Speed skating is one of my favorite sports to watch at the Winter Olympics. The speed and precision of the athletes is great to watch, and there’s just something about betting on races that really adds excitement.
There are 14 speed skating and 8 short track speed skating events this year in South Korea, so there are plenty of betting opportunities on the track throughout the games.
Bovada.lv, one of our top rated betting sites, has odds available for every race.
Below I will take a look at the odds for some of the races and give my picks. I’m using odds from Bovada, but they will be close to the same at whichever sportsbook you use.
Where To Bet On Speed Skating
Right off the bat you will notice that the two favourites are from the Netherlands. This is a common theme in long track speed skating with the Dutch often dominating the medal podiums at the Olympics.
The favorite Kjeld Nuis won the 2017 World Championships gold medal at this distance, as well as the World Cup later in the year, but he only finished 6th in the Dutch championships, which is a more recent race. It’s hard to take Nuis at this price while being unsure if he is in the same form that won him the World Championships and World Cup in 2017.
Looking at the recent World Cup races it becomes obvious that Denis Yuskov would have been the skater to beat, but unfortunately the Russian will not be attending the Olympics due to a ban from using marijuana.
My favorite play at these odds is Sverre Lunde Pedersen at +800. He finished second to Denis Yuskov in last months World Cup event in Germany and may be peaking at the right time.
Play: Sverre Lunde Pedersen +800
Nao Kodaira holds the current world record at this distance, which she set just a couple months back at a World Cup event in Salt Lake City. That said, the ice was very fast on that day, with many of the women putting down very solid times at that event.
Also, Heather Richardson-Bergsma was not at that race, so it’s hard to compare times between these two top skaters. Bergsma did win the 2017 World Championships at this distance, beating Kodaira in that race by a significant 0.49 seconds. The most recent World Cup event that Bergsma attended was in early December in Calgary, where she won this race, although the two Japanese skaters were not in attendance. The two previous two World Cup events Bergsma was bested by the Japanese skaters, but I still think there is value in her at odds of +700. She took the past couple months off from competition and could be building herself up to peak at the Olympics.
Play: Heather Richardson-Bergsma +700
***Bergsma is also +700 in the 1500 metres, so we should get an idea of her form in that race. I do prefer her chances in the 1000m though.
The Men’s 500 metre short track race is a quick action packed race where truly anything can happen. Wu Dajing has been solid winning both of the most recent World Cup races, but this race is such a game of inches that I would much prefer look for a good value play than take the favorite. For example, if you look back 3 World Cup’s Wu Daing was eliminated in the quarterfinal race. This happens often with top skaters going out early, which is why I do not think there is value in favorites.
My value play here is Charles Hamelin at odds of +2500. He finished 4th in the most recent World Cup and was disqualified in the previous two, so there really isn’t a ton of information to go on for him, which is likely why he is such a large underdog.
Hamelin has a ton of experience and I think a punt on him here is a decent play.
Play: Charles Hamelin +2500
The relay events are a ton of fun to watch, and just like all short track speed skating events, anything can happen. Again, I don’t like to take the favorites in short track speed skating, especially when the team event brings in so many variables that could make things go wrong.
I’m looking at the Netherlands at +300 here. The Dutch have a very solid stable of fast skaters who should be able to compete with Korea in this race. If nothing goes wrong I think it will be between these two nations at the end, and I much prefer the odds on the Netherlands here at +300.
Play: Netherlands Women +300
I am personally very excited for speed skating at these Olympics, both long and short track.
And check out our how to bet on the Winter Olympics page for a step by step guide to getting your bets in.