Olympics Gymnastics Odds Shuffle Following Simone Biles Exit

Posted on: July 28, 2021, 12:07h. 

Last updated on: July 29, 2021, 08:21h.

The 2020 Olympics gymnastics individual competition has been thrown into a state of chaos following the shocking withdrawal of American Simone Biles.

Olympics gymnastics odds Simone Biles
Simone Biles looks on as her USA teammates compete in the all-around. Olympics gymnastics has been thrown into a state of disarray following the superstar’s seemingly unthinkable exit from the Games. (Image: Reuters)

Biles abandoned the team competition yesterday following an uncharacteristically poor vault. The 24-year-old cited mental health reasons for her exit. 

Biles was the betting favorite for four final individual events, including the women’s individual all-around. But she won’t compete in any of those events, either. But with Biles out, oddsmakers are scrambling to readjust their Olympics gymnastics odds

Biles is regarded as perhaps the best female gymnast in the sport’s history. She won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics. She arrived in Tokyo as the face of the games, at least for the US, and was heavily favored to lead Team USA to the all-around title. Her departure yesterday resulted in the US squad finishing second behind Russia. 

Russian Now Favored

Simone Biles was the betting favorite for each of the four individual event finals she qualified for — vault, balance beam, floor exercise, and artistic all-around.  Biles easily won the all-around in 2016. Her total score of 62.366 was nearly two full points better than the silver medalist, Biles’ teammate Aly Raisman. 

Before her withdrawal, Biles was the favorite for the individual all-around at -350. To win $100 on those odds, a bettor would have needed to risk $350. Sportsbooks now have Russian Angelina Melnikova atop the odds. DraftKings has her at +105. That implies a chance of 48.78 percent, a $100 winning bet netting $105. 

Team USA’s best hope for the female all-around gold is now Sunisa Lee, who is at a close second at +175. The 18-year-old is appearing in her first Olympics.

TV Ratings Spike, Dip

NBC’s broadcast ratings for the 2020 Summer Olympics have been poor so far. The first night of competition attracted 15.9 million American viewers, down 32 percent from the first night of the Games in 2016. The audience increased to 20 million viewers on Sunday, but that is still down 36 percent from five years ago. 

Biles has been praised and scolded on social media, as is the norm for outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. But her shocking exit likely lured in viewers Tuesday night for the replay of the events, which occurred live much earlier in the day in Tokyo.

A Biles-less gymnastics individual all-around final could further hurt television ratings. A poll conducted in March by Morning Consult found that gymnastics was the sport most Americans were looking forward to during this Summer Olympics.

Seventy percent of respondents said they were “somewhat interested” or “very interested” in watching the gymnastics events play out.