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Men’s Olympic Basketball Odds, Preview and Best Bets – Can Anyone Beat Team USA for Gold?

Sam Cox

by Sam Cox in News

Jul 22, 2021 · 6:01 AM PDT

Team USA Basketball
United States players celebrate after defeating Spain in an exhibition basketball game in preparation for the Olympics, Sunday, July 18, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
  • Team USA has endured difficult preparation for the Olympic Men’s Basketball in Tokyo
  • Their odds to win gold have slipped to -320 as a result
  • Read below for complete Men’s Basketball Olympic odds and betting analysis

The men’s basketball at the Tokyo Olympics gets underway on July 25th. The Gold Medal Game will be played at the Saitama Super Arena on August 7th, and Team USA remains heavily favored to pick up the gold despite their pre-Olympic struggles.

Basketball fans in the US can watch Team USA’s group games live streamed on Peacock. NBC and other networks will have tape delay versions of the games.

The Olympic basketball format is similar to what soccer fans see in international tournaments. The 12 teams are split into three groups of four, with the top two teams from each group progressing to the knockout rounds along with the two best third-place teams. A draw takes place for the last eight, with the first-place teams and the best second-place team in pot one. Matchups from the group phase cannot be repeated.

It’s single elimination from then on, making the perfect conditions for upsets. The semifinal losers also place each other in the Bronze Medal Game.

Tokyo 2020 Men’s Olympic Basketball Odds

Team Win Gold Winner Without USA
USA -320 N/A
Australia +750 +260
Spain +900 +300
Slovenia +1500 +450
France +1600 +500
Nigeria +3000 +900
Argentina +3500 +1100
Italy +4000 +1200
Czech Republic +10000 +2000
Germany +15000 +3500
Japan +30000 +30000
Iran +50000 +50000

Odds as of Jul 22nd

Pressure on Team USA

Team USA opened as an overwhelming -700 to win gold. The have slipped all the way to -320 on the back of surprise exhibition losses and roster changes. Their preparation has been blighted by numerous issues. Bradley Beal has withdrawn due to COVID-19, while Jerami Grant spent some time in health and safety protocols.

Kevin Love pulled out, citing a calf issue, which could prove to be a blessing in disguise after his poor performances in the warm-up games. JaVale McGee was called up to replace Love on the roster.

On the back of a six-game Finals, Team USA is also waiting for three late arrivals in Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday and Devin Booker. They provide an undoubted boost to this group, but the trio will unquestionably be fatigued, and Team USA has already looked sluggish after a long NBA season.

The USA finished 2-2 in their exhibition games. A win over Spain was a nice boost in the fourth outing, but losses to Australia and Nigeria show how vulnerable they are. The sheer talent should still be enough to win gold, though this team is very much a work in progress. Unlike Olympics of the past, they are taking on plenty of NBA-level players this summer.

Experienced Aussies

Australia are one team stacked with veteran NBA talent. They are deserving of their position as second favorites. In a group with Germany, Italy and Nigeria, the Aussies are in great position to gain a favorable draw in the quarterfinals.

Led by Joe Ingles and Patty Mills, this Australia roster has tough, experienced NBA players. Aron Baynes plays as hard as anyone. The all-world defense of Matisse Thybulle can cause problems for any player.

Ranked third in the world by FIBA, this isn’t a team to be taken lightly, and they are used to playing in single elimination basketball after making it to the semifinals of the World Cup in 2019.

France Are a Good Price

France had to settle for the bronze at the World Cup, and they are drawn with Team USA in the group stage here, but it would be foolish to overlook them. Playing the USA in the first round of games could be good timing as Gregg Popovich figures out his rotations and they try to develop chemistry.

The French should cruise past Iran and Czech Republic to book a place in the last eight. This is a high-level defensive roster, featuring Frank Ntilikina, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Nicolas Batum and Rudy Gobert. Evan Fournier was great in the World Cup, shooting over 40% from three. Fatigue will be less of an issue for their core players than it will be for the USA.

Given how the USA have looked in their exhibition games, it’s not wild that France snatch a win on July, 25th. That would seal a supposedly easier draw in the quarters. Regardless of the outcome of that game, though, being in the same group means avoiding the USA until at least the last four. As a result, France to win a medal looks a really good price at +180.

Don’t Rule Out Luka

Slovenia don’t possess the depth of talent of France, Spain or Australia, but they have the best player in the tournament outside of the USA. Some would even say Luka Doncic is the best overall player in this event.

The Slovenian star has delivered in big moments in Europe. He’s starred in international play. He’s shown his ability to perform in the NBA postseason, even when guarded by the world’s best defenders.

Vlatko Cancar is the only other NBA player on the Slovenia roster. He was a long way down the Nuggets’ bench this season. There are solid players around Doncic, but it will take something spectacular for him to take them to the Gold Medal Game.

Their +190 odds to win a medal could be interesting for bettors, however. We’ve seen what Doncic can do even with minimal help.

Best Bets

It’s easy to default to the USA winning gold. They have brought a surprisingly strong roster to the Olympics, and while there are clearly some issues, this team should still have enough to get it done. Their -320 price isn’t exactly going to get bettors excited here, though.

Australia and France are the value picks to be the winner without the USA at +260 and +500 respectively.

On the back of their historic win over the USA, Nigeria are going to get some love from bettors. With Australia, Italy and Germany, they’ve got a good chance of progressing. There’s value on D’Tigers to reach the last four at +240.

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