The third week in July opens with the MLB All-Star Game, which means a three-day midsummer break for most major American sports. So, without as much U.S. action, we look across the pond to try to get some bets down.
While most people on this side of the Atlantic haven’t paid attention since Lance Armstrong was (seemingly) defying reality and winning a string of since-tainted yellow jerseys, the Tour de France is one of the biggest events on Europe’s sporting calendar.
We are preparing for the stretch run of this year’s Tour. There’s still a week left in the three-week race around France. Here’s what you need to know to get in on the betting action.
Who’s winning and by how much?
The easiest way to bet on the Tour de France is to try to pick the overall winner. At the moment, there is one clear-cut favorite, Jonas Vingegaard. He took the lead last week and has a margin of more than two minutes heading into the final six stages.
As a result, Vingegaard is the favorite by a big margin on most odds boards. FanDuel has him at -220. The next closest cyclist is at +220.
If you’re looking for a reason to take a dark horse, however, there are a few. Vingegaard has never won a Tour de France. This is only his second time in the race—he finished second last year. He also suffered a crash over the weekend but was still able to retain the lead.
Possible Challengers to Vingegaard
While individuals get the honors at the end of the race, cycling is a team sport, with other members under the same banner helping a racer to pull away or make a run at the top.
The race heads into the mountains this week—arguably the toughest stretch of any Tour de France and Vingegaard lost two of his best “climber” teammates to injury over the weekend. So the door is open for someone to challenge his big lead.
If someone is going to pass him, it’s likely to be Tadej Pogacar, who has won the last two tours and is currently in second place, both in the standings and on the odds board.
On to the Pyrenees
The next three days will likely determine the race’s winner, as the Tour makes its final pass through the Pyrenees Mountains. The last time the race was in the mountains, last week, Vingegaard won his only stage of this year’s race and earned the yellow jersey.
Still, there’s uncertainty as the elevation changes quickly, and a popular betting market is trying to pick the King of the Mountains. The winner of that title for the race gets a polka dot jersey, and, each of the last two years, it’s been Pogacar.
He’s the favorite to win it again this year, at +400. Vingegaard is right behind him at +500, however, and the betting odds for that title are far more wide open than they are for the yellow jersey.
You can also try to pick the winner of individual stages. Pogacar is the heavy favorite to win the next stage. With the mountains playing such a pivotal role, obviously, there’s heavy overlap in these three markets, as the next few stage winners will go a long way toward earning King of the Mountains and, potentially the yellow jersey.
It’s also possible to bet on a top-three finish for a rider. Pogacar and Vingegaard are both -1000 to finish there, but there are dark horses that might be worth a flyer.
Some books allow you to place head-to-head bets on the tour, picking which of two racers will finish with the better overall time. And there is a market to try to pick the cycling team that will produce this year’s winner.
The White Jersey
A final market is the white jersey winner. That color denotes the top cyclist in the Young Rider Classification. This subset of the Tour de France field is limited to cyclists who will be 25 or younger at the end of this calendar year.
Vingegaard turns 26 in December and isn’t eligible, making Pogacar, who has won the last two white jerseys, the favorite this year at -1250.