Team USA has dominated men's basketball at the Olympics in recent history, but the Americans are expected to have a tougher road in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Team USA starts Group A play on Sunday against France as it looks to advance out of a group that also includes the Czech Republic and Iran. The American are still -300 favorites (risk $300 to win $100) overall to win the gold, according to William Hill Sprotsbook. But after a couple uninspiring performances during exhibition play, Team USA doesn't appear to have the same margin for error it has enjoyed in past Olympics.
Tip-off is set for 9 a.m. ET. Team USA is a 12.5-point favorite in the latest USA vs. France odds from William Hill. The over-under for total points is set at 178.5. Before locking in any France vs. USA basketball picks or predictions, you need to see what SportsLine's Olympics expert, Mike Tierney, has to say.
A national sportswriter whose work appears in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has covered nine Olympic Games in person. At Rio in 2016, Tierney profited big-time. He told readers to bet over on Team USA's gold medal count (41.5) and over on Team USA's overall medal count (102.5). The result? 46 golds, 121 medals and two easy cashes.
And for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Tierney hit two of his three predictions: Germany (+200) to win the most gold medals and the United States winning under 10.5 gold medals (+110).
Now, with the Tokyo Summer Olympics starting, Tierney has analyzed every angle of Sunday's USA vs. France matchup and revealed his top Olympic basketball picks and predictions. He's only sharing those picks at SportsLine. Now, here are the Olympics 2021 odds and betting trends for France vs. USA:
- USA vs. France spread: USA -12.5
- USA vs. France over-under: 178.5 points
- USA vs. France money line: USA -800, France +550
- USA: Going for fourth-straight gold medal
- FRA: Has not medaled since 2000 Sydney Olympic Games (silver)
Why you should back the USA
This Team USA roster might not have 'Dream Team' talent as several of the nation's biggest stars didn't come to Tokyo. But the Americans should still enjoy a substantial talent edge in this matchup. Kevin Durant is among the best players in the world and he brings plenty of scoring upside and international experience. Durant, the 2014 NBA MVP and a two-time NBA champion, won gold with Team USA in 2012 and 2016.
The Americans still have loads of scoring talent in the backcourt with Devin Booker and Damian Lillard headlining the list of guards. Defensive stoppers such as Bam Adebayo, Jrue Holiday and Draymond Green should also play a big role. Expect Team USA to play with a chip on its shoulder as it faces doubters following recent exhibition losses. That could be enough to lift the Americans to a convincing win and cover in this Olympic opener.
Why you should back France
The United States has looked vulnerable and was held under 90 points in two of its three exhibition games earlier this month. Rudy Gobert, a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, can limit Team USA's scoring opportunities by anchoring France's defense as a rim protector. JaVale McGee is Adebayo's only backup at center. Nicolas Batum and Frank Ntilikina can act as versatile defenders on the perimeter against an opposing team that lacks its usual chemistry and depth.
Booker, Khris Middleton, and Holiday haven't had much time to mesh with Team USA, and Zach LaVine also missed time due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Four United States players on this year's roster didn't make an All-Star team this past NBA season, so there's no telling what the rotation will be in a high-stakes game like this. France finished third in the FIBA international championships just two years ago and is no slouch.
How to make 2021 Tokyo Olympics picks
Tierney has taken a close look at the USA vs. France Olympic basketball matchup from all angles and is leaning under on the point total. He's also found a critical x-factor that has him jumping on one side of the Team USA vs. France spread. He's only sharing his top picks and Olympics 2021 basketball predictions at SportsLine.
So who wins the USA vs. France game and where does the betting value lay? And which side of the France vs. USA spread is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get Mike Tierney's predictions for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, all from the renowned sportswriter who's covered nine Olympics in person and cashed big in both 2016 and '18, and find out.