Sports Betting Tips: Olympics – Men’s relay (Feb 13th)

Sports Betting Tips: Olympics – Men’s relay (Feb 13th)

Cross-country skiing at the Olympics kicks off with the women's skiathlon on Saturday, February 5 and rounds out on Sunday, February 20 with the women's three-miler. In between, ten more Olympic champions will be crowned in the Chinese snow. All races will be held in the morning and in the morning (CET). Six of the ten race days are public holidays, so there is no need to take time off work.

On the second of the three Sundays of the Olympics, the men's relay is on the menu. As is the custom, there are first two classic distances of 10 kilometres each, followed by two mile-long distances in the free style.
Norway are the big favourites and there is nothing to talk about. 1.40 on the rams as winner seems correct.

Russia are big favourites for the silver medal and there is not much to say about that either. 3.00 on the winner is not appealing, let alone 1.08 on the podium. The bronze medal, on the other hand, is up for grabs, something that is evident both in the starting lists and in the betting. But as far as third place is concerned, there is actually something to be said, at least if we look at the trend in recent championships.

Olympics 2018

  1. Norway
  2. Russia
  3. France

From the back of the podium to fourth-placed Finland, the gap was over a minute.

World Cup 2019

  1. Norway
  2. Russia
  3. France

From the back of the podium to fourth-placed Finland was less than two seconds.

World Cup 2021

  1. Norway
  2. Russia
  3. France

From the back of the podium to fourth-placed Sweden was four seconds.

The same first, the same second and the same third in three consecutive championships. There we can speak of a telling trend.

Natural follow-up question: what is the evidence for a trend break?

Answer: nothing.

France is no worse today than in recent years. Quite the contrary, considering that U23 world champion Hugo Lapalus has made further strides since he was part of the medal pack at the World Championships in Oberstdorf a year ago. Sprint specialist Jouve has also sharpened his skills in the distance race. Jouve did not participate at the World Championships in Oberstdorf but acted as anchor at the 2019 World Championships in Seefeld and I am leaning towards him getting the same task again.
Likely French relay team at the Beijing Olympics:

  1. Hugo Lapalus (same as last time).
  2. Maurice Manificat (same as last time)
  3. Clement Parisse (same as last time)
  4. Richard Jouve (same as 2019, has shown more this year than Jules Lapierre who did the last leg last time)

Finland, Italy and Sweden are the main contenders for the bronze medal if we look at the odds.

The Swedes were the closest last year, since then the blue team has taken a step backwards. Our only possible aces, William Poromaa and Jens Burman, have had problems with injuries and are unlikely to threaten the French any more than when Poromaa had to give in to Lapierre in Oberstdorf.
The Finns' last three scores are four-four-six. Has anything improved on the blue and white front since then? No. You think before every relay that Iivo Niskanen is an X-factor who will blow the field to hell so the other Finns can slide into the finish on his waves, but that's not the reality.
Italy? They haven't been top 6 in any of the previous three championships. Pellegrino is worse now than before. De Fabiani came 25th in the Tour de Ski.

Others? Switzerland? Germany? I think Germany looks like a dark horse with the youngster Friedrich Moch who impressed big in both the U23 World Championships and the winter tour. There we have a possible lir when the top 6 market opens but for the Germans to trump the French is far-fetched.

All in all, I see the odds on France's podium finish as clearly on the high side. 3.75 at the time of writing should be pushed below the 3 barrier.

Beijing Olympics Women's Relay

  • Bet: Sweden beats Norway
  • Odds: 3.65
  • Company: Unibet

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