The 2016 Summer Olympic Games begin on Aug. 5th and the Men’s Soccer is expected to be a big draw with 16 teams fighting for the Gold Medal. Let’s look at the current Futures Book for this event and handicap who might make it out of group play and make a couple of picks.
Men's Soccer Gold Medal Wide Open with Brazil, Argentina, Germany Chalks
There will be no Lionel Messi (Argentina) and no Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) at these upcoming 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro but it looks as if Neymar (Brazil) will be there as well as some pretty good teams who will be fighting for the Gold Medal in Men's Soccer (Football) in 32 matches at seven different sites in six cities across Brazil including the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro—where the Women's and Men's Gold Medal matches will be held on Aug 19 and 20, respectively—as well as preliminary matches at Estádio Olímpico João Havelange in Rio, São Paulo, Brasília, Salvador, Belo Horizonte and Manaus—all host cities during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Two big things to remember in the context of betting in this particular Futures Book (Outrights) market is that many major club players—like Messi and CR7—might not or will not be participating due to injuries, and/or other priorities and the fact many may simply be worn down from club play from last Fall until this Spring followed by continental tournaments like recently completed like the UEFA EURO 2016 and the Copa América Centenario. No pricey parent club like Barcelona or defending UEFA Champions League holders Real Madrid want to see their key cogs injured playing in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The second thing to remember is that in Men's play, teams are restricted to using players who are under 23 years of age (Born on or after January 1, 1993) with a maximum of only three “overage” players allowed. (There are no age restrictions in the women's event.)
Here are the four Men's Groups Soccer for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
The Games of the XXXI Olympiad (Aug. 6-21)—which will have 406 events in 26 different sports in 18 different existing venues with 207 nations participating—the schedules by days when they're playing and the current (July 11) updated betting odds from online sportsbooks Bovada. We'll take a look at the Women's Gold Medal Market here at Sportsbook Review on Wednesday.
2016 Summer Olympic Games—Men's Soccer Draw
Group A—Brazil, South Africa, Iraq, Denmark
Group B—Sweden, Colombia, Nigeria, Japan
Group C—Mexico, Germany, South Korea, Fiji
Group D—Argentina, Poland, Algeria, Honduras
Competition Days Schedule
Wednesday, Aug. 3: Group Stage matches
Sunday, Aug. 7: Group Stage matches
Wednesday, Aug. 10: Group Stage matches
Saturday, Aug. 13: Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Aug. 17: Semifinals
Saturday, Aug. 20: Bronze Medal Game
Saturday, Aug. 20: Gold Medal Game
Last 10 Men's Soccer Gold Medal Winners
2012—Mexico (London Games)
2008—Argentina (Beijing Games)
2004—Argentina (Athens Games)
2000—Cameroon (Sydney Games)
1996—Nigeria (Atlanta Games)
1992—Spain (Beijing Games)
1988—Soviet Union (Seoul Games)
1984—France (Los Angeles Games)
1980—Czechoslovakia (Moscow Games)
1976—East Germany (Montreal Games)
Odds to Win Men's Soccer Gold Medal Game
South Korea +4000
South Africa +4000
Usual Soccer Suspects Should be Fighting For the Gold Medal in Rio
It honestly seems that this might only be a 6-nation race for that coveted Gold Medal, with the oddsmakers top six favorites—Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Portugal, Colombia, and Mexico—seeming like the only squads who can actually bring home the Gold. But remember, these teams are limited to just three players aged 23 and up, meaning that the actual Rosters, Intent on Winning, Expectations and the team's individual starting GK's will all be huge in trying to get to that precious metals-medal end. Looking at these numbers since our story on the openers, Denmark (FIFA #31) really drew some money going from 40/1 all the way down to 20/1 so somebody is really high on the Danish Dynamite but even getting through its Group A play with host nation Brazil and South Africa will be a challenge and should Denmark finish in 2nd place in Group A, then a likely date with presumed Group B-winner Sweden (FIFA # 36) or maybe Nigeria (FIFA #61) might await, so maybe an easy trip to the Semifinals Round is probably being perceived by those Denmark Futures Book bettors.
Despite not having playmaker extraordinaire Messi, Argentina (FIFA #1)—which was the first nation to qualify for the Summer Olympics as La Albiceleste won the South American U-20 Championship in Uruguay last year—always has a wonderful national Roster and with guys like some talented over-23 vets to choose from like Ángel Di María (Real Madrid) and Sergio Agüero (Manchester City), Argentina has massive depth although remember that the Olympics probably are third in players' (and their agents and parent teams) priority pecking orders behind Club play and National play in big tournaments like the aforementioned recently wrapped UEFA EURO and Copa América and, of course, the prestigious UEFA Champions League. Argentina scored 23 goals in qualifying (2.66 gpg) with La Albiceleste Striker Giovanni Simeone (River Plate) accounting for an impressive 9 of those tallies and with Argentina having a collective chip on their South American shoulders after losing to Chile in the Copa América Final last month, maybe their mad and motivated enough to get the Gold Medal here.
And defending Olympic champions Mexico (FIFA #16) are a young and energetic group with some nice Veterans (23 years and older for the Men in the Olympics) to choose from like 28-year-old striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (Bayer Leverkusen) and 30-year-old GK Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey). El Tri recently went on an extremely impressive 22-game unbeaten streak which was abruptly ended by a 7-0 trouncing at the feet of Chile in the Quarterfinals of the Copa América Centenario and Mexico won Group B in the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament in October, beating Costa Rica (4-0), Haiti (1-0), Honduras (2-1) and Canada (2-0) to automatically qualify for these Summer Olympic Games.
Three other betting picks to consider if making a Gold Medal Futures Prop bet and why: Germany (FIFA #4) at +550 (at Bovada) simply because they are Germany, have a great Youth System and won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil—becoming the first European nation to win a World Cup on South American soil and may be a little bitter about getting ousted late in EURO 2016. Portugal (FIFA #9) at 10/1(at Bovada), as although stud Ronaldo will be missing, this nation has a speed and young group of talent and plays sound Defense, although it seems the South American Site may hurt their chances and A Seleção just expended an awful lot of Physical and Emotional energy in winning its first EURO in France, against France in Extra Time in Paris (Saint-Denis) on Sunday. And Colombia (FIFA #3) at 14/1 (at Bovada), who could really benefit from, the familiarity with the South American Site and culture with Japan (28/1 to win Men's Soccer Gold Medal at Bovada) possibly the best real longshot from this group of 16 participants although for Japan (FIFA #53), trying to just get through its Olympics Group (B) of Death with Sweden, Colombia and Nigeria will not be fun for the Samurai Blue.
2016 Summer Olympic Games Men's Soccer Gold Medal Picks: Argentina +380, Germany +550
Best Lined Offered: at Bovada