If you forced an American to pick a sport to stake his house on the US winning an Olympic gold, then basketball would top most people’s list. Along with football, baseball and hockey, basketball is one of four most popular sports in the US with the country’s dominance on the world stage legendary.
Betting on Olympics Basketball
When it comes to Olympics betting, all straight win bets should be avoided when the US are playing. The men may have finished a barely believable seventh in the recent world championships in China, but they’ll be firing at Tokyo 2021. The women are just as dominant and you have to go back to 1992 for the last time they didn’t win Olympics gold.
When it comes to the US, stick to the spread bet, or line bet, which gives a handicap to the favorite. Keep an eye out for any ‘generous’ handicaps and if the US are given a minus 20 value against a team they should beat by 30 points, then take that bet. The biggest threat will likely come from Spain in both the men’s and women’s events.
Other basketball bets include highest point scorer and win margins and you can check sites like betamerica and pointsbet for what odds they’re offering. Also, check American betting sites to see their offers for new and existing customers and they’ll teach you how to read basketball odds; if you can’t find the bet you want contact your betting provider to see what they’re offering.
And don’t forget the in-play betting options which allow you to bet during the game. Keep in tune with the latest basketball news and Olympics updates on olympicchannel with live games on ABC, ESPN and TNT.
Men's and women's basketball in Tokyo 2021
Men's and women's basketball will be contested at the 2021 Summer Olympics to be held in Tokyo, Japan.
Bettors in the USA will not only have the option to bet point spreads, totals, money lines and other propositions during the 2021 Olympic basketball tournament but also will be able to wager on group placement finishes by teams.
Check what US bookies will offer Olympic basketball betting odds (Tokyo 2020) and promotions here. We recommend BetAmerica, BetRivers PA, Pointsbet, BetStars (FOX BET), Sugar House PA sportsbook and 888Sport NJ betting app.
For now, the most frequent bet available is Team USA against the field to win the Gold Medal, where the Americans can be had for mostly between -1000 and -2000 with the take back averaging around +750.
The United States has most of the world's top players including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis.
There will be standard five-player basketball, but medals will also be awarded in 3X3 basketball, which is a three-player variant played on one basket.
Teams to bet and watch at the 2021 Olympic men's basketball tournament, especially in pool play:
Australia – The Boomers are the likely second choice in the tournament at under 10-to-1 and are a favorite to gain its first Olympic medal ever. NBA stars Ben Simmons and Joe Ingles lead the perennial FIBA Oceania champs.
Serbia – The two-time World Cup champions and two-time Olympic silver medalists are ranked fourth in the world and are led by NBA star Nikola Jokic. Serbia will likely be more than 10-to-1 to win the Gold Medal.
Canada – Canada Basketball doesn't rank very high in the FIBA rankings and the country owns just one silver medal (1936) in nine Olympia appearances, however, the team will feature NBA stars Jamal Murray, Andrew Wiggins and Tristan Thompson, as well as, several other NBA players. The team is certainly a medal contender and will be close to 25-to-1 or higher to win gold.
Spain – Four-time Olympic medalist Spain had been listed mostly at around 50-to-1 as recently as last summer but their odds have dropped considerably as the second-ranked team in the FIBA rankings. With NBA veterans Ricky Rubio and Nikola Mirotic joined by brothers Marc and Pau Gasol, this team has been one of the best international clubs for the last ten years.
France – The two-time silver medalists at the Olympics are led by young NBA star Rudy Gobert. The national team roster includes several other notable names to international basketball fans, as well. France will be more than 30-to-1 to win the tournament and are ranked third in the latest FIBA rankings.
Croatia – The team from Croatia, which captured an Olympic silver medal in 1992, will feature a few NBA regulars, however, the team will likely be close to 50-to-1 to win. Croatia is likely the best of the other serious medal contenders.
Other countries with above world standard squads that have an outside chance to medal include Lithuania (50-1), featuring Jonas Valanciunas, Greece (50-1), with Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Germany (100-1), led by Dennis Schroder.
Are USA team favorite to win 2021 Olympics basketball tournament?
No country can match the success of the U.S. at the Olympic men's basketball tournament.
The United States has won gold at 15 of the 18 Summer Olympics it has competed in the sport. Team USA didn't send a delegation to the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow as part of an international boycott.
Over the last decade under the previous coach Mike Krzyzewski, Team USA has been nearly unbeatable, posting a 75-1 record against international competition, winning three Olympic gold medals, three FIBA World Championships and one FIBA Americas Championship.
Team USA is now coached by legendary San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
Although most USA sportsbooks currently aren't offering betting odds to win the Gold Medal at the 2020 Olympics, bettors can expect a full complement of betting options as the tournament approaches.
What team shall I bet during 2021 Olympics basketball?
Expect the United States to win (according to the US bookies betting odds) but consider several of the above teams when getting points from the Americans. Team USA is often favored by 20 points or more, even against clubs filled with several NBA veterans and young stars. Other teams that may provide underrated value for bettors at the 2021 Olympic basketball tournament on an individual game and group betting basis are Canada, Spain and Greece.
Other longshots for a medal include Argentina (ranked 5th in last FIBA ranking), Slovenia (ranked 7th in last FIBA ranking) and Russia (ranked 10th in last FIBA ranking).
Where to watch men's Olympic basketball tournament in the USA?
In the United States, the men's Olympic basketball tournament can be seen on the NBCUniversal family of networks. Most of the games involving Team USA will receive prime time or featured time slot coverage on the network's main telecasts, while games involving other nations will be seen on the main network's sister networks, as well as, live streaming provided by NBC Universal.
Basketball history and Olympics
The game was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts in the 1890s and has been a staple diet of American sports’ fans for the past 100 years. The National Basketball Association, NBA, was established in the late 1940s and the sport grew throughout the second half of the 20th century.
The sport made its Olympics bow in Berlin in 1936 with the USA lifting gold. Women’s basketball was introduced in 1976 and of the 30 gold medals won in the sport, the USA has taken 26 of them.
The pinnacle of the sport in the Olympics was the 1992 games when superstars like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson formed part of the USA Dream Team which took gold.