2020 Tokyo Olympics: Pickswise predictions for the 32nd Summer Games
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have arrived, just. One year late with no fans in attendance and still a slight concern about cancellation, but here all the same, with the official Opening Ceremony taking place at 4am ET on Friday.
These Games will be like no other but there will hopefully still be the usual packed program of elite-level sports, with plenty of action for early-risers in America to wager on. All events will be shown in the U.S. on NBC and its broadcast partners.
As ever, Pickswise will endeavor to identify some value picks for you, and we’ve collated all the best bets for the major Tokyo events on this page.
Scroll down to see our selections for all the big events, and don’t forget to click on the links to read the full reasoning for each events as the gold rush begins.
2020 Olympics Men’s Baseball picks
Dominican Republic +550
Baseball is back at the Olympics for the first time since 2008, when the United States took bronze, and the American team is +350 third favorite this time, despite having no current MLB stars on the roster. Our expert prefers the chance of favorite Japan, which has homefield advantage (but no fans, of course). Japan’s professional league, the NPB, paused its season to let players participate and former Yankees star Masahiro Tankaa leads the Japanese pitching staff. Dominican Republic looks a good value outsider despite being the last team to qualify for the Games.
Read our full 2020 Tokyo Olympics men’s baseball preview here
2020 Olympics Men’s Basketball picks
Slovenia (without USA) +500
Nigeria (without USA) +900
The United States has been dominant on the Olympic stage, winning gold in each of the last three Olympic Games. However, it looks like this year may be more of a struggle and our expert prefers to side with two nations with strong outside chances. Slovenia, led by Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks, and Nigeria, which can field Gabe Vincent of the Miami Heat and Jahlil Okafor of the Detroit Pistons, both have a strong chance to make the medal games.
Read our full 2020 Tokyo Olympics men’s basketball preview here
2020 Olympics Men’s and Women’s Golf picks
Xander Schauffele +1000
Corey Conners +3100
Inbee Park +1000
Jessica Korda +2700
2021 Major winners Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa head the field for the Olympic men’s golf tournamen. Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, and Bryson DeChambeau join Morikawa in the USA team, while a high-quality field also includes Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland. Our expert likes the chances of the consistent Schauffele and Canada’s Corey Conners at a big price.
LPGA Championship winner Nelly Korda is +700 favorite in the women’s event but we prefer the gold-medal hopes of Inbee Park, who won the 2016 Olympic tournament by five shots, and American outsider Jessica Korda.
Read our full 2020 Tokyo Olympics men’s and women’s golf preview here
2020 Olympics Men’s and Women’s Soccer picks
Spain men +250
South Korea men +3300
Netherlands women +600
The soccer action at the Tokya Games has already begun and there have been some shocking scorelines. Teams from the Americas have won the last four Olympic tournaments, with Argentina successful in Athens and Beijing, Mexico triumphant in London in 2012, and Brazil the reigning champion after its 2016 home victory in Rio.
France lost to Mexico in the opening game, Argentina was beaten by Australia and our main selection, Spain, began with a goalless tie against Egypt but still boasts a classy roster with the potential for gold.
The early games have been much more promising in the women’s tournament, with our decision to sidestep world champions USA on value grounds looking solid. The USWNT lost its first game 3-0 to Sweden and has since its odds increased from a pre-tournament -165 to +105. Our picks, the Netherlands, won 10-3 over Zambia and is +500 from +600.
Read our full 2020 Tokyo Olympics men’s soccer preview here
Read our full 2020 Tokyo Olympics women’s soccer preview here
2020 Olympics Men’s and Women’s Tennis picks
Novak Djokovic -130
Andrey Rublev +1100
Felix Auger-Aliassime +2500
Ashleigh Barty +600
Barbora Krejcikova +1800
The tennis competition in Tokyo starts on Saturday with recent Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic a hot favorite to win his first Olympic gold. Our expert finds him hard to oppose as he remains on course for a Golden Slam (winning all four Grand Slams and the Olympics in the same year). Andrey Rublev and Felix Auger-Aliassime are outsiders who could impress.
In the women’s event, Naomi Osaka represents home nation Japan, but our expert much prefers to go with this year’s Grand Slam form with Wimbledon winner Ashleigh Barty and French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.