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Aussies not popular with punters at 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics

Thu, Feb 6, 8:29pm by Brad McGrath

Winter OlympicsAUSTRALIA may have its biggest ever winter Olympic games contingent in Sochi, but punters are not convinced that will result in a record medal haul for our winter athletes.

In online bookmaker Sportingbet’s over/under market for total medals won by Australia at the Sochi Games, the odds of Australia winning under 3.5 medals have been backed from $2.15 into $1.85.

The odds of Australia winning over 3.5 medals have drifted from $1.70 to $1.95.

“It’s actually surprising as quite a few of our athletes are genuine gold medal hopes and there’s plenty of others that could easily end up on the podium,” Sportingbet’s Andrew Brown told Australiangambling.

Our snowboarders are the best hopes of bringing home gold according to punters, with Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin a $4 favourite at Sportingbet to win the men’s snowboard cross and Torah Bright $2.25 to defend her women’s half-pipe crown.

Russ Henshaw is an $8.50 fourth favourite to win the Men’s ski slopestyle while reigning gold medallist Lydia Lassila is a $9 fifth favourite to win the women’s aerials.

Other Australian medal hopes include Scotty James, a $41 chance in the Men’s snowboard halfpipe, and Dale Begg-Smith who is a $34 chance in the men’s moguls.

Sportsbet are being more generous with Begg-Smith, who is the silver medallist from the 2010 games in Vancouver, with the former Canadian having been backed from $151 into $101 after his promising lead-up form.

Begg-Smith has only recently returned to the sport after a three year lay-off because of injury but has finished top five in a world class event recently.

Our top three Australian bets at the Winter Olympics

1- Lydia Lassila

Get on Lydia Lassila at $9 with Sportingbet to win the women’s aerials event. The 32-year-old won gold in the event at the Vancouver games four years ago and she knows what it takes to win at a big event. The conditions are also expected to be favourable with several of the hot favourites unused to the conditions in Sochi.

2 – Torah Bright

This beauty from Cooma in NSW is not just a pretty face. The defending champion in the women’s half-pipe is the favourite to continue her domination of the event. The monkey is off the back after her gold in Vancouver and a more relaxed approach should see her claim gold. Back with Sportsbet at $2.63.

3 – Dale Begg-Smith

If you’re looking for some value Begg-Smith is your man. He might be reclusive but gee he is a wizard on the powder. Much has changed in the Men’s Moguls in his three year hiatus with more emphasis on jumps and less on turns but he seems to have adapted well. There just might be one more twist in the storied career of this winter Olympics legend. Back with at $101.

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