Team USA Men’s Basketball: How Slow Start Has Impacted Olympics Odds

Team USA Men’s Basketball: How Slow Start Has Impacted Olympics Odds article feature image
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Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard #6 of the USA Men’s National Team.

The U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team has lost its first two exhibition games, but one sportsbook hasn’t cared all that much about it.

William Hill opened its odds at -550 for Team USA to win gold at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and has not yet changed the line despite embarrassing losses at the hands of 29.5-point underdog Nigeria and 16.5-point underdog Australia.

“If [the U.S.] keep losing, we’ll have to adjust it,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US, in a statement on Tuesday. “I just think it’s too early to adjust now, it’s only been a couple exhibitions. They still have Kevin Durant, Dame Lillard and company. When the games mean something, it’ll probably be a different story.”

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On the other hand, PointsBet has altered its odds substantially since the two losses.

While Team USA opened at the book as -1000 favorites to win gold, it is now -625 favorites.

“After they lost to Nigeria, we held steady at the -1000 but felt it was necessary to start moving the price in after their loss last night to Australia,” said Mike Korn, a sports analyst at PointsBet.

Similarly, at BetMGM, the line is now -400 after having been as high as -1000 before Team USA’s game against Nigeria, which it lost 90-87.

After the Nigeria game, the Team USA odds dropped to -800. The line then moved to -600 moments after the 91-83 loss to Australia.

The line as of Tuesday afternoon is -400.

Australia is now second- or third-best favorites at most sportsbooks after its performance against the U.S., with lines at +1000 at PointsBet, +1400 at BetMGM and +1000 at William Hill.

Former second-best favorites Spain now has lines of +1200 at PointsBet, +800 at BetMGM and +1000 at William Hill.

Team USA will face Argentina in another exhibition match Tuesday night at 6 p.m. EST. Despite its foibles, the team is still heavy favorites to win its first game this summer with a spread of -18.5 and a moneyline of -2000.

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