What Are The Odds? European Sports Books Release World Championship Wagering Odds

We here at SwimSwam do not gamble on swimming. It would be all sorts of unethical, and we’d probably be pretty good at it.

But, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a little entertaining to check out who the favorites are in different races according to bookmakers: people who ultimately have a lot of money riding on the ability to correctly pick winners of sporting events.

Last year at the Summer Olympics, all of the major European sports books were taking bets on swimming; thus far, all we’ve found is odds from Sky Bet and Coral.Co.uk.

See a comparison of odds at the two books here.

Below, check out some of the more interesting bets in the races. For simplicity’s sake, we’ve boiled down the wagers to what the payout will be on a $10 bet, in addition to getting your $10 back. We’ve combined the two books and listed the highest pay-out among the two at the top of the article.

Men’s 400 Free
Favorites: Sun Yang, $11, Coral
David McKeon, $100, Coral
Ous Mellouli, $110, Coral
Connor Jaeger, $230, Coral

Sun Yang’s coaches may not feel as though he’s in the best shape of his career, but with how little real competition there is in this 400 free, he is still one of the heaviest favorites.

Consider that he’s given about equal odds to win in the 800 ($11.10), but the field of contenders is much smaller, meaning Ryan Cochrane ($55) and Ous Mellouli ($100) are given solid chances at an upset. In the 1500, Yang goes back to being a heavy favorite, on Coral paying out only $10.80, with Cochrane ($70 on a $10 bet) and Mellouli ($80) still getting decent odds. It’s then a huge dropoff to American Connor Jaeger and Australian Jordan Harrison at a $340 payout on a $10 bet.

Men’s 200 Free
Favorites: Yannick Agnel, $15
Danila Izotov, $50
Ryan Lochte, $50
Jeremy Stravius $110
Thomas Fraser-Holmes $190

The defending Olympic Champion Yannick Agnel is a big favorite in this 200 free, despite only a week ago deciding he would swim this race at all. The smart bet here would be to take ‘the field,’ which isn’t an actual betting option, but put ten on Izotov, Lochte, Stravius, and Fraser-Holmes each, and it would probably be a bigger payout.

Men’s 100 Free
Favorites: James Magnussen $20
Nathan Adrian $32
Vlad Morozov $34
Cameron McEvoy $260
Hanser Garcia $290

This is one of the rare occasions upon which the defending Olympic champion is not the favorite, as the .01 difference between Magnussen and Adrian wasn’t enough to sway the oddsmaker’s of Adrian’s chance of winning again. Still, the expectation is that this is a three-man race between Magnussen, Adrian, and Morozov. Among those getting surprisingly little love is Brazilian Marcelo Chierighini, who won the Maria Lenk Trophy. He’s only pegged at a 41:1 long shot to win, tying him for 8th. That’s four spots lower than Olivier Porier-Leroy picked him. (Though, recall, that this is odds to win, not to odds to place 8th).

Florent Manaudou is the favorite in the 50 free, but a win by him would pay out a huge $32.50, with Adrian getting $43.40 and Morozov getting $45.00. These high payouts speaks to the unpredictable nature of the event.

Men’s 400 Medley Relay
Favorites: USA, $14
Australia, $34
Japan, $60

This might be the safest bet of the meet, even if the odds don’t state it. The American medleys aren’t as secure as they were in 2012 after so many retirements, but with a back-half of Cordes and Adrian, and some combination of Grevers/Plummer looking still like the best backstroker in the world, the question mark is Eugene Godsoe holding onto Phelps’ spot in the fly. The Australians and Japanese all have weaknesses too, though.

Men’s 200 Breaststroke
Favorites: Daniel Gyurta, $23.80
Michael Jamieson, $26.20
Akihiro Yamaguchi, $45.00
Kevin Cordes, $60.00
Vyacheslav Sinkevich, $210.00

This race could be unbelievable. It’s got two men who have broken World Records in the race in the last year, Gyurta (who wins at every big meet) and Yamaguchi. It’s got Kevin Cordes, who you might be surprised to learn has not broken the World Record yet, despite the hype. It’s got the world leader Michael Jamieson, and Vyacheslav Sinkevich who exploded at Russian Nationals. This is one I’d stay well clear of.

Men’s 200 IM
Favorites: Ryan Lochte, $12.90
Kosuke Hagino, $50
Laszlo Cseh, $110
Thiago Pereira, $150

The two books have vastly different opinions of Hagino’s chance at an upset. SkyBet pays out only $40, whereas Coral pays out $50.

This is one of two individual races in which Lochte is the favorite. The other is the 200 backstroke, where he takes that honor over Japan’s Ryosuke Irie and Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary by payouts of $23.80-$26.20-Clary $43.30.


Women’s 100 Back
Favorites: Missy Franklin, $13.60
Emily Seebohm, $40
Aya Terakawa, $55
Elizabeth Pelton, $150

Interesting thing here: despite the fact that Seebohm actually posted the fastest overall time in 2012, she is listed at just 9/2 odds, while Franklin is 4/11. Franklin is probably seeing improved odds because (1) she doesn’t have to swim the 200 free semifinal right before like she did in London, and (2) Seebohm hasn’t yet looked up to her 2012 form.  But anything can happen in a 100, and with that kind of payout, it couldn’t hurt to put take those odds.

Women’s 200 Free
Favorites: Camille Muffat, $17.30
Missy Franklin, $20
Bronte Barratt, $70
Sarah Sjostrom, $210
Kylie Palmer, $340

Although Barratt has been just a half second behind Franklin this year, the oddsmakers clearly consider this a two-person race between Muffat and Franklin. With Allison Schmitt out of the picture, picking the winner of the 200 free became a whole lot more difficult.

Women’s 100 Free
Favorites: Cate Campbell, $17.30
Ranomi Kromowidjojo, $35
Allaksandra Hermasimenia, $70
Missy Franklin, $70

The oddsmakers have Australia’s Cate Campbell is the favorite in the marquee women’s event, and why not?  Kromowidjojo has yet to bring it in the 100 free this year, sitting at #7 in the world, a full second behind the leader.  Campbell’s 52.83 is #1 in 2013 by six tenths of a second over Franklin.

Women’s 50 Free
Favorites: Ranomi Kromowidjojo, $23.70 (Coral)
Cate Campbell, $26.20 (SkyBET)
Allaksandra Hermasimenia, $45 (SkyBET)
Fran Halsall, $70 (Coral)

This one is viewed as a bit of a toss-up, with Kromowidjojo’s pure speed giving her the slight edge here.  Coral views this race as being even closer, giving Campbell 3/2 odds, meaning a $10 bet would win you $15, returning a total of $25.

Women’s 200 Fly
Favorites: Jiao Liuyang, $13.60
Mireia Belmonte, $43.30
Natsumi Hoshi, $50
Liu Zige, $150

The odds here aren’t particularly interesting; Jiao Liuyang, the defending Olympic champion and #1 in the world in 2013, is the heavy favorite.  The point that sticks out, though, is the “world record” bet, which comes in at 12/1 odds, easily the lowest of the women’s events.  Liu Zige (who is in the field, and given 14/1 odds) set the record of 2:01.81 back in 2009, more than 2 full seconds better than Jiao’s textile best of 2:04.06.

Women’s 200 Back
Favorites: Missy Franklin, $11.10
Elizabeth Pelton: $65
Belinda Hocking: $110
Frederica Pellegrini: $130

Franklin’s 200 back is easily the lowest-paying bet on the women’s side, returning just $1.10 (plus the $10 you originally put down) if Missy comes out on top.

Note: this post is for entertainment purposes only. Only gamble if it is legal for you in your area, and if your conscience allows it.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
10 years ago

Couldnt a coach make a killing on these (kind of like insider trading)
ie. Brant Best, Magnussen’s coach in 2011. I’m sure his published odds were quite low.

10 years ago

I thought Sun Yang wasn’t doing the 800..? If this is the case then there are some great opportunities in that race given that he’s currently 1/9

10 years ago

I am not a betting person, but that odd on Kevin Cordes’ 200 looks tempting.

10 years ago

Acually the sum of the times for the medley relay have Australia ahead. So I would not put it as the safest bet out there.

Reply to  Jg
10 years ago

Yeah for the 400 medley relay it’s probably a matter of how far ahead can the US get in the first two legs before Sprenger and Magnussen start to come back (probably not by too much but Australia undeniably has the strongest back half in the world). That puts a lot of pressure on the US backstroker, but presumably at least Grevers has a lot left in the tank.

Reply to  Reid
10 years ago

Dealing with the known unknowns & the unknown knowns & the known knowns.

Hello Donald!

Reply to  Jg
10 years ago

That’s a low blow. There’s one big unknown, and that’s the differential between the US and Australian backstroker. It should be significant, but will it be significant enough?

Reply to  Reid
10 years ago

Ha I always knew there would be an opening for that line. 🙂 relays are a pretty good fit.

An Oz win could be the surprise packet that is not a surprise .

The girls are very close also to within .5 .

10 years ago

My betting highlight of 2013 is picking Louis as a name for the new royal bebe.

I got 3rd but apparently he can choose any of his 3 names to be King. So in about 80 years I might collect.

Reply to  Jg
10 years ago

“Trayvon” was 1,000,000 to 1 odds

Reply to  liquidassets
10 years ago


10 years ago

What’s would the ayout be if ervins won the 50m?

Reply to  Triguy
10 years ago

it looks like he is listed as 14/1 so 150 i think with your 10 back

Reply to  HT
10 years ago

Not bad i guess, but 50 free is almost too loaded I reckon

10 years ago

Pretty sure someone made a killing last year betting on Meilutyte and Ledecky to win their respective events.

Or the Aussies NOT to medal in the 4×100 FREE.

10 years ago

Fascinating stuff!

If you refer to Swimswam’s article on this topic prior to London 2012, you could have snagged quite a tidy sum picking Chad Le Clos for the 200 fly, and a decent amount in the case of Nathan for the 100 free!

I would almost be tempted to put in a few virtual pounds on Missy in the 100 free, and on Liz Pelton in the 200 back. Both highly unlikely outcomes, I know, but not completely outside the realms of possibility IMO, and those odds are rather tempting…

10 years ago

You’re on the right track, those are the types of bets I’m going to go for, the mild upsets, though I can’t afford to put down nearly as much as I’d like to! 😉

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »