Even the casual sports fan or gambler can correctly assume there is legal sports betting in New Jersey on the current Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo. Swimming, track and field, gymnastics, boxing, soccer, and basketball are obvious options. Then there are baseball, softball, diving, and tennis, of course.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Scroll through the “A to Z” menu at DraftKings, for example, and Garden Staters can find betting options on these sports as well: badminton, 3-on-3 basketball, beach volleyball, climbing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, golf, handball, judo, karate, rowing, sailing, shooting, skateboarding, table tennis, taekwando, volleyball, water polo, and weightlifting.
Basically, if someone is competing for a gold medal, you can bet on that person (or team) — if not on one site, then on another of the nearly two dozen legal sports betting sites operating in New Jersey.
Look for bonuses and promotions
If you have friends who have considered signing up for a sports betting site or might want to add another app to their smartphone list, now is a good time.
DraftKings, for instance, is offering a $25 free bet for $50 worth of bets on the Olympics in 10 states — or $5 free for a more frugal $10 bettor. In New Jersey, new bettors who wager $1 will receive $100 in credit when the U.S. wins another medal after they sign up.
There are unique bets to be had as well: DraftKings has a patriotic-minded bettor getting to wager on the U.S. to win both men’s and women’s golf at +700 (pro tip: not likely, even with Spaniard Jon Rahm’s sudden withdrawal due to another positive COVID-19 test). Or how about the U.S. winning all three medals in the 100-meter dash? Odds are +900 on that one.
FanDuel, meanwhile, is offering new bettors in six states a chance for a “risk-free bet up to $1000” as part of its Olympics promotions. The DFS giant also offers the U.S. to win the most gold medals at -700 and the most total medals at -1500 (both close to sure things).
At BetMGM, a $20 bet on the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team gets you a free $5 bet on any other Olympic sport. You could add archery to your betting dance card over at PointsBet, where American woman Mackenzie Brown is the longest shot at +1400. The same site also lists the Olympic triathlons, where Katie Zaferes is the women’s favorite at +275.
New Jersey-focused bettors may fancy the U.S. women’s soccer team, featuring Garden Staters Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath, with the squad a -370 favorite to beat Australia in a match beginning Tuesday at 3 a.m. ET. And Tracy Eisser of Fair Lawn and teammate Megan Kalmoe are +3500 longshots in the coxless pairs rowing event taking place on Tuesday night at 11:20 p.m. ET.
The public’s favorite Olympic events
Looking for a more traditional event with a local flavor? Bam Adebayo of Newark is part of the men’s basketball team, whose odds of winning gold have dipped to -220 on multiple legal betting sites after a stunning loss to France.
Basketball ranked third in a DraftKings survey of 1,000 people who planned to watch the Olympics at 42.4% interest, behind swimming (58.7%) and gymnastics (52.2%), while three new sports — baseball (37%), 3-on-3 basketball (32.8%), and karate (31.5%) — attracted a lot of support.
Todd Frazier of Toms River, a former Little League World Series star who went on to play for the Yankees and the Mets, is part of the U.S. baseball team that PointsBet has at +325 to win — behind the hometown Japanese team at +115. Patrick Kivlehan, a high school baseball and football standout at St. Joseph in Montvale, is a teammate of Frazier’s in Tokyo. The long list of New Jerseyans in the Games encompasses more than a dozen sports.
The most interesting question in DraftKings’ survey was what other sports respondents wish were in the Olympics. The winners were mixed martial arts (28.8%), dodgeball (27.5%), and motocross racing (26.8%).
Meanwhile, New Jerseyans can be glad that they have so many Olympic betting options, as Sports Handle notes that a number of states that have legal sports betting don’t extend that option to the Olympics. That distinction may change next time around. Recall that the previous Olympic Games — the Winter version — took place in February 2018, three months before the U.S. Supreme Court opened the floodgates for any state to offer Las Vegas-style sports betting.
Assuming these Games go scandal-free, there is liable to be sentiment in those holdout states to add Olympic betting for next year’s Winter Olympics and beyond.
Photo of Carli Lloyd: Jack Gruber/USA Today