All things must come to an end. The men’s basketball portion of the Olympics will wrap up Friday night and Saturday morning with two final games. Team USA will take on France at 10:30 p.m. ET for the gold medal, and Australia will take on Slovenia at 7:00 a.m. ET for the bronze.
DraftKings Sportsbook is loaded with wagers for these contests, so let’s break down some of my favorites.
United States vs. France:
I went full heel in my last Olympics article and picked against the USA, and I was justly punished. Everything went right for Australia in the first half of that game, and they jumped out to a three-point lead at halftime. After halftime though, it was all USA. They outscored the Aussies by a mark of 32-10 in the third quarter and ultimately cruised to a comfortable 19-point victory. If the USA plays to the best of their abilities, there’s no team in the world that can hang with them.
Now, they’ll have a chance to exact some revenge against France. France handed the Americans their first Olympic men’s basketball defeat since 2004, but there are reasons to believe in a bounce-back performance. For starters, Kevin Durant and Damian Lillard combined to shoot just 7-22 in that contest, which is an extreme outlier for that duo. Jrue Holiday, Devin Booker, and Khris Middleton also played that game basically right after landing in Tokyo following a grueling NBA Finals. Those three players have emerged as key cogs for Team USA, and they should be more involved than they were in their first meeting.
Tatum is someone I’m looking to buy low on for Team USA. He was ineffective in his last contest, finishing with just nine points, but he shot just 3-10 from the field. Tatum is typically an efficient scorer, so I’m expecting some positive regression with him vs. France. He’s averaged 14.4 points per game during the Olympics, which is second only to Kevin Durant’s average of 19.0.
Australia vs. Slovenia:
I have been buying Australia basically all tournament, and I’m not going to stop now. Slovenia is definitely a scary opponent, and they have been basically unbeatable with Luka Doncic in the lineup. He had another huge performance in their loss vs. France in the semifinals, becoming just the third player in history to record a triple-double at the Olympics.
Still, Slovenia doesn’t have a ton of talent around Doncic, which is why they came into the Olympics ranked just No. 16 in the world per FIBA. The Aussies have rolled through this tournament before running into Team USA, and they’re a veteran squad with plenty of talent. They entered the Olympics with the third-most NBA players on their roster, and Patty Mills basically turns into Steph Curry when he dons the Australia uniform.
I’m taking the opportunity to back them as underdogs against a team that has overachieved.
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