- The Olympics men’s hurdles competitions get underway this weekend in Tokyo
- Karsten Warholm (NOR) and Rai Benjamin (USA) battle again for 400-meter supremacy while Grant Holloway headlines the 110-meter field. Does anyone else have value?
- Check out the odds, analysis, and betting predictions below
The men’s hurdles events are a triumvirate of two shorter-distanced events (110 and 400-meters) combined with the longer 3000-meter steeplechase. Those races at the shorter distances have four heats with three semifinals and a final. Meanwhile, the steeplechase features just three heats and a final.
All events take place at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo. They will be live or streamed on NBC, NBCSN, NBC Olympics, and Peacock.
Here are the odds for the men’s 110-meter hurdles.
Men’s 110m Hurdles Odds
|Grant Holloway (USA||-250|
|Ronald Levy (JAM)||+800|
|Sergey Shubenkov (ROC)||+800|
|Orlando Ortega (ESP)||+800|
|Shunsuke Izumiya (JPN)||+1200|
|Devon Allen (USA)||+2000|
All odds as of July 29 at DraftKings
Grant Holloway Headlines the Field
The American runner has been incredible during the pandemic. He set the world record in the 60-meter indoor hurdles in February with a time of 7.29 seconds. Holloway is the reigning world champion at the 110-meter distance. Also, the hurdler carries the second-best time in history with a time of 12.81 seconds. That occurred on June 26th at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) July 28, 2021
There are few runners quite like Holloway in the field. He was a two-sport standout as the Florida athlete almost chose a career in football over track. It is his technique that separates him from the field and even among other American runners in history.
The other fact that helps Holloway is his ability to run in a myriad of conditions. He has run in the wind, outdoors, and indoors. Holloway has transitioned from indoors to outdoors well.
Can Holloway break the world record of 12.8 seconds set by Aries Merritt (USA) set in 2012? It is possible with the warm to hot conditions prevalent in Tokyo.
Olympic Men’s 110m Hurdles Schedule
|Heats 1-4||Tuesday, August 3rd||6:10 a.m.|
|Semifinal Round||Tuesday, August 3rd||10:00 p.m.|
|Final Round||Wednesday, August 4th||10:55 p.m.|
Others to Watch?
Ronald Levy of Jamaica has a personal best of 13.05 seconds but that was set in 2017. He did have a 13.22 second run in July and is one to watch.
The same goes for Orlando Ortega of Spain. Ortega won the silver in 2016. He defeated Holloway in 2020 as Holloway actually ran too fast early and got out of rhythm. The American has since adjusted in 2021 which is why he is our pick.
The Pick: Grant Holloway (Team USA at -250), Longshot: Orlando Ortega (Spain at +800)
Men’s 400m Hurdles Odds
|Karsten Warholm (NOR)||-250|
|Rai Benjamin (USA)||+200|
|Alison Dos Santos (BRA)||+1200|
|Abderrahman Samba (QAT)||+1400|
|Kyron McMaster (IVB)||+2000|
|Yasmani Copello (TUR)||+5000|
Rai Benjamin vs Karsten Warholm
The 400-meter hurdles is a duel between Team USA’s Rai Benjamin and Norway’s Karsten Warholm. These two have been the best runners at this distance pretty much since the 2019 World Championship. Also, Norway’s Warholm holds the world record of 46.7 seconds which was just set four weeks ago in Norway.
Meanwhile, Benjamin has been racking up victories in the United States and recently ran the third-best time in history at 46.83 seconds. This took place at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June.
— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) July 26, 2021
The finish may be key. Benjamin has shown a faster start in his last few events when compared to Warholm. What makes Warholm dangerous is his closing speed and rhythm. The American has the speed to break a world record. That 46.83 in Oregon could have been even faster. It sets up for one of the more underrated battles of the track and field schedule.
Olympic Men’s 400m Hurdles Schedule
|Heats 1-4||Thursday, July 29th||9:45 p.m.|
|Semifinal Round||Sunday, August 1st||8:05 a.m.|
|Final Round||Monday, August 2nd||11:20 p.m.|
Benjamin’s odds have begun to shorten again and he is the pick here.
The Pick: Rai Benjamin (Team USA at +200)
Men’s 3000m Steeplechase Odds
|Soufiane El Bakkali (MOR)||+175|
|Getnet Wale (ETH)||+275|
|Abraham Kibiwot (KEN)||+600|
|Bikila Tadese Takele (ETH)||+700|
|Lamecha Girma (ETH)||+700|
|Leonard Bett (KEN)||+800|
|Benjamin Kigen (KEN)||+1000|
|Hillary Bor (USA)||+1200|
The Steeplechase is Chaos
Anyone who has ever watched the event knows there are four hurdles and yes, a water pit.
This event can be run a little faster or slower depending on the gamesmanship. That can allow for occasional upsets. The two fastest times were by Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco and Lamecha Girma (ETH) since the last Olympics in Rio. El Bakkali is the only one to break eight minutes.
Olympic Men’s 30000m Steeplechase Schedule
|Heats 1-3||Thursday, July 29th||8:30 p.m.|
|Final Round||Monday, August 2nd||8:15 a.m.|
Again, El Bakkali is the slight favorite here but any of the top eight runners in the odds could win the race. Hillary Bor is a longshot from Team USA but again the longer-distance events can be a different animal. With the race running at night in Tokyo, our pick is El Bakkali over Girma and Getnet Wale of Ethiopia.
The Pick: Soufiane El Bakkali (Morocco at +175)