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Both men’s and women’s volleyball are considered premier events at the Olympics, the so-called hot-ticket spectator events that would usually draw fans in droves to spot the action. That’s not going to be the case at the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics however, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage in the background, more than a year after it first appeared on the scene, tipping the world off its axis and turning life as we knew it upside down. But organisers are determined to hold the Olympics regardless. The show must go on, after all. And so, amidst much controversy, the Summer Olympics are set to press on without too much pomp and ceremony and crucially without any fans in attendance.

  • Volleyball made its debut at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Japan
  • Brazil and Republic of China enter as the defending champions in men’s and women’s volleyball respectively. They’re the teams to beat and they have the odds to back it up.
  • Multiple online sports betting sites are offering odds on the men’s and women’s volleyball events at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Viewing the Tokyo Olympics this summer will be an experience like no other previous Olympic Games in lie of fan participation and attendance, but the betting will remain the same overall. Online sportsbooks are taking front-row seats for all the events scheduled, serving up a slew of Olympics odds to spot, including men’s and women’s volleyball.

As things currently stand, Brazil and China lead the race for gold in the men’s and women’s games respectively, a market outlook that’s underscored by their gold medal winning performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Both the men’s and women’s games will start with a 12-team round robin stage divided into two pools of six teams. The top four teams in each section will advance into the knockouts, starting with the quarterfinal round and culminating in the gold-medal finals. The losers in the semis will face-off to decide the bronze medal.

Starting with the men’s game, let’s look at the countries that are set to participate in the race for gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

Can Brazil Repeat Again

Brazil enter the betting as one of the top faves to clinch a third consecutive gold in Tokyo. They won at the 2012 London Olympics and then at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Thus, in the eyes of many, Brazil are the team to beat even though they’re trading as the second-best bet with odds of +300 or thereabouts depending on the choice sportsbook.

Poland by all accounts are the top faves in the betting right now with favourable odds hovering around +175 for the most part. After Poland and Brazil, France (+450) emerge as the third best bet and Russia (+550), USA (+600) and Italy (+850) are priced competitively in the race for gold. Indeed, if there’s to be a bit of a shakeup in the men’s tournament, a win by either of these nations is the most likely to deliver.

Elsewhere, the rest of the field stacks up unconvincingly on the Olympics odds board. That has a lot to do with the quality of the field which features relative longshots such as Argentina (+4000), Iran (+4000), Canada (+7000), Japan (+8000) and Venezuela (+200000). The aforementioned list of nations are the quintessential longshots of the tournament and a triumph by any would represent a massive upset.

China Top Title Contenders List

China is tipped as the top title contenders in the women’s volleyball event, but they’re likely to face stiff competition from the USA as the American women emerge as the second-best bet overall with odds a smidgen shy of China’s. For example, at Bovada Sportsbook, China are priced at +210 while the USA are priced at +250. (The odds vary slightly from sportsbook to sportsbook, but the hierarchy remains largely the same.)

China beat USA recently at the 2019 FIVB Women’s World Cup final to win gold. That recent decision underscores the pairs favouritism in Tokyo across the board with many bettors and fans hoping the pair will reprise their rivalry in the final again this summer.

After this top tandem, Brazil (+450), Italy (+600), Serbia (+600) and Russia (+1400) are pegged as legitimate contenders to make a run for the podium if not win gold altogether. Serbia finished with the silver medal in Rio after losing to China in the final. The USA clinched bronze after beating Netherlands.

The rest of the field assembled at the Tokyo Olympics represents pretenders and longshots together: from Turkey (+2200) and Japan (+3300) to South Korea (+15000), Argentina (+50000) and Kenya (+100000).

The Tokyo Olympics will be an experience like no other previous Olympic Games. How that will impact the athletes and events remains to be seen, especially in a team sport such as volleyball. May the best team win.