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Opening Odds Have US Heavily Favored to Win Basketball Gold at 2020 Olympics

Team USA Basketball
LeBron James has been unbeatable as a member of Team USA. Photo by Tim Shelby (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • The United States Men’s National Basketball Team is the overwhelming favorite to win gold at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
  • Team USA has won gold in the last three Summer Olympics
  • Team USA is coached by five-time NBA champion and three-time NBA Coach of the Year Gregg Popovich 

5Dimes has surveyed the international basketball landscape and all it sees is stars and stripes.

The online sportsbook is giving the US Men’s National Team -1050 odds of winning the gold medal at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

2020 Summer Olympics Men’s Basketball Odds

Who Will Win the Gold Medal in Men’s Basketball at the 2020 Olympics? Odds at 5Dimes
Team USA -1050
Field +550

Team USA was Virtually Unbeatable Under Coach K

The ridiculously short odds are hardly surprising considering how the US has run roughshod over international competition during the last decade. Team USA went 75-1 from 2006-to-2016 under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, winning one FIBA Americas Championship, three FIBA World Championships, and three Olympic gold medals along the way.

Coach K’s star-studded squad was especially dominant at the 2016 Games in Rio, going undefeated throughout the tournament and beating Serbia by 30 points in their final match.

The World Cup Should Be a Cake Walk

Team USA still has to qualify for the Olympics by finishing in the top 8 at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China, but that should be a mere formality given the remarkable talent at their disposal.

New Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Popovich has the luxury of being able to pick and choose players from a pool featuring 28 current and former NBA All-Stars. He can even select all five of Golden State’s starters if he’s concerned about chemistry and cohesion.

No One Can Touch the US

The 2016 Olympics proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US is in a class all its own. Had Team USA rolled out three teams rather than just one, it would easily have claimed all three spots on the podium.

The only team that came close to the US in Rio was Spain, but longtime team members Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Jose Calderon, Sergio Llull, and Rudy Fernandez will be well past their prime by 2020 and the Spanish pipeline has too many question marks to compete with the US. The same can be said for France, who will no longer be able to bank on Tony Parker or Boris Diaw, and Argentina, whose Golden Generation could now be mistaken for the cast of the Golden Girls.

The one team that could pose a legitimate threat is Canada. There are presently 14 Canadians on NBA rosters and many of them, like Tristan Thompson, Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins, and Kelly Olynyk have spent years with the national team. They understand the nuances of international basketball and, unlike many of their foreign peers, are unlikely to be starstruck by Team USA.

God Bless America

As promising as Canada looks on paper, the US is still the team to beat. No other squad has more depth, more skill, and more versatility.

USA Basketball learned from its bronze medal debacle in 2004 and has created a program that produces true teams rather than crews of mismatched and disinterested All-Stars. Count on them going undefeated again in 2020.

Pick: Team USA (-1050) 

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Ryan Murphy began his love affair with sports journalism at the age of nine when he wrote his first article about his little league baseball team. He has since authored his own column for Fox Sports, and now serves as SBD’s resident NBA and MLB expert.