European “gamblers” can in addition to placing bets on soccer, team-handball, the London marathon, horse-racing and any other known-to-man sports, now also place bets on Nordic events such as Ski Jumping, Biathlon, Nordic Combined and Cross Country Skiing.
Norwegian Langrenn.com is each weekend “helping” their readers choose the possible winners for the upcoming races. One of Langrenn.com advertisers is British bookmaker Ladbrokes.
Their picks and comments for this weekend’s women’s 15 kilometer mass-start skate race:
There is only one favorite: Kristina Smigun. She won the 10 k skate race at Beitostolen by more than 20 seconds and last weekend she demolished the rest of the field in the skate part of the double pursuit. No one can beat her. She should be able to win even on an average day. Ladbokes has also realized this and the odds on her are only 1.72. Langrenn.com believes that this is the only way to make money.
“Close but no cigar” should be Paruzzi, Sachenbacker or Kuenzel. Parruzzi wants to ski fast on the Italian home course, but she has not been more than “almost at the top” this season. Will she improve this weekend? One thing is clear, Smigun will loose in a sprint (to all the three skiers mentioned above) if she has a bad day and it comes down to a sprint.
Marit Bjorgen has odds 13 and is the top ranked Norwegian. It’s going to be exciting to watch her in the skate race. Her recent cold might have set her back a little. Regardless, it doubtful that she can win, but you never know.
Men's picks for the 30-km mass-start skate race
It’s not as clear on the men’s side. Teichman of Germany is the favorite after his recent results in skating. He is very good at the end of the race, and can sprint well. The only problem is that it’s not possible to bet on him at the moment. It can be hard to make any money on this race without that possibility.
There are five skiers in addition to Teichman that can win: Last weekend’s second place finisher in the pursuit Anders Sodergren of Sweden. He does not have the greatest finish sprint. The 15 k winner fom Beitostolen, Italian Piller will give it all in Italy and should place high up on the list. His weakness is the last 500 meters. That was clear during the relay at Beitostolen and at last weekend’s pursuit.
Skjeldal is given the lowest odds of the Norwegians but it’s rather Tore Rud Hofstad we need to trust. He might on a good day be among the leaders coming into the stadium but it’s doubtful that he can win a sprint.
Sommerfelt of Germany is a better sprinter and has frequently incredible glide. He is one to watch. He will win if it isn’t Teichman. The odds are 11 ($11 back on a $1 bet).