The first round of the Olympic Men’s Basketball tournament kick-off on Saturday night, and we will see a wide range of matchups in the first round. While these teams have all made it to the top 8 of the world, this doesn’t mean they are evenly matched by any means. Let’s dive into the picks so you can get ready to bet against their Olympics Basketball odds.
Olympics Men’s Basketball – 4 Games on Sunday: Surprises, Upsets, Odds
Czech Republic (-16.5) Vs Iran (+16.5)
The Czech Republic is a large favorite here, led by NBA contributor Tomas Satoranksy. While it may not feel comfortable, I think I will lean with the Czech Republic here, laying the points because of the quality of overall basketball that these two teams play. The Czech Republic were not some lock to be here, and neither was Iran, but these two teams are on completely different levels, just like the odds suggest.
While Iran had a good showing in some regional matchups, they have also shown time and time again that they are just not able to compete with most European teams over the years. In their last five friendlies, albeit against only Japan and Spain, they are 1-4, but more notably, each losing performance was by more than 25 points, suggesting that this line is far from too big.
Italy (-5.5) Vs Germany (+5.5)
This game is going to be a stay away from when it comes to betting the spread, as I really don’t see an edge at this number. I prefer Italy without a doubt in this game, but 5.5 is not nothing when it comes to the spread on an international basketball game, and it would be a stay away from that perspective.
Italy is -243 on the moneyline, and that is something that could be a parlay addition or a small moneyline play. I favor Italy because I think they have the better one-two punch in Mannion and Fontecchio, especially when we factor in the fact that Germany’s best player is a liability on defense if the Italians can get a switch in screen actions. I lean with the Italians if you must play the spread as well.
Nigeria (+7.5) Vs Australia (-7.5)
Australia is a sizable favorite here mainly because of their overall roster build and their continuity as a team. This is a team full of veterans that we can count on in international play. The Australians are full of solid ball handlers like Delladova, Exum, Ingles, and Mills, and this makes them reliable, especially in an international game that isn’t really a focus of most players and can lead to sloppy play.
They are also a team that has played together a lot over the years, unlike a team like Nigeria, which is reliant on a lot of young talent. I actually want to bet on Nigeria from a talent standpoint in this tournament, but this is not the matchup.
USA (-11.5) Vs France (+11.5)
Once again, I’ll lean to the favorite here, with the USA laying -11.5 points in a matchup against one of the better teams in the tournament. We’ve gotten word that all three USA players taking part in the NBA Finals will be available for this game, and that should give the US team a boost both offensively and defensively. France does have a significant NBA presence and is a team to look out for, but I think a team with players like Fournier, Batum, and Gobert would really prefer to play against a team that is less athletic than this USA squad.
We saw Gobert struggle in the playoffs with a small ball lineup, and team USA lacked a true five until adding Javale McGee recently. I don’t expect him to have a major impact in this game anyways. I think the iso-ball heavy team USA should have no problems shaking the defenders on the France side, thus leading to a clean, double-digit win.
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