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Olympic basketball odds: Should Team USA still be heavy favorites in Tokyo?

The easy answer is Yes. Though, there is reason to believe the powerhouse of hoops may struggle a bit over in Japan. Let’s take a look at the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.

JaVale McGee of the Denver Nuggets looks on prior to the game against the Portland Trail Blazers during Round 1, Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 29, 2021 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.  Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

Team USA basketball has always been the powerhouse when it comes to the Olympics. Well, at least most of the time. In 2021, countries will head to Tokyo, Japan, for the Summer Olympics and basketball will be at the forefront of the games. The U.S. is sending a roster you’d think would have an easy time steamrolling its way to a gold medal. That may not be the case this time around.

Team USA has already been the focus of a lot of criticism this summer. They’ve lost two exhibition games to weaker competition (Nigeria and Australia). They’ve had Covid-19 concerns with Bradley Beal and Jerami Grant. Beal is off the roster and on Friday, Kevin Love announced he won’t be attending next week and is out. Losing Beal is big, losing Love isn’t as big. Either way, their replacements leave much to be desired: JaVale McGee and Keldon Johnson.

All of that shouldn’t matter, though, right? The roster still features Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo, Zach LaVine and Draymond Green. Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton and Devin Booker are also supposed to show up. You’d think a bunch of NBA replacement players teamed with KD and Dame would be enough to win a gold medal. I guess chemistry matters a bit more than we think.

So now there are some question marks surrounding Team USA and how big a favorite they should be to win it all. Let’s take a look at the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.

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