Nathan Chen Hurts Olympic Team With Fall
In an odd occurrence yesterday, an unusual suspect hurt Team USA’s Olympic Figure Skating odds: Nathan Chen. The 18-year-old wunderkind from Salt Lake City, who currently sits atop Bovada’s betting board at +180 to win the Men’s Singles (tied with defending Gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan) in these PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, is widely considered to be the best skater in the world. He’s mastered the quad-jump varieties, which are competition-winning aerials in and of themselves, and he’s known for packing several into each performance.
However, Chen – by all accounts (including particularly harsh ones from former skaters Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski) – took an uncharacteristic spill in his opening skate, actually finishing his event in fourth place overall and netting Team USA only 7 points when they were expecting 9 or 10. As such, the Americans are now in second place overall, with 14 points behind Canada’s 17. The OAR (Russian team) – with +220 odds to win per Bet365 – is tied with Japan in third place with 13 points for wagering in sports betting states. Since Bet365 currently has +550 odds on the US team to win, there could be value there if the rest of the club can get it together.
For Nathan Chen, of course, all is not lost. The Team Figure Skating event is a new Olympic addition, having debuted in the 2014 Winter Games, and no country truly takes the medley seriously. The individual and doubles disciplines still reign supreme, and most Olympic figure skaters view the Team event as a warmup/first-impression program, as much for the judges as for themselves. That’s why Bovada still has Chen as a co-favorite to win Gold (albeit Bet365 eschews both Chen and Hanyu by giving Japan’s Shoma Uno +150 odds on the strength of his top finish in the Team’s Men’s event).