Rio 2016 Men’s Basketball Expert Betting Picks
With mind-blowing Olympic basketball odds north of -1000 in most sportsbooks to win it all in Rio, it goes without saying that there a lot of expectations when Team USA begins its journey this weekend in the quest for the 2016 Rio Men Basketball Gold. This, mind you, is in spite of the fact that Team USA will be without most of its biggest stars, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, Kahwi Leonard and Dwayne Wade, just to mention a few. So, is Team USA really that good, or are there teams that look the part of being able to upset the huge mountain in NBA’s No. 1 villain Kevin Durant and the USA Basketball team? Read on as we guide your picks in the section below.
Let’s Take a Look at the Rio 2016 Men’s Basketball Expert Betting Picks & Groups
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 3, 2016
Group A: Australia, China, France, Serbia, USA, Venezuela
Group B: Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Lithuania, Nigeria, Spain
My 2016 Olympics Men Basketball Gold Medal Favorite Pick: USA
Even without King James and Chef Curry, the USA basketball team is still heavily stacked up and loaded with talent all over the court. From Durant to his new Golden State teammates in Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, along with All-Star sharpshooters in like Kyle Irving, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, plus All-World centers in DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan; this team is as solid as can ever be. And that is before we talk about Mike Krzyewski’s otherworldly record of 78-1 as team USA’s national head coach. With that, it’s hard to make a case against the Americans as undeserving favorites. And scoping at their already-scared competitors, it will probably take a galactic catastrophe for USA not to bring back the basketball gold at the end of the Rio 2016 Olympics.
My 2016 Olympics Men Basketball Gold Medal Smart Picks: France/ Spain
While most people are high on Spain as the next best team in Rio after USA, reasonable logic pushes to me to opt for France as the smart pick after Team USA. For starters, France easily cruised in its qualifiers and looks well-set for a medal-worthy run as the No. 5-ranked team in FIBA. Besides that momentum, the French boast of some of the best talents from the NBA, including veteran guard Tony Parker, forwards Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw, and a heck of a center in Rudy Gobert. Should Team USA not take the French seriously in Group A, an upset could easily be in the books in Rio.
It’s understandable if you feel that Spain should be the top-most smart pick and not France. Matter of fact, with Team Spain playing in Group B, it will avoid the misfortune of having to play USA in the early stages of the championship, and that should bring a lot of value to their side. Not to mention, as the No. 2-ranked team in FIBA and two-time finalists over the past two Olympics, the Spanish team must have learnt a thing or two about how to exploit USA’s weakness, assuming they have any. That said, Team Spain will be missing the stellar services of big men Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, which could make it difficult for them to contain the many big men in America’s squad. But then again, with household NBA names like Ricky Rubio,
Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol to lead a very talent-laden Spain squad, Team ESP may just end up being the team to play USA for the third straight Olympics basketball final, hopefully doing better than they did in their 11-point loss to the Americans in 2008 and 7-point loss to U.S. in 2012.
My 2016 Olympics Men Basketball Gold Medal Longshot Picks: Lithuania/Argentina
The teams worthy of keeping an eye on here include Lithuania and Argentina, especially if either (or both) of them are able to take advantage of their strong team-oriented basketball, as opposed to the can-hit- or-miss hero basketball often employed by star-studded teams like USA and Spain.