USA vs. France Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our Best Bets for Friday’s Olympic Gold Medal Game (Aug. 6)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard of USA, Rudy Gobert of France.
Team USA and Team France will go head-to-head for the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Friday in a matchup that is filled with good NBA players on both sides.
The French enter the matchup undefeated in this tournament while the Americans have lost just once to France in the preliminary round. Can head coach Gregg Popovich and Team USA make the necessary adjustments to secure a win?
Our basketball analysts detail their favorite bets in tonight’s marquee matchup below.
Olympics Basketball Odds & Picks
Joe Dellera: The United States is poised for another gold medal in Olympic basketball despite assembling one of the most poorly constructed teams in years. They are double-digit favorites against France despite the French taking winning the first matchup in the Group Stage.
Team USA finally showed some signs of effective ball movement against Australia and when they stopped relying on isolation (read: Kevin Durant bailing them out) their efficiency improvement dramatically.
That ball movement will be important against the French team. In their Group Stage matchup, France shot 60% from 2-point range, and they were able to secure a victory due to a massive scoring drought from the US when France went on a 25-11 run in the third quarter. The US team lead for the majority of the game and it was only a late push for France and foul trouble for Durant that hurt the Americans.
Additionally, the United States team has made adjustments since the loss. Jrue Holiday has now entered the starting lineup for Team USA facilitating the offense and being a stopper on defense. This is not the same team that lost at the Group Stage.
I’m backing Team USA to not only take home the gold, but to cover the spread.
Raheem Palmer: For whatever reason Team USA likes to spot the opposing team a lead throughout this tournament. They struggled against Australia in the semifinals, falling behind by 15 points in the second quarter before an onslaught before the half cut the deficit to just three points at halftime.
They also struggled with Spain in the quarterfinals — the game was tied at halftime before they broke away in the third quarter behind the stellar play from Kevin Durant. It’s hard to expect anything different here as France is perhaps the best team outside of the US in this tournament.
Neutralizing Rudy Gobert will be really difficult given the lack of bigs on this roster and it will be interesting to see how Draymond Green and Bam Adebayo deal with his size up front. While France did defeat Team USA in Group play, the US did have a seven point lead with 3:41 before coughing up the game in crunch time. I’m expecting a Team USA win today, but it’s going to take some time to adjust to the size and defense of France.
I’ll go to the well again fading Team USA in the first half by taking France +6.5 while hoping I can get a decent number at the half or in-game on Team USA.
Damian Lillard has had a nightmare run, averaging 11.2 points on under 39% shooting from the field, and he’s been unable to initiate offense for this team. Jayson Tatum, Devin Booker and Zach LaVine aren’t doing much of that either.
Holiday has increasingly become this team’s point guard with Lillard playing off the ball, and Holiday recorded eight assists against Australia. His defense against Fournier will be key, and his initiation will be huge too. Remember, Holiday was fantastic in the opener against France, and that was just days after the NBA Finals ended and right after a long flight across 14 time zones.
Lillard’s minutes have fallen in three straight, and he may not even be a closing lineup lock at this point. I like Lillard to go under his 4.5 assists line at -140.