Yes, you can bet on that: Surfing is now an Olympic sport and features a competitive field

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Welcome to our 2020 Olympic feature titled "Yes, you can bet on that." As the Tokyo Olympics get underway we're highlighting some of the niche Olympic sports available for wagers at BetMGM. After going through the odds for artistic swimming, it's now surfing's turn.

Ride the betting wave to the shores of Japan.

Sorry, that was a terrible lead. But now you know that you can bet on Olympic surfing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

BetMGM has odds for both the men’s and women’s surfing competitions. Both events take place on July 27 — assuming the waves are good — and feature competitive fields.

Let’s start with the basics. This is the first time surfing has been an Olympic sport and it’s not being held in a surfing hotbed either. The waves off the coast of Tsurigasaki Beach aren’t known for being tall and violent.

Five judges analyze each surfer’s attempt and the attempts are scored on a scale of 1-10. The average of the three middle scores is the surfer’s score and a surfer’s two highest-scoring waves are tallied together for the final score.

You can read more about the scoring system for surfing here.

On the women’s side, Carissa Moore is the favorite at +200. The American has won four surfing world titles and is ahead of American teammate Caroline Marks. The 19-year-old is at +400, just behind Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons at +375. Seven-time world champ Stephanie Gilmore is an intriguing bet at +700.

Gilmore won her seventh title in 2018 while Moore got her fourth a year later. Tyler Wright is the only woman outside Gilmore and Moore to win a World Surfing League championship since 2007.

Among the men, it’s a fight between Brazilians Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira. Medina is the slight favorite at +150 while Ferreira is at +180. American John John Florence is the third favorite at +400.

The three men have combined to win five of the last six WSL championships. Medina won in 2014 and '18, Florence took the 2016 and '17 championships and Ferreira won in 2019.

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