Opening ceremonies for the 2022 Winter Olympics begin at 10:30pm AEDT this Friday night. Prior to that, Olympics fans can enjoy some round-robin action in women’s ice hockey, mixed figure skating and mixed curling. Without many game-day betting odds to choose from in these events, today’s Winter Olympics Day 1 best bets will get an early jump on a pair of future events.
Biathlon Mixed: 4x6km Mixed Relay winner
Norway won the Biathlon Mixed relay event when it was first introduced to the Olympics in Sochi back in 2014. France was able to upset Norway in the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, leaving Norway to settle for silver as they edged out the win by 20.9 seconds. That loss should only serve as greater motivation for Norway in this year’s event.
The Norwegian mixed Biathlon team is clearly the one to beat. Norway won the mixed relay at the Biathlon World Championships in both 2020 and 2021, and more recently went wire-to-wire in a dominant victory at the International Biathlon Union World Cup in Oberhof. This group is the most talented in the field and is also entering the Olympics in great form. The only teams the top bookmakers are giving a realistic chance to upset them are Sweden (+210) and France (+250), but look for Norway to hold them both off en route to gold.
Norway to win
Men’s Ice Hockey: Outright winner
For bettors looking for some value on an underdog in this year’s Men’s Ice Hockey tournament, it’s best to look elsewhere than Canada (+600) and the USA (+1400). Both teams would have been major contenders if NHL players were participating in these Olympic Games, but with that not being the case, these two countries won’t have the talent or cohesiveness that other teams on the board will. Finland has a reasonable enough shot at winning gold at +450, and a team like Switzerland at +1400 is more likely to go on a Cinderella run with hot goaltending than the USA or Canada is.
But at the far-too-generous odds of +160, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) just offers too much value to pass up on. The Kontinental Hockey League features some of the best skaters and goaltenders in the world. Loaded with NHL alumni and elite players that opted to stay in Russia over making the move to North America to play in the NHL, this roster is stacked with pro talent even without the inclusion of NHL players. The ROC will be a bigger favourite by the time the knockout round gets here, so now is the time to strike.
ROC to win
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