Team GB have been set a target of 48 medals at this summer’s 2012 Olympic Games in London, which is now just a little over a week away. Should the British athletes achieve this medal haul, it would be a new personal best, but can they do it and is the outcome worth betting on? We take a look…

Victoria Pendleton London 2012 Olympics Betting
The Olympic Games returns to Britain for the first time since 1908, making London the first city to host the modern game three times. Team GB are confident of a successful campaign on home soil, and they might just be proven right if recent studies prove correct.

Britain’s best ever medal haul at the Olympic Games came in Beijing at the 2008 games, where they returned home with a total of 47 medals, 19 of which were gold. The British Olympic Association is demanding a minimum of 48 medals at London 2012, and studies would suggest that this is more than achievable.

Expert statisticians at the likes of UniCredit Bank and Goldman Sachs have recently carried out studies showing that the Olympic Games host nation tends to win around 50% more medals than it would do “normally”, figures which – if correct – promise a “vintage” year for Britain’s athletes at the 2012 Olympics. UniCredit believe that this alone means a boost to the British of around 21 medals, which would put the medal haul into the high 60s.

But if Team GB were to deliver a record medal tally at the 2012 Olympics, home advantage won’t be the only factor. The British contingent at the London 2012 Olympics will be bigger than ever, with 542 athletes representing the host nation. That also points to an improved medals total, as the team obviously has more chances to win.

And it’s not just the number of athletes that are increasing, its the quality too. Since 2008, more than £300 million of National Lottery funding has been pumped into supporting Olympic sports in Britain, while the The British Olympic Association has put 60% of this year’s annual budget – thought to be around £13 million – into preparing the team for the 2012 Olympics.

So Team GB can surely expect to deliver on their target of a record medal haul at London 2012, but what does this mean in terms of betting on the games?

Well if the forecasts of a medal haul into the high 60s are correct, the bookmakers could have got it wrong. The majority of firms have set the line at 62.5 medals at the 2012 Olympics, with the best price about 63 or more currently 10/11 (1.91) with BetVictor. If you’re feeling braver, over 63.5 (in other words, 64 or more medals) can be backed with ToteSport at even money (2.00).

Britain are not short of gold medal hopefuls either, with likes of Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton (pictured), Chris Hoy, Alistair Brownlee and Ben Ainslee all part of Team GB. Pinnacle‘s quote of 1.725 about Team GB bagging more than 21.5 gold medals at London 2012 looks fair, while Boylesports go 1.95 about more than 22.5 gold medals, which could be juicy.

Another angle to come at the 2012 Olympics medal betting, is the overall position in the London 2012 medals table. In Beijing, Britain overtook old rivals Australia to claim a fourth place finish and if these forecasts are correct, the 2012 Olympics could see a close battle between the British and Russa for third place overall.

There could well be some value in taking on Bet365‘s 2/1 (3.00) that Britain finish in the top three on the 2012 Olympics medals leader board.

But regardless of all that, the best bet of the 2012 Olympic Games simply has to be Paddy Power‘s 7/1 (8.00) about yellow to be the colour of the Queen’s hat at the opening ceremony. You heard it here first!