Olympic Men’s Basketball Odds, Preview, Prediction for Spain vs. Argentina: How to Bet Medal Favorite Spaniards
Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images. Pictured: Ricky Rubio.
- Thursday morning begins with an Olympic basketball matchup between medal favorite Spain and Argentina.
- The Spaniards are a solid team led by Ricky Rubio and the Gasol brothers, but Argentina is also a veteran group that could pose a challenge.
- Check out Joe Dellera's betting guide for the game below, including odds, a betting pick, and prediction.
Spain vs. Argentina Odds
|Moneyline||-425 / +310|
|Time||8 a.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday and via PointsBet.|
Argentina takes on Spain in a must-win game after the Argentinians dropped their opening contest to Luka Doncic and the Slovenians 118-110.
Spain is the second in the FIBA rankings, and Argentina is fourth. This is a tough game between two teams that have medal aspirations, if not gold medal aspirations, at these Olympics.
Spain has the opportunity to deal a critical blow to the Argentinians and drop them to 0-2 and avoid a potential rematch in any of the knockout rounds. Can they take care of business as the favorites outside of the Americans or will Argentina put up a fight?
Veteran Spanish Squad Has Deep Bench
The Spaniards are headlined by a host of NBA names including a starting lineup of Ricky Rubio, Rudy Fernandez, Juan Hernangomez, Victor Claver and Marc Gasol. They are complemented by a bench of excellent depth including NBA champion Pau Gasol.
A staple of Spanish basketball is continuity. They are the reigning World Cup champions, and they’ve medaled in the last three Summer Olympics. They secured a silver in 2008, a silver in 2012 and a bronze in 2016. This level of continuity and chemistry is invaluable in these international games.
Think about it, in crunch time, you have both of the Gasol brothers manning the floor at the same time, and neither needs to be particularly mobile due to the international rules that allow for defensive 3 seconds.
They can dominate the paint, both can shoot 3s, and they are excellent passing big-men. Then you have Ricky Rubio who might as well transform into Steve Nash on the international stage. This team is poised for a strong Olympics, and if they can essentially eliminate another likely medalist in the group stage, they will take full advantage.
Argentina Has Disappointed Lately
Argentina is no slouch team, and they have their own dossier of familiar NBA and international players between the wizard of a passer in Facu Campazzo, long-time NBA talent Luis Scola, and the newest member of the New York Knicks, Luca Vildoza.
This team has struggled of late and dropped every exhibition game in Las Vegas and their first game of the Olympics against Slovenia. While they have some strong leadership and fundamentals, they just are not the Argentinian team that won gold in the 2004 Olympics.
They’re relying on Luis Scola, a 41-year-old, and Facu Campazzo to lead this team against much stronger talent. Facu took 10 3’s in their loss to Slovenia while making just 3 of them, but there’s potential for him to put up a big game against a Spanish team that surrendered a 40.7% 3-point percentage to the Japanese National Team.
On the defensive side, one issue that’s plagued Argentina is they have allowed their opponents to just outshoot them. Their only close game was against Australia where they gave up a shooting percentage of just 38%, but in their other games they surrendered percentages of 50% (Slovenia), 51.4% (USA), and 48.1% (Nigeria). If they cannot clamp down on defense against Spain they will be in for a long game.
These teams are seemingly mirror images of each other. They both are built around pass-first guards with some aging NBA bigs, but the Spaniards simply do it better.
Spain is the best team in this matchup, and if it were not for the United States, they’d be a dynasty on the international stage. Spain has the advantage here, and against this Argentinian team that has allowed their opponents to score seemingly at will, they should be able to take care of business as they prepare for their final group showdown against Luka Doncic and Slovenia.
Pick: Spain -8.5