Despite losing their first two exhibition games against Nigeria and Australia, Team USA — comprised of NBA All-Stars — is still the betting favorite to win the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics at -550 odds.
Aside from Team USA, Spain at +1100 odds and Australia at +1200 odds are also potential gold medal contenders, according to a special Tokyo Olympics update by DraftKings.
Team USA won the gold medal at the previous three Olympics in 2008 (Beijing), 2012 (London), and 2016 (Rio). Argentina is the only team to break the streak of American dominance in men’s basketball.
|Tokyo Olympics Men’s Basketball Gold Medal Odds|
The host country, Japan, earned an automatic spot in the Olympics for men’s basketball, but they’re one of the long shots at +30000 odds. Japan is led by Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards.
Men’s Basketball: Groups A, B, C
A total of 12 men’s basketball teams will participate in the Olympics, and will be broken down into three groups of four teams. The top two teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals, with the two best third-place teams also earning a spot.
Group A includes the USA, France, the Czech Republic, and Iran. Both Team USA and France are expected to advance to the medal round. Group B has Australia, Germany, Italy, and Nigeria. Australia is the best team in Group B, but there will be a heck of a battle for that second spot between Germany, Italy, and Nigeria. There’s a good chance a third-place team from Group B will advance.
Group C features the host country of Japan, along with Argentina, Slovenia, and Spain. Spain is the favorite to win the group, but Slovenia and Argentina will be slugging it out for the second spot. But much like Group B, there could be a third team selected from Group C.
Will Spain or Australia Upset Team USA?
Australia already proved they can pose a problem for Team USA after a close win on Monday night in Las Vegas. The Aussies are led by NBA players Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Aaron Baynes, Matt Dellavedova, Matisse Thybulle, and Dante Exum.
Australia lost in the bronze medal game in Rio at the last Olympics. They also finished in fourth place at the FIBA World Cup in 2019. You can back Australia at +1200 odds.
Spain won the FIBA World Cup in 2019, so they’re technically the team to beat on the world stage. They also medaled in the previous three Olympics with a bronze in 2016, and silver in both 2008 and 2012. Spain has a trio of active NBA players anchored by Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, and Willy Hernangomez. They also have a trio of ex-NBA players with Pau Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, and Alex Abrines. At +1100 odds, Spain is the highest team on the futures board behind the US to win a gold medal
Long Shots: France, Slovenia, Argentina
Slovenia is a popular pick at +2000 odds, but they lack depth aside from the Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic and Vlatko Cancar, a bench player for the Denver Nuggets. Slovenia won a qualifying tournament against Lithuania last week thanks to a triple-double from Doncic.
France had an impressive showing at the 2019 World Cup when they finished in third place. They’re +1900 odds to win a gold medal, but they’re still a long shot. I’d say they have a legit chance at a bronze medal. France previously won silver in 1948 (yes, 1948!) and in 2000 after losing to the US in the finals both times.
The current French national team has lots of NBA experience including Rudy Gobert, Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier, Frank Ntilikina, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Vincent Poirier, Nando de Colo, and Guerschon Yabusele.
At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Argentina pulled off the major upset over the US in the semifinals, thanks to 29 points from Manu Ginobli. Team USA defeated Lithuania in the bronze medal match, while Argentina blew out Italy in the finals to win their only gold medal in men’s basketball.
Team USA defeated Argentina in an exhibition game on Tuesday in Las Vegas. Argentina is currently +4000 odds to win another gold medal with four pros in the NBA and one ex-NBA player, including Facundo Campazzo from the Denver Nuggets and Leandro Bolmaro, who was a first-round draft pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The country is riding a huge high after winning the Copa America for the first time in 28 years, with Lionel Messi delivering his home country its first major title. So, why not add a gold medal to Argentina’s run?