The United States men’s basketball team has looked beatable in the 2016 Rio Olympics, but few expect them to fall short at this year’s Summer Games. Team USA is a heavy favorite to win a third straight gold medal after going undefeated in the group stage.
Team USA’s betting odds haven't changed much from the start of group play to the elimination round, which begins with the quarterfinals on Wednesday. The odds-on favorites have -2000 odds at Bovada.lv, putting them well ahead of the other seven teams in contention.
When Team USA last lost in the Olympics, they were defeated by Argentina in the 2004 semifinals. The two nations face off again on Wednesday, but with many of the same players 12 years later, Argentina has the worst odds of anyone in the tournament at +4000.
Spain, whom Team USA has defeated in the last two gold medal games, is considered to be the Americans’ biggest threat with +1400 odds. Spain wasn’t guaranteed to reach the elimination stage before their final game in group play on Monday, but the team easily took care of Argentina. Spain has won three games in a row by an average of 26 points, and Pau Gasol ranks fourth with 19.4 points and first with 8.8 rebounds per game.
Australia (+2000) has separated itself as the favorite to win the bronze medal. The team finished second in group play with a 4-1 record, and they came close to handing Team USA it’s only loss, ultimately losing by 10 points in a game that came down to the wire. While Team USA only beat France (+2800) and Serbia (+2200) by three points each, Australia defeated both clubs by at least 15 points.
Lithuania (+2500) and Croatia (+3300) are among the final eight teams after going 3-2 in group play. Neither team had to face Team USA.
Of the teams left in the tournament, only the U.S., Spain and Argentina have won medals since 2004. France won the silver medal in 2000, and Lithuania took home the bronze.