As the 2016 Rio Olympics get underway officially, we look at who the gold medal favourites are in the highly anticipated men’s 200-meter individual medley betting market.
The men's 200m individual medley market is spearheaded by Michael Phelps, 22-time Olympic champion (over the course of three Olympics) and, arguably, the greatest Olympian this side of the century.
The American has 18 gold medals to his credit in swimming, one of which is the 2012 200m individual medley. The defending champion is priced at -125 with Bovada to clinch the gold medal in this event, in what is surely his last Olympics at 31 years of age. But who knows, he might not be satisfied with just four appearances…watch this space.
American counterpart Ryan Lochte, meanwhile, comes in as the third favourite at +350 on the Olympics betting odds board with Bet365. The handsome swimmer currently holds the world record in the 100m individual medley, 200m individual medley (long and short course) and the 400m individual medley.
At 32 years of age, he's entering his fourth Olympics, matching Phelps in appearances but, in that time, he's been largely enjoying the obscurity of Phelps' shadow. Lochte boasts five gold medals, three silver medals and three bronze medals (11 total).
In 2012, Locke clinched the silver in the 200m individual medley, improving on the bronze in the same event from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (In the 2004 Athens Olympics he won the silver in this event.)
Given the fact that he's podiumed in this event in the three previous Olympics, it's a bit surprising he's backed out to third overall favourite behind Kosuke Hagino, who is sandwiched between the American powerhouse-duo as the second best bet at +160 with Bet365.
That said, it must be pointed out that this market outlook does change from bookmaker to bookmaker. There are several sportsbooks that have Lochte matched as the second best bet at +200, ahead of Japan's Hagino at +300. Depending on which swimmer you're backing on your Olympic betting picks, therefore, be sure to search for the best prices available.
Japan's Kosuke Hagino is a young gun at 21 years of age. He's competing in his second Olympics following London 2012 and has the gold medal for the 400m individual medley. His lone Olympic podium.
Speaking of the presiding ‘King of Fly' Michael Phelps, he's also favoured to repeat as gold medal champion in the 100m butterfly. He's dominated the podium in his pet event in the last three Olympics. You can back Michael Phelps to win the butterfly at +115 with Bet365.
Olympics 2016 200m Individual Medley Men - Winner
Michael Phelps (USA) -110
Ryan Lochte (USA) +200
Kosuke Hagino (JPN) +300
Thiago Pereira (BRA) +1400
Laszlo Cseh (HUN) +1800
Shun Wang (CHN) +2800
Hiromasa Fujimori (JPN) +6600
Federico Turrini (ITA) +8000
Henrique Rodrigues (BRA) +8000
Marcin Cieslak (POL) +8000
Simon Sjödin (SWE) +10000