At least half of the 12 teams in the Olympic men’s field hockey competition will enter the tournament believing they have realistic chances of winning gold. But it’s traditional powerhouse Australia that comes into the Tokyo Olympics as the favorite to take the top spot for the first time since 2004.

men’s field hockey odds
The world’s top men’s field hockey nations will compete for gold at the Tokyo Olympics, with Australia coming in as the slight favorite in the tournament. (Image: Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

BetMGM lists Australia as the +275 favorite to take the gold medals in men’s field hockey, though several other nations with long histories of success in the sport are also in the mix for the podium.

Australia, Belgium are teams to beat

Australia disappointed in Rio back at the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Aussies lost 0-4 to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals, which meant they failed to medal in men’s field hockey for the first time since 1992.

But that one loss hasn’t knocked Australia off the map when it comes to international competition. Australia won bronze at the 2018 FIH Hockey World Cup. 34-year-old captain Eddie Ockenden will lead the team into Tokyo, having been part of the 2008 and 2012 bronze medal-winning teams.

Olympic Men’s Field Hockey Odds – To Win Gold (via BetMGM)
Australia: +275 Belgium: +325
Netherlands: +500 Germany: +550
India: +1000 Argentina: +1100
Great Britain: +1400 Spain: +2000
New Zealand: +2500 Japan: +5000
Canada: +6600 South Africa: +8000

While Australia may top the board, it isn’t a runaway favorite. Belgium (+325) comes in as nearly a co-favorite and, arguably, deserves the top spot based on recent results. Belgium finished as the runners-up in Rio, and won the 2018 World Cup. While the Belgians have never won Olympic gold in men’s field hockey, this could be the year that they finally break through.

The Netherlands (+500) finished second in that 2018 World Cup, only losing to Belgium in a penalty shootout. The Dutch team won gold in both 1996 and 2000, and has finished in the top four in every Olympics since 1988.

Traditional men’s field hockey powers still present threat

Germany (+550) is another traditional power in men’s field hockey, though it has slipped a bit in recent years. After winning gold in 2008 and 2012, the Germans took the bronze medals in Rio. Belgium knocked Germany out in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup. Germany took silver in the 2021 European championships, only losing to the Netherlands via a penalty shootout in the final.

India (+1000) was once the team to beat in men’s field hockey, but those days have long since passed. While India has a record eight Olympic gold medals in the sport, it hasn’t landed on the podium since its last victory in 1980. The nation remains threatening to stronger teams, however, and did reach the quarterfinals of both the 2018 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

Argentina (+1100) won gold in Rio, taking its first and only medal in men’s field hockey. A repeat performance feels unlikely, as Argentina fell in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup to England. Great Britain (+1400) last medaled in 1988, and the English team failed to medal at the 2018 World Cup or the 2021 European Championships.

Spain (+2000), New Zealand (+2500), Japan (+5000), Canada (+6600), and South Africa (+8000) round out the field in Tokyo.

The men’s field hockey competition begins on July 24, with the medal games taking place on Aug. 5.

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