How many gold medals will the U.S. win? Sizing up the odds of the Sochi Olympics

Fourth-Place Medal

The Olympics are here, and with them come thousands of opportunities for friendly wagers amongst friends. How many medals will the United States win? Will the Jamaican bobsled team crash? Bovada has crafted odds for almost every conceivable scenario, and we've got a few of them right here. (All lines are for entertainment purposes only, unless you win big, in which case we'll expect a cut.)

The U.S. is a 5/2 favorite to win the most gold medals (wager $2 to win $5), but those aren't the best odds. Norway is actually a 6/5 favorite to win the most golds at the Winter Games, which makes a lot of sense, if you think about it. Germany is 7/1, Russia and Canada are 9/1, and then it's a long dropoff to the next nation. The over-under for total gold medals earned by the U.S. stands at 10.5.

But what if you're into quantity over quality? Then the Americans take the lead; the United States is a 1/1 favorite to win the most medals overall. Norway is just behind at 9/5, with the other three big-dog nations (Germany, Russia, Canada) following close behind.

[ Related: Olympic medal predictions ]

You can get a sense of what oddsmakers believe will occur, or what oddsmakers believe bettors want to occur, by taking a close look at some of the more focused lines. For instance, the Canadian and U.S. women's hockey teams are overwhelming favorites with nearly identical odds of 5/6 and 10/11, respectively. Nobody else is anywhere closer than 18/1. On the men's side, Canada and Russia stand at 2/1 and 9/4, respectively.

Of note: the men's odds were set before the announcement of Steven Stamkos' absence, and likely will change as a result. Stamkos was predicted to be one of the top goal scorers at 8/1 to lead overall; only Alex Ovechkin (6/1) edged him. Sidney Crosby (9/1) and Patrick Kane (10/1) are close behind.

[ Related: Lightning star Stamkos to miss Olympics ]

In the stranger bets, you can lay money on Jamaica to crash, if you're so inclined; that's a 3/1 play. (The team is 50/1 odds to win a medal.)

In the figure skating arena, the United States' female skaters are not even close to favorites. Ashley Wagner is 18/1 and Gracie Gold is 25/1 to win gold. In skiing, Team USA's Ted Ligety has far better odds, 10/11 to win gold.

Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter.

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