It was far from a smooth start to Team USA basketball under Gregg Poppovich. However, the US– led by Kevin Durant– are hitting their stride and are now strong -600 favorites over France in the gold medal match.
Luka Doncic is taking Slovenia on a historic run. The country had never made an Olympics in men’s basketball and now they’re looking to take home the bronze medal.
The Olympics began July 23 in Tokyo, delayed a year after the pandemic but Tokyo 2020 odds are already available for several sports.
USA Men’s Roster
Team USA basketball scuffled badly at the 2019 FIBA World Cup held in China. There, the favored Americans could only muster a seventh-place finish. They shockingly dropped two straight games in the knockout phase, losing to France and Serbia.
That team featured Donovan Mitchell, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum as its centerpieces. Many of the superstars who led the team to three straight Olympic gold medals and two straight FIBA World Cup titles didn’t participate. Players such as Joe Harris, Derrick White and Mason Plumlee filled out the roster.
The 2021 group looks quite a bit stronger. Superstars Durant and Damian Lillard headline the team. The former looks to win his third Olympic gold while the latter comes aboard for his first run. Here’s a look at the full roster:
- Nets F Kevin Durant
- Bulls G Zach LaVine
- Blazers G Damian Lillard
- Pistons F Jerami Grant
- Warriors F Draymond Green
Wizards G Brad BealSpurs F Keldon Johnson
- Celtics F Jayson Tatum
Cavaliers F Kevin LoveWarriors C JaVale McGee
- Heat C Bam Adebayo
- Bucks F Khris Middleton
- Suns G Devin Booker
- Bucks G Jrue Holiday
USA Basketball Odds For The 2020 Olympics
While Team USA Basketball odds did not match their performance at times in the World Cup, the Olympics have been a different story.
Team USA scooped gold in every Olympics since NBA superstars recommitted to the team starting in 2008. The Americans have gone 24-0 in that span with an average winning margin of 27.5. Only Spain, Lithuania, Serbia and France have managed to finish within single digits.
Team USA defeated Spain and Australia in the knockout round en route to a gold medal match berth. They take on France, who famously beat the US in the opening game of Olympic play. France was able to edge Slovenia in the semifinals 90-89. Slovenia now takes on Australia for the bronze medal.
With the sting of defeat fresh on the US’ mind, expect them to come out with a bit more urgency. Oddsmakers don’t see the initial loss as cause for concern as Team USA is strongly favored.
Early Results Cause For Concern?
If Team USA’s odds look low to you, note that they’ve dropped from the aforementioned -300 opener. That’ll happen when you lose back-to-back stunners in the pre-Olympic exhibitions. First, Nigeria shocked the Americans 90-87. Then, Australia beat them 91-83.
Team USA was installed as early -14 favorites against France. On the money line, they were -1125 with France coming back at +700. Of course, the shocking upset by the French has caused the Team USA Olympic odds to drop even further.
After rattling off three straight wins– including a 54-point blowout over Iran– the US appears to be back on track.
Olympic basketball rules also differ slightly from the NBA. Keep that in mind when projecting expected performance.
How To Watch USA Basketball
Team USA Basketball kicks off its 2020 Olympics mission against a tough opponent in France. That’s the first of three group stage matches.
- August 6: Gold medal match: Team USA vs. France (9:30 p.m. EDT)
The top-two finishers from Groups A, B and C advance to the knockout round. The two best third-place finishers in the four-team groups will join them for the eight-team bracket. The quarterfinals play out Aug. 2-3 with the semifinals scheduled for Aug. 5. The gold medal game takes place Aug. 6 at 10:30 p.m. EDT.
NBC will host TV coverage for the 2020 Olympics. Most if not all of the Team USA games should be available for viewing on the NBC family of networks.