Despite having a shaky build up to the Tokyo Olympics, the USA men’s basketball team are still favourites.
Initially starting as $1.10 frontrunners, their odds have now dropped due to losing warm up games against Australia and Nigeria, as they now sit at $1.28.
Having beaten Argentina and Spain in their final lead up games will have given them a huge boost into the tournament proper, though, where they’ll face France, Iran and the Czech Republic in their group.
Boasting an amazing squad littered with talent and a masterful coach in Gregg Popovich, they’ll certainly be a formidable foe for any team to beat. Able to call on the likes of Kevin Durant, Khris Middleton, Devin Booker, Jrue Holiday, Damian Lillard, Zach LaVine, Draymond Green and Jayson Tatum, it’s understandable why they’re the favourites for gold.
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With weapons all over the court and some quality depth, team USA should entertain and put on a real clinic for the watching world to enjoy.
They certainly won’t have it all their way, however, for the likes of Australia ($8.50), Spain ($9.00), France ($15) and Slovenia ($20) will represent a stern challenge in their quest for glory.
As always with international tournaments, with so little time to prepare and refine strategies, upsets are always possible, so team USA will be doing all they can to avoid any missteps. When speaking ahead of the tournament, Durant gave an intriguing insight into their build up, saying: “I feel like we’re understanding what coach wants for us on both ends of the floor. I feel like guys are getting more comfortable with each other and their roles on the team and that’s only going to go well for us when we start to play real games.
“It was good to get a punch in the mouth early on to remind us it isn’t going to be a cakewalk. So many people are used to Team USA coming in and blowing everyone out. It was good for us to see that and hopefully, those are the last losses.”
Set to be an exciting tournament, the hunt for Olympic gold in basketball is sure to be a fascinating race from start to finish, with America rightfully starting as the team to beat.