We released our early predictions for the men’s surfing event at the 2021 Summer Olympics, but now that the sportsbook has released actionable surfing betting odds for the Games we will paddle into our picks for both the men’s and women’s divisions. Surfline is predicting the possibility of typhoon-driven waves for the start of the event, which bodes well for the sports introduction into the Olympic Games. Wave height, strength, and general conditions will absolutely play into who you should bet on in the water. Let’s get to it!
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Gold Medal Betting Preview for the Men’s and Women’s Surfing Tournaments at the 2021 Summer Olympic Games
Where: Tsurigasaki Beach, Chiba, Japan
When: July 25 – August 1, 2021
Lines: View Surfing Betting Odds for the 2021 Summer Olympics
TV Broadcast: NBC
Live Online Commentary: BeachGrit
Surfing Podcast for Post-Heat Reviews: SurfSplendor
MEN’S SURFING GOLD MEDAL PREDICTIONS
Gabriel Medina | Brazil (+160)
It’s hard to envision a scenario where two-time world champ and current World Championship Tour (WCT) leader Gabriel Medina doesn’t win the gold medal. He has accumulated over 46,000 points on the WCT this season. The next best, Italo Ferreira (+200 to win the gold medal), sits in second at just 33,000 points.
Kanoa Igarashi | Japan (+650)
You may have assumed that we’d list Italo Ferreira (+200 to win the gold medal) or John John Florence (+450 to win the gold medal) as the other favorite. However, the sporadic former will fold under pressure, while the latter is too uncertain after missing the last three WCT events due to a knee injury for which he recently underwent surgery. Unless the waves are so big the JJF can simply glide into throaty barrels (which he is the current king at) it simply won’t happen for Hawaii’s golden child. Instead, we look to Huntington Beach’s Kanoa Igarashi, who took advantage of his duel citizenship to surf for Japan in the 2021 Summer Olympics. Igarashi is currently 6th on the WCT, and has a string of victories in his young career, taking the US Open of Surfing twice and the Corona Bali Pro back in 2019. While his average heat score for the year is an underwhelming 11.1-points, that scoreline is unfortunately what we can expect towards the tail end of the contest (outside of early typhoon waves – maybe).
Kanoa has also become the poster-child for surfing in the 2021 Summer Olympics. In a sport where subjectivity in scoring reigns supreme, look for the temporarily transplanted local to get some bigger than average numbers from the judges.
Jeremy Flores | France (+3000)
This seasoned vet sits at 25th on the WCT, but has pretty decent (albeit sleepy) odds to win the gold medal. This is because he is a proven warrior that has what it takes to pull one more big win out of this beret for the sake of France.
Hiroto Ohhara | Japan (+5000)
We hesitate to even call this pint-sized superhero a longshot. He fits sleeper status better, yet the sportsbook gives him long odds to win the gold medal. But for bettors, Ohhara has two things going for him. For one, he has shown that he can win in mediocre conditions (which are expected for the end of the event at Chiba) by taking down WCT pros at the 2015 US Open of Surfing. Plus, he is a local hero, which will get the fans riled up. If you follow professional surfing then you know that noise from the sand can sway judges’ opinions.
We’re picking “local” hero Kanoa Igarashi for the gold medal.
WOMEN’S SURFING GOLD MEDAL PREDICTIONS
Carissa Moore | Hawaii USA (+200)
Already a four-time world champion, Moore is the current leader (ahead by nearly 10,000 points!) in the WCT and is en route to winning the Women’s World Title this September. A gold medal will be a nice addition to her growing number of trophies this season. She’s the safest bet you can make.
Stephanie Gilmore | Australia (+700)
The nerves will get the best of the other odds-on-favorites, such as Caroline Marks and Sally Fitzgibbons, as this is the first time pro-surfing is being thrust onto the global Olympic stage. This fact won’t phase the steeliest of women’s surfing competitors however – seven-time WCT champion Stephanie Gilmore. Gilmore looks to put another feather in her cap, and will surf with even greater fervor on behalf her country (Australia).
Brisa Hennessy | Costa Rica (+4000)
This Costa Rican is a firecracker. Brisa sits at number fifteen on the Women’s WCT, but with a pair of 5th place finishes on the tour this year she has proven that she can hold her own against her pro-peers. The late period swell forecast favors her skill level and experience. At +4000 there may be some money to be made on this pick.
Silvana Lima | Brazil (+4000)
The proud Brazilian is an eight-time national champion, and while not on the WCT this year, she is likely the hungriest of all women’s competitors to take the gold medal, not for herself, but for her country. Passion goes a long way towards winning a gold medal, and Lima has gots TONS of it.
Carrisa Moore does Hawaii (via U.S.A.) proud and takes the win.
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