Team USA begins their quest for a fourth straight gold medal on Sunday morning against France.
The American’s have reinforcements on the way with Devin Booker, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday joining the team in Tokyo, who are coming from the NBA Finals. All three are expected to be available for the game on Sunday, according to coach Gregg Popovich.
How should we bet the opening game for the U.S.? Let’s break it down.
When: 8:00 AM EST, Sunday, July 25
Where: Super Arena, Japan
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Keep in mind that the total in this game is below what typical NBA games are due to 10 minute quarters.
The Americans struggled to cover in the exhibition portion of the Olympics, going just 1-3 ATS and 2-2 SU. The team is paced by Damian Lillard’s outside shooting and Kevin Durant’s playmaking, but the addition of Holiday will surely provide some defensive resistance on the perimeter.
Popovich is going to need to make some adjustments to the size of Rudy Gobert, but the Jazz big man isn’t a ball dominant player and I expect the US to be able to slow down the French offensive attack that struggled in the exhibition games.
After a sloppy start for the Americans, I expect a motivated effort, especially against their stiffest competition in Group A, but I’m not going to lay the double digit spread. I will be playing the under, though.
Team USA went under this total in two of the four exhibition games and pushed another one. While the team should be more crisp with the games being more meaningful I'm counting on the pace to only get slower with more riding on each possession.
Meanwhile on the French side, Les Bleus went 0-3 in the exhibition games and didn’t break 80 in any of them.
Even if the United States side are able to hang a big number, I’m banking on their defense to lock down what has been a weak French offense.
You can get even money on this under 177, and with the tighter pace and increased defensive effort this is my strongest bet for the opening matchup.
Pick: Under 177