Brazil in the Men's Category and The USA Women's Team Are the two favorite squads to bring home the gold in Olympic Soccer. Our handicapper provides his Olympic Soccer Betting analysis.
Brazil's Men's Team are heavy favourites to win gold for soccer at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and it would be a travesty if they fail to do so. They are the only major nation taking the tournament seriously and there would be an outcry if Neymar and co fail to deliver.
There are just 16 teams competing in the soccer section of the Games this month and you will not find traditional heavyweights England, Italy, France or Chile competing. Of the big teams, only Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Germany, and Portugal are taking part. But while Brazil is sending all their best players, their rivals are sending none of theirs. In Europe, the best teams have been competing in Euro 2016, with Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal winning the final.
In the Americas this summer, teams have been battling it out for Copa America, and Chile beat Argentina in the final. The only team that did not try their hardest to win Copa America was Brazil, who rested key players and were duly knocked out in the group stage. So while Argentina will be without Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain et al, and Colombia will be without James Rodriguez and Carlos Bacca and all their best players, Brazil have Neymar, Douglas Costa, Felipe Anderson, Marquinhos and so on. The club season in all of Europe's top leagues is set to start and most clubs won't release stars for the Olympics. Portugal is missing all the heroes that won Euro 2016, including Ronaldo, while world champions Germany have left out their entire Euro 2016 squad and all the players that won the World Cup.
Olympic rules dictate that you can only send players under the age of 23, supplemented by three over-23s. The other teams have sent a bunch of decent youngsters along with a few hardened pros that have never really made it for their national teams. Brazil has sent Barcelona superstar Neymar and Bayern Munich's Douglas Costa, two of the best players of their generation. They should cruise to gold. The odds on them keep shortening so if you agree, get on it soon. They have gone from +100 down to a current price of -115 (Bovada), so back them before the tournament kicks off and they drop in value more.
You should probably write off teams like Germany and Portugal, Colombia and Argentina, and look elsewhere for value if you don't fancy Brazil. Mexico is the reigning Olympic champions and they are one of the only nations taking it seriously. They don't have the stars of Brazil but they have a decent, cohesive team and that +1600 with Bovada looks interesting for them, especially if you go each way as they are in with a good chance of making the final.
The women's soccer is a completely different story, and the USA should dominate that. They are reigning World Cup winners and Olympic champions and have been the dominant force in the women's game for a long time now. There were fears that the Zika virus would prevent them from sending a strong side, but they have put a good squad together and should win it. Two of their fiercest rivals, England and Japan, are not taking part, so it is left to France, Germany, Brazil and Canada to compete with them. Of that bunch, Brazil might stand the best chance as they are on home soil and can call upon the services of Marta, the best player the women's game has ever seen.
Odds as of August 3
South Korea +5000
South Africa +5000
Odds as of August 3
New Zealand +6600
South Africa +10000
**Odds can be found at Bovada