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How the public is betting men’s basketball futures at the 2021 Olympics

The Americans enter the competition as favorites despite looking shaky in exhibition play.

Spain v United States
Bam Adebayo of the United States reacts after being called for a foul during an exhibition game against Spain at Michelob ULTRA Arena ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games on July 18, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The United States defeated Spain 83-76.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Team USA comes into the Summer Games after a shaky exhibition record but still featuring the most talented roster in the competition. Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Jaysom Tatum headline the American roster, with NBA champions Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday joining the group with the NBA Finals over. Here’s a look at how the public is betting on gold medal futures in the event courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

2021 Tokyo Olympics men’s basketball gold medal betting splits

There’s a significant level of NBA talent across the globe, leading to a more diverse range of splits compared to the women’s tournament. USA is receiving 65 percent of the money on 53 percent of the bets, making the Americans clear favorites. They’ve won gold in three straight Olympics, although this roster has been cobbled together quickly in similar fashion to the lead-up to the 2004 Games, where USA won bronze. The country’s biggest stars have taken the summer off to recover after two grueling NBA seasons, but the talent is still way ahead of the competition on paper.

Australia features a strong group and is getting some betting action with 17 percent of wagers. The Luka Doncic fan club for Slovenia is throwing money on the national team, with 10 percent of the money coming on the Balkan republic. Spain has a roster loaded with NBA talent and several domestic stars, but is only getting nine percent of all wagers. There could be some value on the Spaniards here. Nigeria, another fan favorite after its Twitter account went bonkers during an upset win over USA in exhibition play, is getting minimal action to round out the top five.

Surprisingly, France is not on this list. Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier and Nicolas Batum are as good an international trio as any team outside of USA and have a history of challenging for medals. The French haven’t won gold, but they did take the silver medal in 2000. Argentina is usually a regular in the medal running, but features a lesser roster this time around.

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