Japan will have home advantage but it is once again the United States who are the clear favourites to win the most gold medals in the Olympics betting odds.
Team USA won 46 golds at the Olympics in 2016 and more of the same is expected at Tokyo 2020, which is going ahead after a 12-month delay.
The Americans have been the most successful team at five of the last six Olympic Games, with the exception being in Beijing in 2008 when they had to settle for second behind hosts China.
Japan are hosting the Games this time but the lack of spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic means they will not have the support they would otherwise have enjoyed and they are 22/1 to win the most gold medals in the Olympics betting odds.
Great Britain were second in the Olympics medal table five years ago in Rio with 27 but a repeat of that success seems unlikely given Team GB are no longer as dominant in cycling and gymnastics, although we think they can enjoy a successful Games as we explain in our assessment of the Team GB odds.
Biles going for gold again
It would need the Americans to flop in several events for their rivals to have any chance of leading the gold medal chart given the number of athletes they have who should dominate.
In Simone Biles they have the world’s greatest gymnast, who won four gold medals and one bronze in Rio. She is aiming to become the first women to defend the all-around title since Vera Caslavska in 1968.
Biles earned her place despite a series of uncharacteristic errors in the US trials but is expected to be back at her best in the Japanese capital.
Swimming superstar Katie Ledecky is also a near-certainty to significantly expand upon her six-medal haul at her third Games.
Ledecky soared through the US trials and is expected to compete in up to six events, including the women’s 1500m, a discipline appearing in the Games for the first time and in which she is almost untouchable.
That looks a tall order, though, especially with the lack of support, given they only managed 12 gold medals in Rio and under 27.5 golds looks the best bet at 11/20.
The sport of karate making its debut at the Games should boost their tally at least, with Kiyou Shimizu and Ryo Kiyuna both expected to challenge for gold.
More success for Italy?
Italian sport is on a high at the moment as their focus switches from English soil to Japan.
Matteo Berrettini became the first Italian to reach the Wimbledon men’s final last week while Italy were then crowned continental champions after beating England to win Euro 2020.
The Italian Olympic team is 8/13 to maintain that momentum by winning at least nine gold medals in bwin’s Olympics betting odds, which would be an improvement on the eight they won in Rio.
One of their best hopes if Filippo Ganna, who is the undisputed king of the cycling time trial.
Ganna will start as a clear favourite in the men’s event, and will also switch to the track to join his Italian team-mates in the team pursuit, and potentially also the omnium.
The Team Ineos rider – nicknamed ‘La Bestia’ (‘The Beast’) – won both time trials in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
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