Our basketball handicapper provides an overview of the upcoming Olympics Men’s Basketball Tournament. Read on as he gives his insight and suggestions on some basketball picks.
2016 Olympic Men's Basketball
The Men's basketball competition at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games is set to commence on Saturday 8/6. There's three games on tap, and one of those includes prohibitive favorite United States (-1600) taking on China.
The preliminary portion of the tournament consists of two groups of six teams each. The top four teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals of the competition.
- United States
Gold Medal Futures Odds
The men's basketball gold medal futures odds listed below and are courtesy of Bovada.
- USA -1600
- Spain +1000
- France +1400
- Serbia +2200
- Brazil +2800
- Lithuania +2800
- Argentina +2800
- Croatia +5000
- China +50000
- Australia +15000
- Venezuela +50000
- Nigeria +5000
The United States will unequivocally be the odds-on favorite to win this group. This group also features three teams that finished first (USA), second (Serbia), and third (France) at the 2014 FIBA World Cup. During the past two weeks, we've seen the United States basketball betting odds to win the gold medal go from -1200 to its current -1600. The biggest move during that same time period undoubtedly belonged to Serbia, proven by initially being +3300, and now they're +2200. Serbia and France will likely battle it out for second place in Group A. Barring a huge upset, China, Australia, and Venezuela will vie for the final quarterfinals spot.
You can surely make a strong case for this being the deepest group. All six teams are ranked in the top fourteen of the FIBA world rankings with #2 Spain, #3 Lithuania, #4 Argentina, #9 Brazil, #11 Australia, #12 Croatia, and #14 China.
It's worth noting, the host nation Brazil went from +2000 odds on 7/17, and is currently+2800 to win the gold medal. Spain should come out on top. Nonetheless, a sleeper in this group for one of your basketball picks could be Australia. The Australians will be led by NBA players Paddy Mills, Mathew Dellavedova, and Andrew Bogut.
The United States enters this 2016 Olympic Tournament on a 65-game winning streak, which includes 45 straight wins in FIBA sanctioned tournaments, and 18 consecutive victories during 18 exhibition contests. On paper, this is the weakest United States team since 2004, and even possibly back to days when college players accounted for 100% of the roster. However, that comparison is made against other United States NBA-laden squads and not national teams from other countries. The United States will attempt to win its third straight Olympics Gold medal.
If there's one team that's capable of dethroning the USA it's Spain. The Spaniards lost the last two Gold Medal Games to the United States by scores of 118-107 in 2008, and 107-100 four years ago. Spain possesses some quality NBA players like Pau Gasol (San Antonio), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota), and Jose Calderon (LA Lakers). There's no doubt the NBA is considered the world's top league. Nevertheless, the top Spanish pro league is widely considered second best by a sizable margin. You can make a lot worse Olympic basketball picks than Spain at +1000 to win gold.