Olympic Basketball

Betting Odds And Strategy


Basketball has been a primary focus for US sports fans at the Summer Olympics, dating back to the highly controversial 1972 men’s Gold Medal game between Team USA and the Soviet Union. That game, in which the U.S. later refused to accept their silver medals, and the run of the 1992 Dream Team are the two most notable periods in the history of Team USA hoops. For the most part, the United States has dominated in international play. The U.S. men’s team has won 15 or 18 Summer Olympics tournaments, and the U.S. women have won gold in 8 of 10 tournaments.

It will once again be “gold or bust” for both the Team USA men and women in this year’s summer games in Tokyo. Below we will look at odds for Team USA as well as odds for each team participating in the games. We will also give Summer Olympics bettors to option to wager on individual games, when lines are made available by top US sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel.

Olympic Basketball odds

Summer Olympics basketball odds have been posted at top US sportsbooks. As expected, the Team USA men’s and women’s squads are both heavy favorites to capture the gold.

Men's Gold Medal
Women's Gold Medal

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Team USA men

The USA men’s basketball team has been primarily made up of NBA stars since the aforementioned 1992 Dream Team. Since 1992, the US men’s team has only failed once to bring home the gold (2004 when they won bronze). This year’s Team USA men’s basketball team roster is set with the following players:

  • Kevin Durant
  • Damian Lillard
  • Jayson Tatum
  • Devin Booker
  • Zach LaVine
  • Draymond Green
  • Bam Adebayo
  • Jrue Holiday
  • Khris Middleton
  • Jerami Grant
  • JaVale McGee
  • Keldon Johnson

Team USA will be coached by longtime San Antonio Spurs head man, Gregg Popovich.

Team USA women

The 12-player roster for the Team USA women’s squad is now complete. It’s a stacked roster, filled with first ballot Hall of Famers. Here is the team that will compete in Tokyo:

  • Sue Bird
  • Diana Taurasi
  • A’Ja Wilson
  • Skylar Diggins-Smith
  • Napheesa Collier
  • Jewell Loyd
  • Ariel Atkins
  • Chelsea Gray
  • Brittney Griner
  • Sylvia Fowles
  • Tina Charles
  • Breanna Stewart

The team will be coached by current South Carolina women’s coach Dawn Staley.


Both the men’s and women’s National Teams will be holding training camps in Las Vegas in late July. Exhibition games will be played as well, starting in early July.

Initial Olympics games have been set, and we have a date for medal games. Here is the Team USA men’s schedule:

  • July 25: USA vs. France (8 a.m. ET)
  • July 28: USA vs. Iran (12:40 p.m. ET)
  • July 31: USA vs. TBD (8 a.m. ET)
  • Aug. 3: Men’s quarterfinals
  • Aug. 5: Men’s semifinals
  • Aug. 6: Men’s gold medal game
  • Aug. 7: Men’s bronze medal game

Here is the Team USA women’s schedule:

  • July 27: USA vs. Nigeria (12:40 a.m. ET)
  • July 30: USA vs. Japan (12:40 a.m. ET)
  • Aug 2: USA vs. France (12:40 a.m. ET)
  • Aug 4: Women’s quarterfinals
  • Aug. 6: Women’s semifinals
  • Aug. 7: Bronze medal game
  • Aug. 8: Gold medal game

How to bet on Olympic basketball

Basketball is one of the easiest sports to wager on. Most popular are moneyline bets and point spread bets.
A moneyline bet is straight-forward, as you simply pick which team you think will win.

A spread wager involves the margin of victory in a game. For instance, the Team USA men’s team might be sizable favorites over Italy. A sportsbook might set the line at Team USA -12.5.

If you believe that the Americans will win by 13 points or more, you would bet Team USA -12.5. If you believe that Italy can keep it close or even win the game outright, you would bet Italy at +12.5.

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to betting on Olympic basketball are some rule differences. Here are the key ones:

  • 1. Difference in time: NBA games last 48 minutes. Olympic basketball games are shorter, at 40 minutes. This is something to keep in mind when betting on game totals.
  • 2. 3-point line: The 3-point line in the Olympics is a bit closer to the hoop than the NBA. In the Olympics, the stripe is set at 22 feet, 1.75 inches from the top of the arc. In the NBA, it is set at 23 feet, 9 inches.
  • 3. Fouls: The number of fouls a player is allowed to commit before fouling out is 5 in the Olympics. In the NBA, the number is 6.