USA vs. Argentina Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Tuesday’s Olympic Exhibition (July 13)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard #6 of the USA Men’s National Team.
USA vs. Argentina Odds
|Time||6 p.m. ET|
After their shocking lost to Nigeria as 29.5-point favorites, the United States men’s basketball team with a second consecutive exhibition loss to Australia on Monday night after leading by nine points at halftime.
Although these games don’t count, they’re particularly noteworthy as the men’s national team previously held a 54-2 record in exhibitions since NBA players became apart of Olympic competition in 1992.
With losses to Nigeria and Australia doubling this total in the past two days, there’s concern from analysts and fans alike that the rest of the world has caught up to the United States.
Is it warranted? Oddsmakers don’t seem to think so as they’ve listed the US as 17.5-point favorites in their third exhibition game against Argentina.
Can they snap this downward slide and get their first win in dominant fashion or will this team continue to struggle? Let’s find out.
What’s Wrong With USA Basketball?
The lack of star power on this year’s US Men’s Olympic basketball team is immediately evident. There is no LeBron James, Steph Curry, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden or Kyrie Irving.
While the US still has arguably the best player in the world in Kevin Durant along with plenty of scoring options — Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum and Zach LaVine — there isn’t much there in regards to defense, rim protection and bigs.
Jrue Holiday, Khris middleton and Devin Booker have yet to join the team as they’re playing in the NBA Finals and while they should help, it’s clear the roster isn’t well put together.
Lillard, Beal and LaVine are all score-first players with defensive deficiencies that make them liabilities. In the past two games, Lillard has been lit up by Caleb Agada and Patty Mills. We’re also seeing team USA struggle with communication due to lack of time spent playing together.
Some of this could be solved with Holiday, but the US lacks size outside of Bam Adebayo, Jerami Grant and Draymond Green, all of whom could be liabilities on offense. Kevin Love, who was solid on past Olympic teams, is a shell of his former self and likely won’t play much. As a whole, this team is too small and they were out-rebounded for the second straight game (32-25) and were outscored in the paint 44-24.
You also have to wonder if Gregg Popovich is the man for this job at this point. Towards the end of the game, the offense appeared to be stuck in the mud with heavy isolation attempts and forced 3-pointers. After going 75-1 under Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, the US is 9-5 in the last two years.
For those saying USA will be fine once the real games start, it's worth keeping in mind that exhibition struggles have usually meant struggles in the real games as well.
— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) July 13, 2021
Despite all the flaws on this roster, the US is still more talented than everyone else. They took control of Monday’s exhibition against Australia with a 20-6 run to hold nine point lead at halftime. Lillard scored 22 points on 6-of-11 shooting from behind the arc and Durant added 17 points, but as a whole, they didn’t shoot particularly well at just 46.2% overall and 36% from behind the arc.
One thing to keep in mind is that this team doesn’t have much experience playing together compared to other national teams.
These guys are STRUGGLING without NBA refs lol pic.twitter.com/xK6hssOffC
— Cranjis McBasketball (@Tim_NBA) July 13, 2021
In addition, the NBA game and FIBA rules are completely different games and require adjustments, something the US should get used to as they continue to play together.
Can Argentina Bridge the Talent Gap?
Argentina enters this matchup off a 94-81 loss to Nigeria on Monday night and one thing is immediately evident. Although it ranked fourth and comes off a silver medal finish at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Argentina lacks the athleticism to hang with teams that have multiple high-level NBA players.
Nigeria dominated in fast break points, generally outworking Argentina for much of the game. This is certainly something the US is capable of to an even higher degree.
Argentina has four NBA players on the roster — Facundo Campazzo (Denver Nuggets-), Leandro Bolmaro (No. 23 overall pick 2020 NBA Draft with the Minnesota Timberwolves-), Gabriel Deck (Oklahoma City Thunder-) and Lucas Vildoza (New York Knicks-) — in addition to Luis Scola, a former 10-year NBA veteran.
The US has had a rocky start to the Olympic Exhibitions but they’ve showed signs of improvement from their Game 1 loss against Nigeria to Monday’s loss against Australia. The US simply couldn’t maintain the intensity they showed in the first half for the entire game. I’m expecting that here.
I’ll take back the US to defeat Argentina in dominant fashion as Argentina should struggle with their athleticism similar to their game against Nigeria.
Pick: USA Basketball 1H -8.5 (-110) and Full Game -18.5