Team USA was underwhelming during its exhibition games ahead of the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, but is looking to get back on track in its first official game this weekend. The United States will take on France in a group-phase game on Saturday. There is no Dream Team to speak of this year, and France is arguably as good as it's ever been, so this game brings plenty of intrigue.
Tip-off is set for Sunday at 8 a.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook has the USA listed as a 12.5-point favorite. Team USA is also listed at -800 on the money line (risk $800 to win $100), while the Over-Under is set at 178.5.
Before making any 2020 Olympics bets, be sure to see what SportsLine's Olympics expert, Mike Tierney, has to say.
A national sportswriter whose work appears in The New York Times and Los Angeles Times, Tierney has covered nine Olympic Games in person. For Rio in 2016, Tierney profited big-time. He told readers to bet Over on Team USA's gold medal count (41.5) and Over on Team USA's overall medal count (102.5). The result? 46 golds, 121 medals and two easy cashes.
And for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Tierney hit two of his three predictions: Germany (+200) to win the most gold medals and the United States winning Under 10.5 gold medals (+110).
Now, with the Tokyo Summer Olympics starting, Tierney has analyzed every angle of Sunday's USA-France basketball matchup to help bettors find the best betting options. Tierney is leaning on the Under for the point total.
He's also identified an x-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. You ABSOLUTELY need to see what he has to say before locking in your picks.
Who wins Sunday's USA vs. France matchup? And what X-factor makes one side of the spread a MUST-BACK? Join SportsLine right now to find out which team in the USA vs. France game you should back against the spread, all from the expert who has crushed his Olympic picks!
Team USA still has more talent than any other team competing, but its weaknesses became apparent during exhibition games earlier this month. The United States lost games to Nigeria and Australia before blowing out Argentina and was held under 90 points in both of its defeats. Team USA could improve when Devin Booker, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday join the squad following the 2021 NBA Finals, but it still lacks its usual depth. Zach LaVine is in COVID-19 protocol and four team USA reserves failed to make an All-Star team this past NBA season. France's defense is equipped to handle the United States' limited offensive upside.
France's interior defense will be anchored by three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. The Utah Jazz center has thrived as one of the NBA's premier rim protectors for years and can excel against a United States team has JaVale McGee backing up Bam Adebayo at center. Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier, Timothy Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Frank Ntilikina help fill out France's core group with NBA talent. Three of those players are versatile defenders, so France has a good chance to keep the score low and cover the spread.