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Olympic Men’s Basketball Market Report: Bettors Fading Team USA vs. Iran

Olympic Men’s Basketball Market Report: Bettors Fading Team USA vs. Iran article feature image

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images). Pictured: Kevin Durant

The majority of wagers and money are on Iran to cover against the U.S. men's national basketball team for their Olympics matchup scheduled for 12:40 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning.

About 69% of the bets and 61% of the total money at PointsBet are on Iran's point spread, which as of Tuesday afternoon sits at +39.5.

Iran opened as 41.5-point underdogs before the line shortened over the course of the last few days.

Team USA has lost three of its last four games, including an 83-76 loss to France in its first Olympic game on Sunday. It was the first time since 2004 that the team lost a game in the Olympics.

The U.S. also lost to Australia (91-83) and Nigeria (90-87) during a particularly embarrassing exhibition tournament in the lead-up to the Olympics.

The team has been forced to weather some last-second dropouts to go along with their on-court foibles, too.

Bradley Beal had to give up his spot on the roster after entering coronavirus-related health protocols and Kevin Love dropped out due to the lingering effects from a calf injury he suffered during the regular season.

Beal and Love were replaced by Keldon Johnson — the San Antonio Spurs’ fifth leading scorer — and JaVale McGee, who averaged just 14.7 minutes per game last season.

The culmination of all these factors have made fading the U.S. a popular move.

At every major sportsbook, the U.S.' odds to repeat as gold medalists have gradually plummeted since the beginning of July.

PointsBet opened their odds at -1000 that Team USA would take home the gold medal and held firm even after the team's exhibition loss to Nigeria on July 10.

But after the U.S. lost to Australia two days later, that line dropped to -625. The line shortened to -400 in the days leading up to the Olympics amid the news that Beal was off the roster.

Following the U.S.' loss to France on Sunday, the line initially dipped all the way to -220 before settling at -250, where it stands as of Tuesday afternoon.

At DraftKings, the line opened at -335 in June before it lengthened steadily to -1000 leading up to their match against Nigeria.

Like PointsBet, DraftKings held firm with their futures after Team USA lost to Nigeria, but shortened the odds substantially after the Australia loss, moving the line to -550.

That line became -320 before the U.S.' first Olympic game. Following their defeat to France, the odds moved to -225 before shortening further to -220, where it remains as of Tuesday afternoon.

BetMGM opened with the U.S. as -1000 favorites to win their 16th gold medal. That line moved to -800 after the Nigeria loss and -600 after the Australia loss.

After Beal and Love were replaced, the odds fell to -350.

The line then shortened to where it currently stands at -250 after the U.S.' humiliating defeat in Saitama.

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