Toronto Mike

How to Make Sensible Bets on the Olympics

Free Olympic Symbol Landmark Stock Photo

The weather isn’t quite befitting of summer, but the one benefit to those drizzly June, July and August days is that you can take refuge on the sofa watching scintillating action from sporting greats all over the globe.

First up there’s the T20 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies and USA to get the pulse racing followed by the European Championships in Germany. Starting just a week after Europe’s premier international competition is the Copa America which will see Argentina defend their crown in the United States.

If all of that isn’t enough for you, there’s also the Olympic Games which start on July 26th in Paris, France. When it comes to your classic sports bet the three tournaments mentioned before are self-explanatory, but the Olympics are a different ball game altogether (half-pun intended…)

With way more variables, much less known about the main runners and riders and your own gaps in knowledge to contend with, betting on the Olympic Games can be tricky. Which is why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you avoid bet regret and make some sensible wagers.


If you wanted to place a throwaway wager on the European Championships, you might bet £30 on Gareth Southgate’s brave boys to bring home the trophy this summer. If, however, you wanted to place an informed bet on the outright winner of that particular tournament you’d take a look at recent form and the squads of the main runners and riders.

After doing that you’d realise that England probably have the 5th or 6th best defence at the Euros, remember that strong defences are the most common trait of an international tournament winning team and then very, very quickly reverse your decision to put £30 on England.

Likewise when you’re betting on the Olympics, and betting to win rather than lose, you have to do your research. It’s not a case of simply backing the one athlete you’ve heard of. Instead research the form, look up how each athlete fared at the last Olympics or the most similar international tournament.

Google their names, read what’s being said about the athlete’s by their own national press. Research the event itself too, is there anything different about this year’s event? Are there different rules at an Olympic Games to other events?

Ask yourself all of these questions and more before placing your bet, because ultimately, it’s much more efficient to bet with your brain than with your heart.

Free Black Twist Pen on Notebook Stock Photo

(Don’t be afraid to get the pen and pad out when you’re doing your Olympics research.)

Set a Budget


“Based on or acting on good judgement and practical ideas and understanding.”

That is the dictionary definition of the word ‘sensible’, and there could be nothing more sensible in terms of betting than setting yourself a budget. Its fun watching a race or an event and roaring on the athlete that you backed right until the bitter end, but it’s certainly not fun looking at your bank account after and seeing single digits staring back at you.

Betting should be fun. To ensure that it always is, set yourself a budget and stick to it. It really is that simple.

Stay Informed

Our final piece of advice has two benefits. If you stay informed about the Olympics by watching as much action as you can, reading all the reaction and catching up with the highlights, you’ll be better placed to make smart bets.

As an added bonus, doing all of that will keep you engaged and excited. When you were a kid you lived and breathed every moment of a major tournament, which is why you look back on them so fondly.

Just because you’re an adult, doesn’t mean you can’t do that now. In fact if you do that, the added excitement of having money riding on the outcome will make it even more memorable. Especially if you win big!

In Summary

Boring as it may sound, researching events as thoroughly as possible, sticking to a strict betting budget and watching as much of the action as possible are three ways to ensure you bet sensibly on this summer’s Olympic Games.

Following these tips might not guarantee you finish up with a gold medal in August, but it will mean you can look back at the event fondly in years to come.

Author image
About Toronto Mike
I own TMDS and host Toronto MIke'd. Become a Patron.