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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of Canada and Anthony Edwards and Austin Reaves of the United States seen in action as we offer our best USA vs. Canada prediction and odds for Wednesday's Olympic exhibition in Las Vegas.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of Canada and Anthony Edwards and Austin Reaves of the United States seen in action in the FIBA Basketball World Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena-Manila. Photo by Nicholas Muller / SOPA Images via Imagn.

The last time the U.S. national team faced Canada on the hardwood, the Americans were upset in stunning fashion in the FIBA World Cup last summer. Our best sports betting sites expect a reversal of fortune this time around.

Team USA is a 15.5-point favorite to beat Canada in Wednesday's exhibition between the two favorites by the men's Olympic basketball odds, which tips off from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas at 10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on FS1 and Fubo.

Here is our best USA vs. Canada prediction and odds for the first Olympic tune-up for either side.

USA vs. Canada prediction

Pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale; odds via our best sports betting apps.

Canada +15.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The last time we saw these teams share the court, the Canadians picked up one of the biggest wins in program history - a 127-118 overtime win over the Americans to secure their first-ever medal in the FIBA World Cup.

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That prompted an all-hands call by Team USA with LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Joel Embiid teaming up to all but ensure a gold medal in this summer's Olympic tournament. Fittingly, the Americans are roughly -400 favorites to win it all, and I'd be hard-pressed to bet against them.

That said, this group just met in Las Vegas on Saturday for training camp, and it has very little experience on the court together. Compare that to the Canadians, who are a year removed from that FIBA run and have a whole lot more on the line Wednesday than their neighbors to the south.

Motivation looms in exhibition

We've already heard it from Canadian wing Dillon Brooks: this game means a little more to Canada, which hasn't medaled in Olympic men's basketball since 1936 and knows it'll have to get past Team USA if it hopes to secure gold in Paris.

For the Americans, this is clearly a tune-up. We've seen USA Basketball treat exhibition games like glorified scrimmages in the past, a means to work out the kinks before the stakes are raised. So why, exactly, should we expect this group to come out hot just days after their first practice together?

Fittingly, Durant (calf) won't be suiting up on Wednesday, and while Team USA clearly has the depth to withstand that hit, it's another signal to me that we shouldn't expect a full-strength team - on paper or in practice - in this exhibition.

Don't sleep on Canada

Even if this weren't an exhibition, I like the way that Canada matches up with Team USA on paper.

There's a case to be made that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be the best player on the court Wednesday, as he finished second behind only Serbian star Nikola Jokic in NBA MVP voting. Behind SGA, Canada has elite defensive size and skill along the perimeter to fluster the U.S. attack, and it has enough offensive shot creation to create problems for Team USA if it doesn't give full effort defensively.

The clear advantage for the Americans remains down low, where Embiid is a matchup nightmare for any opponent but especially Canada. That said, given his injury history, I'd be shocked if the Americans force-feed the former MVP in an exhibition opener or even offer him a full workload.

Don't be surprised if Gilgeous-Alexander, Jamal Murray, and the other top NBA talent on the Canadian roster take this one personally. With such a large spread for an exhibition game, this one is an easy call for me, and I wouldn't be shocked by an outright win for Canada.

USA vs. Canada odds

USA-15.5-2000Over 194.5
Canada+15.5+750Under 194.5

USA vs. Canada game info

  • When: Wednesday, July 10
  • Tip-off: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: T-Mobile Arena (Las Vegas)
  • How to watch: FS1, Fubo
  • Favorite: USA -15.5

USA-Canada prediction made Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. ET.

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