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2020 Olympic Betting Preview: Swimming

by July 22, 2021
Caeleb Dressel

Over the next several weeks, we’ll provide comprehensive betting previews for every major event ahead of the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, which will run from July 23 – August 8.

The Olympics are now just days away as the athletes are getting ready to embark on what should be an incredible few weeks in Japan. One set of events that are always popular are those that revolve around swimming.

Today, we take a look at both the men’s and women’s events, as the world’s very best prepare to enter the pool.

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Schedule of Events

  • July 24 – Aug 1: Men’s and women’s events

Why Should I Bet On This?

From Michael Phelps to Ryan Lochte, Olympic swimming has produced some of the most memorable events in recent memory. Unlike many other Olympic sports, plenty of data and information is available for you to dig into before placing your bets.

In addition, there are many variations of Olympic swim bets you can place, such as the 100m breaststroke, 400m freestyle, 100m backstrokes, and 200m butterfly, amongst others.

5 Things You Absolutely Need to Know

USA Swimming is sending 53 swimmers to Tokyo, 28 women and 25 men, 35 of which are first-time Olympians and 11 of which are teenagers

All swimming events will be held at the state of the art Tokyo Aquatics Center

Swimming events will total 35 when all said and done, an increase of three from the events that took place at Rio 2016

Caleb Dressel, a Florida native, won six titles at the 2019 World Championships and broke several records along the way. He is expected to be the next best thing to Phelps and Lochte.

Katie Ledecky, who won four gold medals at Rio 2016, will be competing again in these games once again.

The Favorites


  • Ariarne Titmus (AUS)
    • 200m Freestyle (-220)
  • Katie Ledecky (USA)
    • 1500m Freestyle (-550)


  • Adam Peaty (GBR)
    • 100 Breastroke (-950)
  • Caleb Dressel (USA)
    • 100m Butterfly (-550)
    • 50m Freestyle (-430)
  • Daiya Seto (JPN)
    • 400m Individual Medly (-160)
  • Florian Wellbrock (GER)
    • 1500m Freestyle (+125)

The Live Underdogs


  • Katie Ledecky (USA)
    • 200m Freestyle (+270)
  • Simona Quadarella (ITA)
    • 100m Freestyle (+650)


  • Chase Kalisz (USA)
    • 400m Individual Medly (+340)
  • Ryan Murphy (USA)
    • 200m Backstroke (+340)

The Longshots


  • Federica Pellegrini (ITA)
    • 200m Freestyle (+750)
  • Wang Jianjiahe (CHN)
    • 1500m Freestyle (+1600)


  • Daiya Seto (JPN)
    • 200m Butterfly (+1000)
  • Brendon Smith (AUS)
    • 400 Individual Medly (+1100)

Betting Picks

Men: Anton Chupkov – 200m Breaststroke (+230)
While the odds line this one up being a fairly close race with three between +250 and +300, I give Chpkov the edge in this one. Having won every major event in the last four years, he has a World’s Championship in 17′ and 19′, with a European Title sandwiched in between.

Not only that, but his next closest opponent Zac Stubblety-Cook has zero notable world titles to his name heading into Tokyo.

Women: Katie Ledecky – 200m Freestyle (+270) 
Ledecky has been winning Gold’s since she was 15 years old at the 2012 games, and there’s nothing that indicates she is ready to stop now. She has won first place at a major event every year since, including a 2019 Worlds win while battling a stomach bug.

Fully healthy coming into this one, I’m playing Ledecky at any odds I can get her across the board, but most notably in the 200m freestyle where I think she comes in undervalued.

More 2020 Olympic Betting Previews

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TJ Perun is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from TJ, check out his archive and follow him @JohnnyCovers.

Olympics, Picks