The United States women’s national soccer team powered to a 2-0 win over New Zealand on Wednesday to kick off its Olympic tournament, cementing its position as strong +150 favorites to claim a fourth straight gold medal at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The victory improves the United States to 15-1-0 in 2016 and marks the fourth straight match in which it has held opponents scoreless and the 14th overall clean sheet this year.
The Americans can clinch a berth in the knockout stage with a win in Saturday afternoon’s United States vs. France matchup at Belo Horizonte but must overcome a Les Bleus squad that has been equally dominant this year.
France opened the tournament trailing at +575 on the Olympic gold medal odds but is a solid +190 bet to win Group G, trailing only the United States perched as -200 chalk.
Les Bleus have not given up a goal in seven straight wins, including a 4-0 blowout of Colombia in Wednesday’s group stage opener, but they have failed to find the back of the net in a pair of recent losses to the Americans and have posted just one win over the United States in 16 meetings dating back to 1992.
Germany stormed out to a 6-1 win in its Group F opener, bolstering its +325 opening odds to claim Olympic gold, and host nation Brazil trails at +650, while Canada opened as a +1,200 dark horse but impressed in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Australia.
On the men’s side, Mexico sports long +1,400 odds to repeat as Olympic gold medal soccer champions after drawing into Group C alongside defending FIFA World Cup champion Germany, which also trails on the odds at +575 at the sportsbooks.
Brazil leads the way as -115 chalk, while Copa America Centenario finalists Argentina follow at +525, and the freshly minted European champions, Portugal, sit at +950.
Henrik Stenson, who earned his first career major crown at last month’s Open Championship, sits as a +575 favorite to win gold in the first Olympic golf tournament in over a century.
Spain’s Sergio Garcia has been denied a major victory thus far in his career and arrives in Rio highly motivated and an intriguing +750 bet on the Olympic golf odds, ahead of Great Britain’s Justin Rose at +1,300, and Bubba Watson, who joins fellow American Patrick Reed at +1,400.
Serena Williams will represent the United States in Rio as +120 chalk in women’s tennis, and swimmer Michael Phelps will be looking to add to his record-setting gold medal collection as the betting favorite to win both the men’s 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley.
Thumbnail photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images
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