USA vs. Australia Odds, Olympics Preview, Prediction: Can the Aussie’s Cover a Double-Digit Spread? (August 5)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Ingles #7 of Team Australia pats teammate Nathan Sobey #9 on the head.
- Team USA and Australia meet at the Olympics with a spot in the Gold Medal game on the line.
- The Aussies beat the Americans in an exhibition back in July, but USA's roster is much different than it was then.
- Joe Dellera breaks down below whether or not he thinks Australia can cover the large spread.
USA vs. Australia Odds
|Moneyline||-700 / +500|
|Time||12:15 a.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday and via PointsBet.|
Team USA handled an aging Spanish team while Australia similarly disposed of Argentina. Now these two international juggernauts face each other in the Olympic Semifinals for a date against Slovenia or France in the Gold Medal game.
Both Team USA and Australia are loaded with NBA talent, but they each play a different style. The Americans are stacked with offensive firepower while the Aussies can shoot but also play incredible defense.
The bracket broke poorly for these two teams seeing that they are facing each other prior to the gold medal game, but this is going to be a great matchup to watch.
Team USA Must Overcome Size Mismatch
Team USA is undefeated against Australia in Olympic events with an 8-0 record, however, Australia defeated the Americans on July 12 91-83 in an exhibition in Las Vegas.
Of note, the United States team was significantly different a month ago. While they are without Bradley Beal now, the United States’ team has a better set of perimeter defenders and is deeper with the addition of Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, and Devin Booker.
While we look at this United States team as elite offensively and suffering from a lack of defense, that’s not entirely true.
Throughout these Olympics they’ve held opponents to just 78.5 points per game, while scoring 102.5. That’ll get you wins. The concern is that they just allowed Ricky Rubio to absolutely light them up for a whopping 38 points on 13/20 shooting in their victory over Spain.
Australia also has a top international point guard in Patty Mills and if the United States is unable to stop him at the point of attack, the Aussies have better secondary options on offense than Spain.
Australia’s defense is formidable and if the Americans settle for jumpers and isolation basketball they will suffer. One of the keys to the United States’ victory over Spain in the quarterfinals was they were moving, cutting, and creating good looks for each other.
This is critical considering the US team is a bit undersized and cannot rely on rebounds and second chance points as a strength. Efficient and effective ball movement will be the key for the United States to solve this Australian defense.
Australia’s 3-Point Shooting is Key
Australia is coming off a commanding 97-59 victory over Argentina in the quarterfinals where they completely shut down the Argentinian offense. Australia’s defense is its strength, and the team is led on the perimeter by Dante Exum and Matisse Thybulle while Aron Baynes mans the paint.
They can press the point of attack and they can control the paint as well. Australia is a perfect 4-0 and while it’s not quite as good as Team USA, the Aussies have an average point differential of +17.75 points per game.
The importance of Thybulle cannot be understated. He’s an absolutely elite defender who was voted onto the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team and I would not be shocked if he secures a DPOY award by the time his career is over. He’s nimble, he’s smart, he’s disruptive. He’s averaging an insane 3.3 steals per game during the Olympics in just 21.8 minutes per game.
Although he comes off the bench, he’s a spark plug for this Australian defense and he can turn his defense into offense by pushing the pace in transition. His ability to play both strong individual and team defense, allows the Aussies to make up for some of their other players such as Joe Ingles who has lost a bit of a step as he’s gotten more seasoned.
If Australia gets a big game from Thybulle they’ll be tough to stop.
One of the strengths for Australia is they can shoot 3s very efficiently. They have sharpshooters such as Joe Ingles (45.1% from deep in last season) and Patty Mills (37.5%) and even Matisse Thybulle has been hot from 3-point range during these Olympics (55.6%).
Australia gets great looks because of ball movement. A key to their offense has been their unselfish play, and five of their rotation players average more than 3 assists per game (Mills, Ingles, Exum, Dellavedova, Kay).
The Americans are incredible and have rounded into form, but they’ve done so against lessor competition and a Spanish team that was on its last legs. This Australian team is young, athletic, and hungry for its first Olympic medal. A win against the Americans would secure at least a silver medal yet they’re listed as 12 point underdogs and have a brutal path to glory.
Although the United States team has looked great of late, this spread is too big. Australia is ranked third in the FIBA rankings, and with their staunch defense coupled with the ability to nail 3-point shots, I think they’ve a live dog.
While the United States should win, they really should win every game when they have a roster loaded with All-Stars. But basketball is a team game, and this Australian team can play and they will be the toughest test the Americans have faced. I’ll take the points and sprinkle the moneyline.
Pick: Australia +12.5