- Bovada gives the United States and Japan the best odds to win Women’s Softball gold in Tokyo 2021
- The Summer Olympics competition begins on July 21 before the Opening Ceremony and concludes with the medal matches on July 27
- Six teams will play in a single round-robin format with the top two clubs moving on to the gold medal game
Women’s softball is back in the Olympics after a 13-year absence thanks to an initiative that gives organizing committee’s the chance to include sports which are of great cultural importance or popularity in the host nation.
The Tokyo field will be six teams in each sport, down from eight at the 2008 Beijing Games. Let’s look at the opening odds to see which country is favored in the event.
Tokyo 2021 Women’s Softball Odds
USA and Japan favorites for gold medal
Women’s softball was first introduced to the Olympics in Atlanta 1996 and was featured in the next three Games before the IOC voted to remove the program. Tokyo 2021 is also looking like a one-time-only return as Paris 2024 chose not to include the sport.
The United States (-150) won the first three Olympic gold medals at Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 before their 22-game winning streak ended in the final at Beijing 2008 when Japan (+140) earned a 3-1 victory.
— Alabama Pro Updates (@BamaProUpdates) April 4, 2021
While there are no recent Olympic results to point to, the U.S. defeated Japan in extra-innings in the final of the 2018 Women’s World Softball Championship. The Americans also won the world title in 2016, but the Japanese claimed first in both 2012 and 2014.
Canada (+1200), Australia (+3300), Mexico (+4000) and Italy (+20000) are the four other countries competing in the event in Tokyo, but neither have much of a chance to top the podium.
USA Softball named team back in 2019
USA Softball named its entire Olympic roster way back in October 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic caused Tokyo 2020 to be postponed. This could prove problematic as the 15 best U.S. softball players in October 2019 might not be the 15 best players in July 2021 – especially since the team includes two aging legends behind the mound.
Cat Osterman unretired in 2015 and at 37 years old will become the third-oldest U.S. Olympic softball player in history and the oldest pitcher. And 34-year-old Monica Abbott was the winning pitcher in the last world championship final in 2018.
Congrats to Team USA Softball On winning the #WBSC World Championship title with 7-6 win over Japan after Kelsey Stewart hit a walk-off single, that’s back to back World Ships And They qualify for the 2020 Olympics as well. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/kHkrX7nDaS
— Sandlot (@SandlotBambino) August 13, 2018
While USA Softball chose to keep the players it had already named to the 2020 Olympic team rather than reopen qualifying, the Japan Softball Association just named its final Olympic roster on March 23 after a 17-day training camp.
This means Japan will likely be a bit sharper than the Americans when the competition gets underway on July 21. And with fans from abroad not allowed to attend the Tokyo Olympics due to Covid-19, the Japanese squad will enjoy a sizeable home-field advantage inside the 34,000-fan-capacity Yokohama Stadium.
The Pick: Japan +140 at Bovada
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