2016 Olympics Predictions: Can Anyone Beat USA in Men’s Basketball?
It can’t be easy to bet against your own country, but with the 2016 Olympics just around the corner, the thought is tempting. After all, the USA men’s basketball team are easy -1200 favorite to get things started, so betting on them doesn’t offer up much reward for the amount of risk that could be associated.
USA Looks Tough
Then again, it’s fair to wonder just how smart betting against a team stacked with some of the best talent in world would be.
There won’t be LeBron James or Stephen Curry sightings this time around, but the team still looks pretty loaded up, with a ton of star talent. There is so much star talent on this Olympics team, in fact, that some really good players won’t start and some may barely hit the floor. Kevin Durant is a lock to be in the starting five, but from there, it’s anyone’s guess how team USA will unfold.
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) June 27, 2016
One thing we do know, however, is this team looks scary on paper. Here’s the official men’s basketball Olympics roster for 2016:
- Kevin Durant
- Carmelo Anthony
- Harrison Barnes
- Kyrie Irving
- DeMarcus Cousins
- DeAndre Jordan
- Klay Thompson
- Jimmy Butler
- DeMar DeRozan
- Paul George
- Draymond Green
- Kyle Lowry
This team boasts five elite defenders, five elite ISO scorers and overall looks like it has more than enough talent to secure it’s third straight Olympic title. With Kevin Durant leading a deep team, it’s tough to argue against that logic.
USA Olympics Odds
Per Bovada, USA is the easy call. Bet the farm on the United States winning gold at the 2016 Olympics, and you probably won’t be disappointed.
Betting the farm isn’t good gambling, though, and betting a total favorite isn’t always the right call. While USA probably takes this thing, we need to consider the rest of the odds. Here they are, per Bovada:
- USA -1200
- France +1000
- Spain +1000
- Brazil +2000
- Argentina +2500
- Lithuania +2500
- Serbia +3300
- Canada +5000
- Croatia +5000
- China +50000
- Nigeria +50000
As talented and deep as the United States is, they aren’t without some legit threats before the real games get going in August.
Vegas has it right out of the gates, as Spain, France and Lithuania have some of the best odds and have historically been some of the tougher outs. Spain has actually made it to the final against the U.S. the last two Olympics and for the most part gave them a good game both times.
France was in the final back in 2000 and figures to have a good roster again that could possibly go on a deep run.
Argentina can’t be ignored, either, as they won in 2004 and took the bronze medal in 2008. They’ve been at least in the mix for years, too, having finished 4th or better in three straight Olympics.
The big fear, in terms of odds, is Lithuania. Lithuania routinely plays with a ton of heart and has been a constant in Olympic play with a finish of 4th place or better in five of the last six Olympics. They’re sure to be in the mix to place again.
USA Olympics Prediction
There is solid competition out there, but the United States continues to be the hot zone for pro ball, and that’s bled into international play, as well.
Kevin Durant is the leading man on this Olympic squad, but he’s far from alone with some excellent scoring help via Melo and Kyrie Irving, bruising strength down low in Boogie and DJ and strong perimeter defense from Jimmy Butler and Draymond Green. Throw in Klay Thompson’s outside shooting and Paul George’s clutch ability, and it’s extremely tough to see how this USA squad loses in August.
We’ll take USA to win Gold, with Spain back in the title game again, taking Silver.
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