Surfing is a new sport added to the Olympic schedule and it was only a matter of time.
The world’s best surfers embark on Japan to be crowned Olympic surfing champion. The men’s market is headed by Brazilian superstar Gabriel Medina, but he’s closely followed by Italo Ferreira and John-John Florence.
Due to the nature of surfing, it’s a wide-open contest and there is value throughout the gold medal betting markets.
Men’s Surfing Predictions
To Win Gold Top Pick – Gabriel Medina
Gabriel Medina won the World Championship in 2014 and 2018, and his form in 2021 has included victories in two events.
The 27-year-old won the Narrabeen Classic and Rottnest Search in Australia, which were terrific results after not surfing competitively in 2020 due to Covid.
He owns 17 wins around the world and the style of wave in Japan should be right up his alley. His result at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Miyazaki was credible when finishing third behind Kolohe Andino and countryman Italo Ferreira.
We think he can turn the tables on those surfers and he would love to add an Olympic gold to his increasing tally of achievements.
He is the current $2.90 favourite to stand at the top of the podium and although that’s on the shorter side of value, we wouldn’t leave him off our tickets.
Medina is the best technical surfer on the Tour and that should translate to a good finish in Tokyo.
Bet: Gabriel Medina @ $2.90
To Win Gold Next Best – Kanoa Igarashi
A home win for Kanoa Igarashi would be excellent and the 23-year-old is making strides on the World Surfing League.
He is a Californian at heart, but he has Japanese parents and he will be accustomed to surfing conditions in Japan. Igarashi is the youngest rookie to win on the WSL Tour and he collected more first round wins in 2016 than any other surfer.
He won the Corona Bali Protected event in 2019 and he eventually finished sixth overall. There is plenty to like about that performance and he could cause a minor upset at value odds.
Bookmakers have Igarashi at $7 to win, which shows he is being respected and that could translate to a win. We wouldn’t overlook his chances and he could announce himself on the world stage at the Tokyo Olympics.
Bet: Kanoa Igarashi @ $7
To Win Gold Best Value – Kolohe Andino
We’re surprised at the odds for Kolohe Andino. The American qualified for the Olympics by being one of two top Americans in the WSL and he finished in the top 10 overall.
The 27-year-old is coming off an ankle injury, which isn’t ideal preparation. It forced him to withdraw from the recent Australian leg of the tour, but if the injury has recovered, he shouldn’t be paying $21 to win.
Andino and his wife are expecting their first child this year, so he has plenty of motivation to surf well. We priced Andino around the $11 mark, so we’re happy to take the $21 available.
It could pay to keep an eye on betting markets as the Olympics gets closer. He will be watched closely in practice and if he’s not showing any signs of favouring his ankle, his odds could firm consideringly in surfing betting markets.
Bet: Kolohe Andino @ $21
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl’s picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.