Whenever the Summer Olympic Games are being held, it’s common knowledge that Team USA’s men’s basketball team is going to be one of the best squads out on the court. After all, there are no players more talented than those in the NBA and a lot of them happen to be American. It’ll be no different for Tokyo 2021.
With that being said, this year’s American men’s basketball team is once again loaded on paper, yet they’ve struggled during recent international friendly meetings. Before defeating Argentina on July 13, Team USA had lost to Nigeria and Australia — two teams that they should’ve beaten. This raised concerns as to whether or not this was a team fit to play under international rules since players aren’t getting the type of calls they’d see in an NBA game. However, following the victory over Argentina, it seems like Team USA is back on track and are the current favorites to win gold in Tokyo, according to Bovada.
Bovada is favoring the Americans to win gold in Tokyo at -600 odds. No other teams are coming close to touching those odds, so it seems like Team USA’s exhibition losses haven’t affected them in that regard. The fact is that when you have a team with guys like Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum, Damian Lillard and just about everyone else, it’s hard not to find success. While the Americans do look a lot more vulnerable than they were before their losses to Nigeria and Australia, those games will be in the rearview mirror by the time the Tokyo Olympics begin.
Here’s a look at how the rest of the odds are shaping up.
Tokyo 2021: Men’s Basketball Gold Medal Odds
Odds via Bovada as of Thursday, July 15
- Team USA (-600)
- Spain (+1000)
- Australia (+1200)
- France (+1800)
- Slovenia (+1800)
- Nigeria (+2500)
- Argentina (+3300)
- Italy (+4000)
- Germany (+6600)
- Czech Republic (+10000)
- Japan (+30000)
- Iran (+50000)
Spain Has Second-Best Odds Behind USA
At +1000, Spain has the second-best odds to walk out of Tokyo with a gold medal in men’s basketball. While they’ve yet to win gold in the past, they have won one bronze and two silver medals over the last three Summer Olympic Games, which shows that they’re usually one of the top teams when it comes to the sport.
Even though Spain may not have the type of team that the United States has assembled, they still have their fair share of NBA talent. Guys like Ricky Rubio and both Marc and Pau Gasol were on Spain’s preliminary roster and could help their country achieve gold. Yes, the Gasol brothers are older now, but they’ve excelled on the international stage in the past and with this likely being their last Olympics together, they’ll want to go out on top. Besides, the team just won the 2019 FIBA World Cup with a fairly similar roster, so it’s not hard to envision them performing well in Tokyo.
Could Australia be a Dark Horse?
Team Australia received a lot of attention from around the basketball world after they defeated Team USA, 91-83, in an international friendly. A win like that has helped to give them +1200 odds to win gold in Tokyo — which would be the country’s first-ever medal in the sport.
Australia enters the Summer Olympics with a roster that includes NBA talent like Patty Mills, Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes and Matisse Thybulle. While those men aren’t NBA superstars, they work well together as underdogs and have the potential to pull off an upset in Tokyo. After all, they’re used to playing against superstar NBA players every night of the season, so this isn’t anything new for them. They just need to find a way to pull off a shocking win when it counts rather than just during an exhibition game.