As we move forward to the first full week of the Olympic Games in South Korea, we see five events worthy of a wager. Let the games begin as we check the odds and win those bets!
Your eyes don't deceive you and this isn't a typo. The women's ice hockey team from Russia, sans the players who tested dirty, is getting a 6½-goal head start against Team USA. Oh, and yes, I'm talking about the women's Team USA, not the men's. The Russian women lost 5-0 to Team Canada on Sunday and the thinking here is that the American and Canadian teams are close to equal, with Team USA as the slight tournament favorite. I believe the Russian women, despite not scoring, kept it closer than many believed against Canada. They could be buoyed by that performance against an American team that could be overlooking the Russians as nothing more than a speed bump on their way told Olympic gold.
Women's Slalom (Tuesday, 8:15 p.m. ET)Free Olympic Pick: Mikaela Shiffrin -380Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) wins women's slalom gold -380
Petra Vlhova (Slovakia) wins women's slalom gold +1000
Wendy Holdener (Switzerland) wins women's slalom gold +1050
Frida Hansdotter (Sweden) wins women's slalom gold +1100
This event was been delayed from Sunday due to high winds. American Mikaela Shiffrin dominates this event so overwhelmingly that the chalky Olympic odds on her actually seem somewhat tolerable. Shiffrin is the reigning overall World Cup champion, having won that title three times, and is the reigning Olympic champ as well. Perhaps I would abstain from making this a flat wager and instead include Shiffrin to win gold in the slalom as part of a parlay in my Olympic picks this week.
Men's Skeleton (Wednesday, 10 p.m. ET)Free Olympic Pick: Martins Dukurs +260Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
Sungbin Yun (South Korea) wins men's gold -230
Martins Dukurs (Latvia) wins men's gold +260
Axel Jungk (Germany) wins men's gold +950
Christopher Grotheer (Germany) wins men's gold +1050
Yun is the odds-on-favorite, and as the son of the host country it's difficult not to lay the lumber and like it. However, Latvian Martins Dukurs has more titles than a British aristocrat. He is the reigning and five-time world champion with nothing left to prove except gold at these Olympics. We say he gets it here.
Men's 2-Man Bobsleigh (Thursday, 1:15 a.m. ET)Free Olympic Pick: Nico Walther +500Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
Francesco Friedrich (Germany) wins 2-man +180
Justin Kripps (Canada) wins 2-man +270
Nico Walther (Germany) wins 2-man +500
Johannes Lochner (Germany) wins 2-man +500
Nico Walther, 27, has also competed in the luge and has a bevy of international experience under his belt. Countryman Francesco Friedrich is the favorite but Walther has stacked up against him favorably in the past, and +500 looks like value to me. In this event we'll back Walther, a policeman (yes, he's a cop when he's not sleighing).
Men's Super-G (Thursday, 9 p.m. ET)Free Olympic Pick: Matthias Mayer +750Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
Kjetil Jansrud (Norway) wins men's Super-G +300
Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) wins men's Super-G +335
Matthias Mayer (Austria) wins men's Super-G +750
Vincent Kriechmayr (Austria) wins men's Super-G +1000
Hannes Reichelt (Austria) wins men's Super-G +1100
Max Franz (Austria) wins men's Super-G +2000
Two countries rule this event, as you can see from the list of favorites. The event is wide open, which allows us the opportunity to hitch our wagon to a star with some real value. Matthias Mayer fits that bill, as the 27-year-old has a World Cup title under his belt in the Super-G and won Olympic gold in the downhill. Let's grab that +750 on this world champ to do it all over again at the 2018 Games.