Tokyo 2020 marks first Olympics Pennsylvanians can place bets on games

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EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s a first for the Olympics Pennsylvanian’s can now place bets on the games — legally! But which sport, or individual athlete is a sure bet is hard to figure out. So, we asked a professional where he’d put his money.

Sports betting is now legal in the keystone state. Although not everyone agrees it’s the right thing.

“I don’t think they should do it. I think sports should be about the sports themselves. I think it’s about representing your country and you shouldn’t bet unless it’s professional,” said Carl Boettcher of Clarks Summit.

Johnny Avello is the director of sports marketing for online sports wagering’s Draft Kings. He says, when in doubt, go with the sports you follow, like basketball or tennis. Or, put your patriotism to the test and hope team USA brings home a lot of medals.

“I would either get into sports that you either know a lot about or if you don’t, stick to the medal count. We have the number of medals total at one hundred eleven and a half for the U.S.,” said Johnny Avello.

It’s known as an over/under total. That means if you bet on the U.S. to win 112 medals or more, you’d win. That sounds like a lot of hardware, but consider this: in the last summer games, the U.S. took home 121 medals. But remember, there’s no Michael Phelps in the pool this year and that could lower the total.

Sports fans we spoke to at Roosevelt Beer Garden in Dunmore say, go with the over.

“I just think the U.S. Has some of the best athletes in the world and traditionally, I believe they’ve gotten over 111 medals in past Olympics,” Paul Nardozzi from Dunmore said.

“I think it will be over. Our athletes are great, and they put hard work in,” said Bob Williams, also of Dunmore.

Then there’s the proposition bets or prop bets, kind of like the coin toss in the Super Bowl. Some bookmakers offer head-to-head matches for most gold medals won between two specific countries, say Canada versus Great Britian.

But what about the sport’s most of us don’t follow? Avello says, you might find betting value in, of all things women’s handball. Yes, it’s an Olympic sport. Yes, you can bet on it, and the Netherlands may be a Cinderella pick. At 14 to one, a $10 bet will win $150.

“Netherlands are at 14 to one, so maybe if there’s a sport out there that you know a little bit about more than we do, you might be able to find value in a play like that,” Avello said.

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