Time To Light The Olympic Betting Flame: NJ Sportsbooks Open For 2022 Winter Games Action

Written By Dave Bontempo on February 4, 2022
2022 Winter Olympics

Psst. Guess what, the Winter Olympic Games have already started. The 2022 Winter Olympics are underway in their typical gradual fashion, almost sneaking up on New Jersey online sports bettors because of a 13-hour time difference with host-site Beijing.

But we’re rolling now. Gamblers will obtain a betting rhythm through their Feb. 20 conclusion on a record 109 events, spread across 15 disciplines.

NJ online sportsbooks are continually updating their Winter Olympic odds as different sports launch.

Betting overview for 2022 Winter Olympics

There are some significant overviews regarding the 2022 Games.

The absence of NHL players hurt American interest in this area, as the NHL makes up games lost to Covid-19 rather than send its athletes to the games.

The women’s hockey team defends its gold medal and, like all teams in the top-ranked bracket, are guaranteed a trip to the quarterfinals.

Norway is expected to dominate the gold-medal count with the United States gold total listed at over-under 8.5 across the major books.

Reigning Olympic champions Chloe Kim (snowboarding halfpipe) and Mikaela Shiffrin (giant slalom) join the U.S. Women’s hockey trying to snare repeat victories.

Nathan Chen (figure skating) and Erin Jackson (speedskating, 500m) are among American-based favorites to claim Olympic gold for the first time.

Shaun White will create his own spotlight. The 35-year-old   is a four-time Olympian and a three-time Olympic gold medalist in half-pipe snowboarding. He is the defending champion from 2018 but listed as a +600 third choice at DraftKings Sportsbook. Can he summon old magic?

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Medal sports taking place in Beijing

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Biathlon
  • Bobsleigh
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Curling
  • Figure skating
  • Freestyle skiing
  • Hockey
  • Luge
  • Nordic combined
  • Short track speed skating
  • Skeleton
  • Ski jumping
  • Snowboarding
  • Speed skating

There will be seven new medal events, including:

  • Men’s and women’s big air freestyle
  • Women’s monobob, (one-person competition, part of bobsleigh)
  • Mixed team competitions in freestyle skiing aerials, ski jumping, and snowboard cross
  • Mixed relay in short-track speed skating.

The Winter Olympics are taking place in a crowded time slot compared to Summer Games

“When you had the Summer Olympics, the track and field is very popular,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Play NJ.  “People loved to watch that. What also helped the Summer Olympics is that it took place in what was a soft time for sports. You had baseball going and basically, that was it.

“Now you have the Super Bowl coming, college basketball has picked up, you’ve got the NBA and NHL in full swing.  There is a lot of popular content out there right now.”

Keys to Winter Olympics betting in NJ

Avello noted if gamblers follow the events closely and kind of know the players, it’s possible to come up with a bet at favorable odds.

“You’re not going to know the participants like you know the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals,” he added, referring to the teams that recently clashed for the AFC championship, sending the Bengals to the Feb. 13 Super Bowl, “but if you do your research, you can probably bet this.”

Avello said the departure of the NHL players makes the hockey competition “literally men against boys,” as the Americans take on the elite likes of Finland and Russia.

He also cited the time difference on the East Coast as an initial obstacle for the Olympics to locate its audience. Several high-profile events will unfold in the morning.

The networks do themselves no favor with incessant commercials. It will be interesting to see how much of that the audience will tolerate in this technically-advanced age.

Bettors, however, will tolerate many things if they have action riding.

Here are some initial areas of interest regarding American athletes:

Can the American women defend their 2018 ice hockey gold medal?

Of the 23 players on the Team USA women’s hockey roster, 15 have prior Olympic experience. They include Kendall Coyne Schofield, Brianna Decker and Hillary Knight, named to her fourth Olympic team. However, if the Americans are going to win another gold, they’ll need to do it without Decker. The forward was injured in the preliminary round win over Finland and is out for the remainder of the Games.

The American team is in Group A, which automatically qualifies for the quarterfinals. Their performance in the first set of games determines later seeding.

Here is the early announced schedule:

  • Feb. 3: United States vs. Finland, W 5-2
  • Feb. 5: United States vs. Russian Olympic Committee, 8:10 a.m. EST
  • Feb. 6: United States vs. Switzerland, 8:10 a.m. EST
  • Feb. 7: United States vs. Canada, 11:10 p.m. EST

Somewhere in this time frame, betting odds will go up regarding the final eight teams.

FanDuel Sportsbook has an extensive section. It has listed some playable bets right away, including the American women’s hockey team at -105 to win the gold medal.

Canada is the chalk at -125.

Most people expect these two teams to be the finalists.

The site has a strong lineup of individual hockey games. Bettors can handicap that as they follow the results.

Team USA is golden when it comes to snowboarding

Team USA has topped the medal table in this sport at every Winter Olympics since 2002.

Four years ago in South Korea, the U.S. won four of the 10 overall gold medals available.

There are 11 snowboarding events.

Right on cue, FanDuel Sportsbook has Kim as a -230 chalk in the women’s halfpipe.

Jamie Anderson is the +300 second choice in the women’s slopestyle.

On the men’s side, White (+550) would pay handsomely if he could turn back the clock.

Alpine skiing: Shiffrin watch

Shiffrin comes in off a four-medal showing at the 2021 World Championships

The 26-year-old is a two-time gold-medalist (slalom in 2014, giant slalom in 2018) and in 2018 added a silver as well in the combined event. Betting odds reflect her past performance.

Freestyle skiing odds

David Wise seeks his third straight halfpipe Olympic gold, with competition from his own teammates looming in Alex Ferreira (silver in 2018) and Aaron Blunck (2019 world champion).

Caesars Sportsbook has Team USA in the men’s curling mix

The United States is not expected to do well in many team sports, but they did make the board in the men’s curling competition at Caesars Sportsbook.

Here are the odds as of Thursday night:

  • Canada +200
  • Great Britain +200
  • Sweden +300
  • Switzerland +900
  • USA +1200

AP Photo/Lee Jin-man


Dave Bontempo Avatar
Written by
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and others. He writes about all major sports in the booming legal New Jersey sports betting industry. Dave also hosts the Why Eagles Why podcast. Dave is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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