisk. One reason: The economy.

On why the Olympics have been communal viewing:

I think Dick Ebersol [NBC Universal Sports and Olympics Chairman] really captured it when he spoke to the television critics before the Games. He talked about a confluence of factors: The economy is certainly struggling a bit, gas prices are high, and we are not traveling as much. Let's face it: This is free over the air television and a big event on free over-the-air television so I think it just happens to be the right event at the right time with a star who is a phenomenon that you could argue comes around maybe every 50 or 100 years. The planets are aligned.

A number of mostly British betting outlets have not been so keen on posting Summer Olympics odds.

"They don't want to upset anyone by offering odds on amateur sports that can easily be fixed," one London bookmaker told Gambling911.com this week.

Those that have offered odds on the games are certainly capitalizing. Some of the main draws have been men's swimming and women's gymnastics.

BetUS.com has been relatively accurate with its odds. Hence, if someone were to bet the favorite in each event, chances are good they would ultimately come out on top.

One of the easiest bets - Michael Phelps - was hardly a good value though. Phelps was listed all the way to -5000 odds at some books on certain events.

BetUS.com is hoping to capitalize on another popular Olympics sport - Diving. They had odds posted for Friday's 10m Platform, which appear below.

7:00a

6001 Sasha Klein GER +105

6002 Luxin Zhou CHN -145

7:00a

6004 Peter Waterfield GBR +120

6005 Matthew Mitcham AUS -160

7:00a

6007 Matthew Mitcham AUS -160

6008 Thomas Daley GBR +120

7:00a

6010 German Sanchez MEX -120

6011 Thomas Finchum USA -120

7:00a

6013 Luxin Zhou CHN -330

6014 Yue Lin CHN +220

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