June 20, 2024


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Tokyo Olympics 2021 swimming odds, picks, predictions: Proven expert reveals best bets for Sunday’s action

Olympic action is in full swing this weekend, and medals are starting to stack up at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Olympic swimming will continue to make a splash with the semifinals in the men’s 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke and the women’s 100-meter breaststroke and 100-meter backstroke. Medals will be awarded in women’s 100-meter butterfly, men’s 100-meter breaststroke, women’s 400-meter freestyle and men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. The swimming events run from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

William Hill Sportsbook lists American Lilly King as the -370 favorite in its latest 2021 Olympics 100-meter breaststroke odds, and the USA is the -138 favorite in the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay. Team USA’s Katie Ledecky is the reigning gold medalist in the women’s 400 freestyle but is the +138 second favorite behind Australian Ariarne Titmus.        

Among the other popular sports that will be handing out 2020 Olympics medals are men’s triathlon (5:30 p.m. ET), women’s street skateboarding (11:25 p.m. ET) and men’s mountain biking (2 a.m. ET Monday). Before you lock in any of your Tokyo Olympics 2020 picks or predictions, you need to see what SportsLine’s Olympics expert, Mike Tierney, has to say

A national sportswriter whose work has appeared in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has covered nine Olympic Games in person. And in the past two Olympic Games, his advice helped those who followed him cash in big. 

At the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018, his best bets brought in nearly $3,000 as he picked Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands and Norway’s Havard Lorentzen to triumph in speed skating and the USA’s Mikaela Shiffrin to win the giant slalom.

Tierney knew the South Korean women were likely to dominate the speed skating events, but he saw huge value in the Dutch skater. “If another nation breaks through, it could be Suzanne Schulting of the Netherlands in the 1,000 meters, the best of her three distances,” Tierney told SportsLine before the 2018 Winter Games.

The result? Schulting went out and won her nation’s first short-track gold medal to cash in at +2500. Shiffrin was at +185 in her weakest event but still triumphed, and Lorentzen pulled off a surprise gold in the men’s 500 meters at +800. 

At the Rio 2016 Summer Games, Tierney told readers to bet over on Team USA’s gold medal count (41.5) and over on Team USA’s overall medal count (102.5). The result? 46 golds, 121 medals and two easy cashes. Anyone who followed Tierney’s advice cashed in huge.

Now, Tierney has been poring over the 2021 Olympics event schedule and digging down into the individual sports. He has released two confident best bets with big plus-money payouts. You can see those 2020 Olympics picks only at SportsLine.

Top 2021 Tokyo Olympics predictions

One shocker from Tierney’s picks: The expert is fading Russian phenom Kliment Kolesnikov, the co-favorite at +225 in the men’s 100-meter backstroke. The 21-year-old holds eight junior world records and is the short-course world record-holder in this event. He also won six total medals, including gold in the 100 backstroke, at the 2018 European Championships and set the world record in the 50-meter race. But Tierney is expressing some concerns. 

Russia has been enveloped in a doping scandal for several years and is technically banned from the Summer Games. Its athletes are competing as neutral participants, and the nation’s flag and anthem can’t be used. The field includes several strong swimmers capable of winning, so any distraction will be magnified. “In a race where fractions of a second matter, how will the Russians not competing for their country impact motivation?” Tierney tell SportsLine.

How to make 2021 Tokyo Olympics picks

Tierney is focused on an athlete with excellent value in this highly competitive field, taking a swimmer who has proven he can be just as fast. The surge of an Olympic final can make an athlete sink or swim, and this veteran has the experience to pull off a huge victory. You need to see Tierney’s expert analysis before making any 2021 Olympics picks of your own.

Who will win the Olympics 100-meter backstroke? Which long-shot is a must-back and what other best bets can you make on upcoming Tokyo 2020 events? Visit SportsLine now to get Mike Tierney’s best bets for the Tokyo Summer Olympics, all from the renowned sportswriter who’s covered nine Olympics in person and cashed big in both 2016 and ’18, and find out.