AUSTRALIA’s medal chances might be drying up now that we’ve swapped the pool for the track, but there is plenty of betting value to be had nonetheless as we enter the latter stages of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Olympic multi selections for Thursday, August 18
Men’s Football Semifinal – Germany to win – $1.83
Women’s Hockey Semifinal – New Zealand to win – $2.40
Men’s Basketball Quarterfinal – USA with a -22.5 handicap – $1.90
Men’s Handball Quarterfinal – Croatia to win – $1.31
Men’s Football Semifinal – Germany vs. Nigeria – 5am AEST
Germany to win – $1.83
Believe it or not, the Nigerians have more runs on the board than Germany when it comes to Olympic football. They won the gold at Atlanta 1996 and came close to a repeat at Beijing 2008, losing to Argentina in the final. But Europe’s only surviving medal chance has fired up after a slow start, blasting into the semis with a resounding 4-0 victory over Group D winners Portugal. The heart might want the Super Eagles to go through, but the head says Germany.
Women’s Hockey Semifinal – New Zealand vs. Great Britain – 6am AEST
New Zealand to win – $2.40
Having dumped the Australian ladies out of the tournament in the quarters, it’s up to New Zealand to battle it out with the old enemy for a spot in the final. It was the Brits who claimed bragging rights and the bronze medal with a 3-1 victory when these two met at London 2012, but the bookies cannot split them here. While we’re backing the Kiwis to edge it in regular time, those who want a safer bet can take either NZ or GB at $1.83 odds to qualify for the gold medal match.
Men’s Basketball Quarterfinal – USA vs. Argentina – 7:45am AEST
It looks like a straightforward quarterfinal bout for the Dream Team. Although all four qualifiers from Group B tied on eight points apiece, a poor head-to-head record saw Argentina relegated to the bottom rung of the knockout phase. The South Americans were well beaten by Spain in their final group game, losing 73-92, so we expect the United States to turn on the style and cover the 22.5-point head start with no real problems.
Men’s Handball Quarterfinal – Croatia vs. Poland – 11:45am AEST
Only four other nations have matched Croatia’s record of two gold medals in men’s Olympic handball. What’s most impressive is that the former Yugoslavians have reached the semifinals at all four Olympiads for which they have qualified. With Russia out of the picture, the stage is set for the Croats to win through to what would be an epic Rio 2016 final with France – the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medallists. Poland, as $4.40 outsiders, should pose no threat here.