In the United States, one of the most looked-forward-to Olympic events is men’s basketball. Why? Because it’s usually where the country excels most, however, these Olympics might be an exception to the rule. Stay with us during this article because we’ll be explaining what we mean, plus give our best bet to win men’s basketball gold.
But before we get to that, we need to see what the current betting odds even are. Right now — in the middle of group stage play — these teams have the best odds at taking home the gold medal, per online bookies:
No surprise here, the Americans — who have won 15 of the 19 gold medals in basketball during Olympic history — are big-time favorites. However, its betting line has completely plunged in recent days. Weeks before the competition began, most bookies had them around -1000 to win — so a 75-percent drop in price. Is their trouble brewing with Team USA or is the new line a steal?
USA Basketball Betting Advice
The Americans are in trouble. Deep trouble, as a matter of fact.
This team is sleepwalking through the Olympics. You saw that in the exhibition games, where it went 2-2 with back-to-back losses against Nigeria and Australia. You saw it again in the opening matchup of the group stage, which ended in a 83-76 loss to France. Simply put, the squad the Americans have trotted out to Tokyo is tired, incohesive, and underwhelming.
There’s a guy on the roster named Keldon Johnson. Don’t know who he is? Let us enlighten you. He’s with the Spurs and finished as the team’s fifth-leading scorer this past season. JaVale McGee is also on the roster, who you surely know for his constant appearances on Shaqtin’ a Fool, a TV segment hosted by Shaquille O’Neal on TNT to rib players for dumb in-game mistakes.
The only two players on the roster that have won gold before are Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, but that’s enough to overcome their shortcomings all around. Not only is the talent bare, but these players just went through the most taxing NBA season possibly ever. A shortened playing schedule and nonstop COVID testing led to a myriad of injuries this season, which affected the Olympic roster, too.
You probably can guess what we’re about to say: you should NOT bet on the United States to win gold. We’re seeing shades of the 2004 roster all over again. For those that can’t recall, that 2004 team only won a bronze medal. Like what happened 17 years ago, this year’s team will soon realize gold medals aren’t won off reputation. You have to want it — and they clearly don’t.
Men’s Basketball Betting Pick — Slovenia
Luka Doncic. That’s it — that’s the exact reason why we’re riding Slovenia to the bank.
We’re not even joking with the above statement. A golden generation in Slovenian hoops is being birthed by Doncic, a top-10 player in the NBA at only 22 years old. In fact, this is the country’s first-ever Olympic bid in basketball.
With that said, don’t think for one second this Slovenia team is untested on the big international stage. All one has to do is look at its performance in the EuroBasketball tourney back in 2017. Back then, Slovenia won the title for the first time in history off the back of Doncic and Goran Dragic.
Much of that roster is back in the mix (minus Dragic), but most of all, Doncic is a significantly better player than four years ago. We all know how much one star player can influence a basketball game, hence our Slovenia pick. We think gold is in their sights, but at the very least, you can wager on them to medal (silver and bronze count here too) at +100. Us, though, we’re taking the bigger risk and wagering they win it all.
Men’s Basketball Betting Back-Up Pick — Spain
It’s never a bad idea to drop several bets on a futures wager — especially when the odds are long like this men’s basketball event. Along with the Doncic-led Slovenians, we’re also spreading our money to the Spaniards.
For the longest time, the US has proved to be a thorn in Spain’s side. The Americans have eliminated Spain three times in a row — twice in the championship game and most recently in the semis. But a weak US side opens the door for an established contender like Spain to finally “get the monkey off their back.” Two separate bets on Slovenia and Spain is a smart choice with the US looking very beatable.
If you’re looking to lock in your bet on the men’s basketball competition — or any other in the Olympics for that matter — then you need to visit one of the betting sites listed below. You’ll find up-to-the-minute 2020 Olympic betting lines at great prices at any one of the bookies featured in the table.
You’ll want to act fast because the men’s tournament will be finished in less than two weeks. Group stage play ends on August 1 and the elimination round that follows is bang-bang quick.
Our last word of advice: make sure to take advantage of the betting site promotions currently available. Every bookie is offering one, whether you’re a new or repeat player. A sample size of what’s on the table is below. Current offers are listed here and as you can see, there are bonuses worth $1000 in free play! Don’t pass these deals up with so many sports to bet on at the moment!