Winter Olympics 2018: Which Country Will Get The Most Gold Medals?
Published on February 08, 2018
The 2018 Winter Olympics will start on Friday in Pyeongchang, South Korea (yes, I had to google the spelling). There is a total of 15 sports and 102 events in the schedule that will continue through February 25. The world will be watching, and one of the biggest questions is this: Which team will win the most gold medals?
Despite all the people saying that participation is what counts, we all know the truth. These athletes have been preparing for the medals and for four long years. The battle will be fierce, and a lot of nations come with the ambitions to get the most gold.
Obviously, Russia is not among them as the country was banned because of numerous PED cases. The bookies still offer odds on “The Olympic Athletes of Russia” though, which is the name under which the Russian athletes will participate. However, after so many scandals, and with a reduced team, it’s hard to see them winning any gold medal competitions.
With one of the favorites seemingly gone, it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen. Still, let’s take a look at the betting odds and see if there’s any value available:
Norway had the most gold medals in Sochi (joint with Russia), so it’s no surprise to see it at the top of the list of favorites. A quick look at the all-time table shows Norway leading with 118 gold medals as well. The Scandinavian country has a long-standing tradition in pretty much any sports involving ski. As you could imagine, there are a lot of them included in the Winter Olympics.
The likes of alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing and Nordic combined have tons of disciplines each. Norway has the potential to dominate in most of them and win the majority of the gold medals. This is the reason the Scandinavian powerhouse is the big favorite.
However, the odds of -120 are really short. It’s hard to see any value in there as it equals almost 55% of probability.
The Germans are always among the favorites when the Olympics are around the corner. They do well in both the summer and winter; hardly a surprise considering their reputation as one of the most hard-working nations around the globe.
Their performance in the last Winter Olympics was somewhat of a failure. They finished 6th in the medals table, but only 3 golds behind the leaders. That’s hardly an impossible gap, and the Germans are historically proven winners.
They’ve won the most golds a couple of times, but the last of them was in 2006. With Russia now gone, they might have the chance here. Germany will rely on many athletes, but Laura Dahlmeier is among the superstars of Pyeongchang. She is expected to bring home a couple of medals in biathlon and help her country in the battle for the overall table.
The European giant has a bunch of quality athletes and is traditionally among the best nations in all big sporting events.
The USA is the most successful country from North America and the second most successful overall when it comes to gold medals at Winter Olympics. Furthermore, the Americans finished third in Sochi, so they shouldn’t be underestimated.
There are high expectations for the U.S. when it comes to snowboarding and alpine skiing. Also, the USA has the potential to get a couple of surprising medals in sports like biathlon and curling. If that’s the case, the Americans could actually snatch first place in the final table.
Since the nation’s chances are priced at +700, it’s certainly one of the options worth considering.
Canada is another country from North America that is always in the mix when it comes to the Winter Olympics. Hardly a surprise, considering the climate and nature in Canada, they managed to finish third in Sochi four years ago, just one gold medal short of Norway and Russia.
This alone should be a testimony to Canada’s chances. A look at the all-time table shows a respectable fifth, and we all know that the country has a couple of very strong sports. Hockey is the obvious example, but the likes of curling, skating and short track are also events where Canada excels.
The expectations are that the giant doesn’t have enough to win the most gold medals this time around.
To be honest, I don’t see anyone else winning the gold medal competition. However, there are a couple of options that just might have a shot. For starters, the Netherlands did extremely well in 2014 and is priced at +2500. The French are another interesting European country. They have been just behind the best in most Olympic Games and are priced at +5000
The hosts of South Korea do have long-standing traditions in short track and a couple of other sports. We all know the host nation always does well, so odds of +4000 might be tempting.
Finally, the Russians were certainly wounded and not under their nation’s flag, but the bookies have included them under the name “The Olympic Athletes of Russia”. The whole scandal could serve as a big motivating factor. The whole nation of Russia, and Vladimir Putin, would certainly love to show the world they are among the best, no matter what. Their chances are slim, but are they really less than 3% as the price of +3300 suggests?
Before moving to my final picks in terms of value, let’s take a look at who analyzes all sports and disciplines. Based on that, it counts the expected medals for each country.
The latest update hasn’t been published, so we only have the one from November. It doesn’t include Russia, so keep that in mind.
According to their estimations, Norway and Germany will win 14 gold medals each. Next in line is the USA with 10, while no other nation is expected to reach double digits.
So, based on all the information so far, I have three choices for you. I believe each of them contains good value:
Picking Germany, the USA and Russia might seem like a cliché, but that’s where I see the value. Good luck to everyone that intends to have a go, and enjoy Pyeongchang 2018.